I'm using Ubuntu 12.10 64 bits, on a Lenovo Ideapad U410. I've been using the included webcam with Skype and Google Hangout with no issues. At some point in time, I noticed on Google Hangouts some update made the cam stop working.
When I run
lsusb, this is the result:
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 04f2:b2e1 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd
On /dev I see this:
crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 0 Mar 5 00:52 video0
~ $ ls /dev/v4l/by-id/ total 0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12 Mar 5 00:52 usb-Vimicro_Corp._Lenovo_EasyCamera-video-index0 -> ../../video0
So, now I test something like VLC to "Open Capture Device". The webcam turns on, but there's no image. Same thing on Skype, I test the video and the cam turns on, but no image. At some point, the camera disappears from lsusb and I can't see it there anymore.
I tested Ubuntu 12.10 from a live USB and the camera works perfectly from there, so it's not a hardware issue, but a software issue. I even tried to run Skype as a root user to test if this was a change in permissions issue, but it still doesn't work.
I have no clue as to how to debug this issue, or find whatever update or installation made it stop working.