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With a resolution no higher than 640x480, what is the frame rate I should expect for streaming? Are there any cameras in the 10-50 dollar range that will get me 20-25 FPS, possibly with some manual driver installation and so on?

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RaspberryPi are going to be bring out a camera that they're developing themselves. If you go the RPi website, you'll see. Its still a month from release though unfortunately. Looks promising though. raspberrypi.org/archives/3224 –  Impulss Feb 7 '13 at 7:45
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The camera is still at least a month away. I suspect it'll be more than 3, less than 6. –  recantha Feb 7 '13 at 8:52

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The cheap (raw pixel) cameras will not give you a FPS even near the 20. They will only give around 2 to 9 FPS. This is mainly because the RPi will need to encode the frames before sending them, and that is a lot of data to encode.

With JPEG (those are mostly HD cams) encoded cameras you'll get a little better FPS rate (around 15 up to 20 FPS), because the encoding is done in the camera itself, the RPi only needs to send these frames without the need to encode.

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Thank you. Do you happen to know of any compatible HD cameras? –  Christian Jonassen Feb 7 '13 at 7:23
    
I myself use at the moment one of the Microsoft HD webcams, I think it is the HD-5000. –  ikku Feb 7 '13 at 10:10
    
Do you have more details about your results with that camera? I read that some users are having problems with "picture breaking up at the bottom" - elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals - do you experience the same? Also, do you need a USB hub to get 30 FPS? –  Christian Jonassen Feb 7 '13 at 10:26
    
Good quality picture over the network, averages around 15 FPS depending on the load on the RPi. I use mjpg-streamer to put the data from the cam on the network, it does not cause a very high load on the RPi. –  ikku Feb 7 '13 at 10:35
    
And without a USB hub, I presume? –  Christian Jonassen Feb 7 '13 at 13:40

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