I am getting together a kit of things for the raspberry pi and have decided I want to get a camera. However, I am not sure if I want to shell out $25 on a rpi offical camera and am considering a USB web cam. Are there any disadvantages/advantages to each of these. I would be using the camera for a sercurity camera. Any information will be appreciated.
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The pi kernel includes a hardware specific V4L driver which should mean you can shoot hardware encoded H.264 video with a webcam, so the pi camera does not have an advantage there.
USB video is standardized, which should mean any contemporary USB camera will work under linux without the need for a model specific driver. However, hardware manufacturers are free to deviate from that standard and simply ship a special driver, but they almost certainly won't do so for linux.
So before you buy anything, look around online to see if there are any reports of problems on linux. And beware if it comes with special drivers.