The portable cameras onboard some of the early Mercury test flights were mounted to provide a view out the exterior window. The cameras were configured to take pictures at defined intervals. We have compiled together the image sequences from MR-1A, MR-2, MR-3, MA-4, and MA-5 into the videos below for viewing and download. These videos are not derived from the footage taken by the 16 mm video cameras that were used during some of the later missions.
About the Videos
To create these videos, the low-resolution, processed image products from each mission were used. These images were sequenced together into videos and short, text introductions were added. Each video has a pixel resolution of approximately 600x626.
For each mission, the camera was configured to automatically take pictures every "X" seconds. The time between each actual picture taken is approximately six seconds (this can be verified using the clock that is embedded in each photo). The only exception to this is Mercury Atlas 5, which has a sequence rate of approximately 32 seconds.
However, creating the videos in the original six-second intervals would result in a very slow video. Each video above was created at approximately six frames per second. This means that six photos are displayed every second in the video (keeping in mind that the photos were also actually shot six seconds apart, on average).
Considering these above two factors (time between each picture taken and the frame rate in videos) accounts for the "dodgy-ness" of the videos. The other issue that may be noticed, is the misalignment of the frames. This is due to the nature of the scanning process which makes the frame alignment within the scan difficult. More about the scanning process may be read here.