I've been using guvcview for many years. It's really good to get an overview of what a camera can do and what controls are available. Also very useful as control panel while something else, e.g. a gstreamer pipeline is capturing and processing the video.
I'm sorry but this app is still not ready for prime time. For a while all I could get it to do was crash every time I started to record video. Just got 1.5.3-ubuntu2~oneiric~ppa1 today. Now it's back to recording but skipping frames badly. Record for 3:00, get 2:30 long jerky output file. Makes no difference what format, codec or player I use. i5-760, 8GB of 1.3GHz RAM, nVidea 9600GT, Xubuntu 11.10 Oneiric 64bit.
It looks good, but I can not change the settings from webcam to videograbber (With Debian 8 and Linu Mint 17.1). I hoped that with this program I could capture my movies from my camcorder on my netbook*. Now I have to do it with windows :( * my camcorder has Firewire, AV out and S-video, my desktop computer has a Firewire card and grabs with dvgrab all my movies. Some times it is easier to use my netbook (when I am not at home) but this one has no Firewire.