The Sunnyvale “megapixel webcam” is relatively simple as the California location does not need the “weatherproofing” some of the cameras in locations with more severe weather conditions require.
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The camera used is a standard digital SLR, in this case a Canon T3 (12 Megapixel Sensor). Through the USB port, the camera is connected to a camera processor – the white box. The camera processor is a small portable router with modified firmware. Both the camera itself and the processor are powered over Ethernet (POE). This has the advantage that only an Ethernet cable has to be connected to the housing for both data transmission and power. The black box above the camera is the POE Splitter.
The camera processor gets instructions from a server, in this case a simple Apache web server. Here is the process:
For a much more detailed explanation of the software and hardware please see the Foto Webcam Wiki.