The webcam is one of four input devices to a large parallel processing array controlling a slow moving system. It samples the inputs spatially and temporally to make decisions based on the black and white component for edges and a coarse reading of colour to eliminate shadows and detect specific areas of interest. Resolution is not critical as it is downscaled and then resconstructed from other inputs. Changing the software is out of the question in terms of cost so it must be 16bit YUV. We will also change the lens, the power feed and the serial data line - but don't you worry about that!
Call it a webcam, a digital camera or anything else you want: I just need to try some low cost CCD or CMOS devices with good low-light capability which output YUV, 16bits down a serial line to replace one that is broken. To describe it EXACTLY would run to 100s of pages - and I'm not going to that level.
So, now we have got that out of the way, can you recommend anything that meets the original specification? or were you just making a point?