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How to check if webcam is busy

asked 2013-07-04 05:00:43 -0600

JeffElse gravatar image

updated 2013-07-04 08:41:01 -0600


is there a way to check if webcam is busy before taking an image? Python.exe would crash if camera is in use and following code is running

Python code:

from cv2 import *
while True:
    #need to check here if camera is busy
    cam = VideoCapture(0)
    s, img =
    if s:    # frame captured without any errors
        imwrite("filename.jpg",img) #save image
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answered 2013-07-04 06:29:52 -0600

Basically what you need to do before reading an image from a cam element.

VideoCapture cap(0); // open the default camera
if(!cap.isOpened())  // check if we succeeded
    return -1;

This code will check if the cam opening actually worked. If the camera is busy, it will not get opened, since access isn't allowed, giving you a false for an opened camera socket.

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Thx. I've tried that, but it still crashes.

JeffElse gravatar imageJeffElse ( 2013-07-04 08:29:46 -0600 )edit

Can you identify exactly at which command it crashes?

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2013-07-04 08:39:39 -0600 )edit

it fails on release(). I can see the print output before it

if cam.isOpened(): print "release" cam.release()

JeffElse gravatar imageJeffElse ( 2013-07-04 13:13:25 -0600 )edit

it also crashes before cam = VideoCapture(0)

JeffElse gravatar imageJeffElse ( 2013-07-04 13:59:23 -0600 )edit

Try this:

  • Create a new VideoCapture element but do not initialize it yet by using VideoCapture capture;
  • Then use the bool success =;
  • Now check if the boolean value is true or false, before continuing.
StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2013-07-05 02:29:59 -0600 )edit

not sure if I'm doing it right, python still crashes before cc = VideoCapture()

    cam = VideoCapture()
    success = False
    if not cam.isOpened():
        success =

    if success: 
        ok, img =
JeffElse gravatar imageJeffElse ( 2013-07-25 15:16:27 -0600 )edit

You are actually doing my suggestion, but yeah it seems you don't have succeed in getting the videoCapture class. Are u sure that you have all the correct libraries included?

StevenPuttemans gravatar imageStevenPuttemans ( 2013-07-26 03:57:13 -0600 )edit

How do I know if all libraries are correct? If camera is not busy, it works. So I suppose, libraries are correct. Does it work for you?

JeffElse gravatar imageJeffElse ( 2013-07-26 04:17:20 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2013-07-04 05:00:43 -0600

Seen: 5,093 times

Last updated: Jul 04 '13