IOT

Interfacing 5MP SPI Camera with NodeMCU ESP8266

This article is about the Arducam Mega Camera, as we will be connecting this 5MP SPI camera to the NodeMCU ESP8266 WiFi Module. Recently, Arducam introduced a famous camera solution that enables the effortless connection of one or more cameras to any microcontroller. It is designed specifically for battery-powered IoT devices, machine vision embedded applications, and artificial intelligence applications. Arducam Mega Camera is compatible with any microcontroller that features a single SPI interface. There is no requirement for memory for register settings or frame buffers. Best of all, it is compatible with both 3.3V and 5V systems.

In this project, we will interface a 5-megapixel Arducam Mega Camera with a NodeMCU ESP8266 Board and perform a variety of functions, such as image capture at different pixel resolutions. Additionally, we will stream several films using only the ESP8266 Board. Arducam has introduced the Arducam Mega SDK for the Arducam Mega camera, which simplifies programming. Therefore, let’s examine this camera and its functions in depth.

Arducam Mega Camera

The Arducam Mega Camera is a renowned camera system that enables the effortless connection of one or more cameras to any microcontroller. It is intended for battery-powered IoT devices, machine vision embedded applications, and artificial intelligence applications.

Arducam Mega SPI Camera

Arducam Mega is compatible with any microcontroller that has a single SPI port. Only four GPIO pins are required, excluding VCC and GND. There is no requirement for memory for register settings or frame buffers. It’s compatible with both 3.3V and 5V systems. The camera is compatible with Arduino, STM8/STM32, ESP8266/ESP32, MSP430, Nordic, Renesas, and other MCU platforms.

The camera was created specifically for energy-efficient applications. When your MCU is sleeping, you can totally turn off the camera without having to worry about loading large register settings, as it does it rapidly (less than 100 ms) and automatically. There are two variants of Arducam Mega cameras, one with a 3MP (fixed focus) sensor and the other with a 5MP sensor (autofocus). It comes with a default enclosure, making it simple to mount wherever you like.

Arducam Mega Camera

Interfacing 5MP Arducam Mega Camera with NodeMCU ESP8266

Now let’s examine how to interface the Arducam Mega 5MP SPI Camera with the NodeMCU ESP8266. The depicted connection diagram is rather straightforward.

Following is the connection between NodeMCU ESP8266 Board & 5MP Arducam Mega Camera.

Camera PinNodeMCU ESP8266 Board
VCC3.3V
GNDGND
SCKD5
MISOD6
MOSID7
CSD0

You can directly connect the Camera with NodeMCU ESP8266 Board using the jumper wires.

Arducam Mega Library Installation

Arducam has released a library for use with ESP8266 boards and other microcontrollers. The configuration and use of the environment are based on Arduino IDE.

Library Link: https://github.com/ArduCAM/Arducam_Mega.git

Copy the extracted folder from the downloaded library file to the Arduino library folder.

Source Code/Program

After adding the library to the Arduino Library folder, you may test the Camera using the example code from the library.

To test the camera, we will use the full featured example.

Select the NodeMCU 1.0 Board from the Board list after selecting the example, and then click the upload button to upload the code to the Arduino UNO Board.

Testing the Camera

To verify the functionality of the Camera, we require a GUI visualization program. Download the Arducam program from the link provided below.

https://github.com/ArduCAM/Arducam_Mega/releases/download/v1.0.0/ArducamMegaSetup_Windows_x64.exe

After downloading, install the software on your computer.

After installation, Select the NodeMCU ESP8266 port number, the baud rate is 921600, and click open.

The Camera is now associated with the visualization software. Therefore, the camera can be moved in various directions to view everything on the GUI Screen.

ESP8266 Camera Visualization

You can take a picture by clicking the image button. You can close the window by clicking the close button. You can also choose the image’s resolution and format.

To enable video streaming mode, click the Video button; the default resolution is 320×240. To disable video streaming mode, click the close button.

By default, auto exposure is enabled. When utilizing manual exposure, the automatic exposure mechanism must be disabled.

By default, the auto gain is enabled. When using manual gain, the automatic gain function must be disabled.

The software has the capability of adjusting the brightness, contrast, EV, saturation, white balance, special effects, and focus.

Autofocus is available on the 5MP Mega Camera from Arducam. You can activate or deactivate this functionality. Enable or disable the continuous focus function; by default, the continuous focus is disabled.

ParameterFunction
OpenEnable the focus function
SingleTimeEnable single focus
PersistentEnable continuous focus
StopPause autofocus
CloseTurn off focus

This camera has the potential to shape the future of the Internet of Things since it is the optimal camera option for any MCU-based, low-power IoT and embedded vision applications/systems.

Conclusion

I hope all of you have understood the basics of Interfacing a 5MP SPI Camera with NodeMCU. We MATHA ELECTRONICS will be back soon with more informative blogs soon.

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