After many attempts to use different software to take regular pictures with either an external webcam or indeed the one built into the eeepc, I found the only one I could get working was the excellent, versatile vlc.
I found this script that works well. A word of warning – MUTE YOUR SPEAKERS! Otherwise you get a horrible feedback as vlc somehow plays the microphone input back through the speakers.
cvlc v4l2:// -V image --image-out-ratio 100 --image-out-prefix Img --run-time 40 vlc://quit 2> /dev/video0
Records 3 images after 40 seconds
If you don’t specify a file format for the output (with –image-out-format jpg), it defaults to png and the quality is better.
cvlc is the console version of vlc i.e. it doesn’t open up the GUI console – equivalent to
$ vlc -I dummy… but more elegant