wiki:

Capture

/

Webcam


Version 11 (modified by burek, 4 years ago) (diff)

again, updated link to docs

Windows

dshow

For windows you should probably use the "dshow" (DirectShow) FFmpeg input source. See DirectShow.

vfwcap

Windows users that can't use DirectShow can possibly use the (now out dated) vfwcap input device, like this:

To list the supported capture devices, connected to the machine:

ffmpeg -y -f vfwcap -i list

That will give us the list like this:

...
libavutil     50.36. 0 / 50.36. 0
libavcore      0.16. 1 /  0.16. 1
libavcodec    52.108. 0 / 52.108. 0
libavformat   52.93. 0 / 52.93. 0
libavdevice   52. 2. 3 / 52. 2. 3
libavfilter    1.74. 0 /  1.74. 0
libswscale     0.12. 0 /  0.12. 0
[vfwcap @ 01c6d150] Driver 0
[vfwcap @ 01c6d150]  Microsoft WDM Image Capture (Win32)
[vfwcap @ 01c6d150]  Version:  5.1.2600.5512
list: Input/output error

So, we can try to grab something from our camera:

ffmpeg -y -f vfwcap -r 25 -i 0 out.mp4

Where "-i 0" is the index (zero based) in the list of present capture devices ("Driver 0" in this instance).

Linux

On Linux, we can use video4linux2 (or shortly "v4l2") input device to capture live input (such as web camera), like this:

ffmpeg -f video4linux2 -r 25 -s 640x480 -i /dev/video0 out.avi

or

ffmpeg -f v4l2 -r 25 -s 640x480 -i /dev/video0 out.avi

If you need to set some specific parameters of your camera, you can do that using v4l2-ctl tool.

You can find it in ubuntu/debian package named v4l-utils.

Most probably you'll want to know what frame sizes / frame rates your camera supports and you can do that using: v4l2-ctl --list-formats-ext

Also, you might want to correct brightness, zoom, focus, etc. with:

v4l2-ctl -L

and

v4l2-ctl -c <option>=<value>