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Miniature TTL Serial JPEG Camera with NTSC Video

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This tiny little camera module can be a pretty neat project addition. It was designed to be used in security systems and does two main things - it outputs NTSC color video and can take snapshots of that video (in color) and transmit them over the TTL serial link. You can snap pictures at 640x480, 320x240 or 160x120 and they're pre-compressed JPEG images which makes them nice and small and easy to store on an SD card. Perfect for a data-logging, security, or photography project.

One nice thing about this particular camera is all the 'extras' that come with it. For example it has auto-white-balance, auto-brightness andauto-contrast taken care of for you as well as motion detection built in! That means you can have it alert your project when something moved in the frame. The lens is manually adjustable, it has a 1-15 meter focal distance by default which is good for most projects.

We also carry a much larger, but enclosed weather-proof version

Using the module is pretty easy and only requires two digital pins (or a TTL serial port) - by default it transmits at 38400 baud. Of course we wouldn't just leave you with a datasheet and a 'good luck', we even spent a lot of time researching the module and DSP to make a really nice Arduino library with example code that shows how to change the image size and compression quality, detect motion, control the video output stream, etc. Adafruit has a very detailed tutorial that will help get the most use out of your camera.

Example photo 1 (outside street) & example photo 2 (inside person)

Technical Details

V2 Datasheet
  • Module size: 20mm x 28mm
  • Module Weight: 3g
  • Image sensor: CMOS 1/4 inch
  • CMOS Pixels: 30M
  • Pixel size: 5.6um*5.6um
  • Manual focus adjustable from 5 to 15meters
  • Output format: Standard JPEG
  • White balance: Automatic
  • Exposure: Automatic
  • Gain: Automatic
  • Shutter: Electronic rolling shutter
  • SNR: 45DB
  • Dynamic Range: 60DB
  • Max analog gain: 16DB
  • Frame speed: 640*480 30fps
  • Scan mode: Progressive scan
  • Viewing angle: 60 degrees
  • Image size: VGA(640*480), QVGA(320*240), QQVGA(160*120)
  • Baud rate: Default 38400
  • Current draw: 75mA
  • Operating voltage: DC +3-5V (the power pin is marked 3.3V but it goes into a 3-5V input regulator so you can power it with 3-5VDC)
  • Communication: 3.3V TTL (Three wire TX, RX, GND)

We have a fairly full-featured Arduino library with examples that demonstrate how to use the camera
The datasheet for the DSP processor itself (not terribly useful for the module but good for reference
This is the DSP management tool (windows only sorry!) it allows you to tweak pretty much everything on the camera as well as test it out via a serial port
A basic python sketch that will let you snag a image over a serial port - good for testing when you cant use the DSP tool above
This is the 'protocol cheat sheet' for the sensor its a little crummy - we suggest reading our library code and porting it instead of trying to do it from scratch with this sheet

Check out our detailed tutorial on how to use this camera module with an Arduino (and in general

Fabien's Netduino + Camera tutorial




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