Arduino + Webcam??????

I am working on a “Deep Sea” payload that will travel several hundred or thousand feet below sea level. It will be controlled by an Arduino. There will be temperature and pressure sensors attached, and their data will be logged. We also want to take pictures with a cheap webcam.

Is the Arduino powerful enough to take a plain picture from the webcam and store it on a SD card or flash drive every couple seconds? There does not need to be any processing, just snap and save.

Also, could I use a VDIP2 module from FTDI to connect the webcam to the Arduino? I would then try to use a flash drive on the other VDIP2 USB port to store the pictures. Would this work?

If the Arduino is simply not powerful enough, could you recommend an Atmel micro that could be programmed by WinAVR that is powerful enough to do this?

Lot of previous post about underwated vehicles. You might search the board for terms like "rov" and "underwater". If the device is to be on a wire, then an analog or network cam would probably be a low tech and inexpensive solution.

Get any decent cannon point and shoot camera (or if you have the budget, get a DSLR). It has to be a cannon because you can put additional software on these called CDHK -

Put a massive SD card in it, 4 gig, 8 gig, biggest you can get.

Put CDHK on the camera and set it up to do intervalic (time lapse) shooting, one shot every 1,2,5, whatever seconds.

Let it just take pictures and do not have the Arduino do anything.

If you wanted, you could have Aurduino control just the shutter by triggering the camera with 5V and a very easy to make cable, but you would need to have a way of seeing what the camera sees down there, which if you could wouldn't need a camera to take photos down there, you could just frame grab the images coming up.

But let the camera do all the storage and photography, unless you are going to pipe it back up to the surface in real time, just retrieve the images off the camera when it comes up. Give the camera its own battery and let it live in its own world and let the Arduino drive the boat ...which is 400 feet below the water with your camera on it...and I assume you want to get both of them back. ;)

Ardunio and images don't really mix, unless you have very long timeframes between images. Kind of like using a nutcracker to quarry tons of rock......