I am currently playing with stereo vision (two cameras capturing images simultaneously) for my robot hobby project. There are a few traits that is important when processing the images captured for stereo, and the most important of all is that images are captured at exactly the same time (also known as frame sync or genlock).
Dedicated robot cameras with sync built in can be really expensive and so like many other hobbyists I want to leverage the price/performance found in mid to high-end consumer web cameras.
This works great for one camera but breaks down when working with stereo due to missing genlock. So I decided to see if it would be possible to hack a consumer webcam and retrofit a DIY genlock somehow.
I am a beginner in electronics, especially for high speed digital signals, but I can program atmel based MCUs. I happened to own two old logitech pro 9000 cameras, and I opened one up to peek inside (see photo below).
What I want to know is what I would look for in the board that could be used to retrofit/hack such a genlock?
My naive idea is that by simply disabling the oscillator crystal of one camera and connecting from the other, they would boot and operate at exactly the same clock and maybe this would also result in synchronized frames. Is this idea realistic? Why/Why not?
Any good ideas and suggestions are welcome.