ArduCam Mega is a 3MP or 5MP camera specifically designed for microcontrollers with an SPI interface, and the SDK currently supports Arduino UNO and Mega2560 boards, ESP32/ESP8266 boards, Raspberry Pi Pico and other boards based on RP2040 MCU, BBC Micro:bit V2, as well as STM32 and MSP430 platform.
Both cameras share many of the same specifications including their size, but the 3MP model is a fixed-focus camera, while the 5MP variant supports autofocus. Potential applications include assets monitoring, wildfire monitoring, remote meter reading, TinyML applications, and so on.
ArduCam Mega specifications:
- Camera Type
- 3MP with fixed focus
- 5MP with auto-focus from 8cm to infinity
- Optical size – 1/4-inch
- Shutter type – Rolling
- Focal ratio
- 3MP – F2.8
- 5MP – F2.0
- Still Resolutions
- 320×240, 640×480, 1280×720 x 1600 x1200x 1920 x 1080
- 3MP – 2048 x 1536
- 5MP – 2592×1944
- Output formats – RGB, YUV, or JPEG
- Wake-up time
- 3MP – 42 ms
- 5MP – 94 ms
- Host interface – 4-wire SPI @ 8 MHz
- Power Supply – 3.3V or 5V
- Power consumption (idle/active)
- 3MP – 185mW / 585mW
- 5MP – 182mW / 650mW
- Dimensions – 33x33x17 mm
ArduCam provides a C/C++ SDK with documentation for all supported platforms: Raspberry Pi RP2040, Arduino 8-bit AVR, STM32, MSP430, ESP32, ESP8266, etc… and you’ll find various demos on their YouTube channel. There’s also a GUI tool that’s only available for Windows.
Arducam also provides the ability to connect up to four ArduCam Mega cameras to a single MCU via a multi-camera adapter board: The Pico4ML Pro. It is an evolution of the Pico4ML based on the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and designed for TinyML applications. I can’t find any Pico4ML Pro demos at all, let alone with four cameras, so it might still be under development which would not be surprising for a crowdfunding campaign. There’s however a demo with four ArduCam Mega cameras connected to an ESP32 board.
ArduCam has launched the Mega on Kickstarter and raised close to $12,000 so far after less than one day. Rewards start at $16 for the Mega 3MP, $22 for the Mega 5MP, and $35 for the Pico4ML Pro board with the enclosure but no cameras. There are also bundles with multiple cameras. The company will ship to a limited number of countries for $6 to $11.4 depending on the destination, and deliveries are expected to start by April 2023.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Ahh, you did end up posting this. When you didn’t reply I wasn’t sure.
Ardcucam contacted me about it and it was one of my draft articles.
Cool, I won’t forward stuff in the future and confuse things.
No problem at all. I don’t always answer emails if no answer is required because I read 100+ emails a day, and sometimes, people who send email tips say there’s no need to reply.
Fixed focus, meh, so many hacking-friendly cameras are like that. It gets in the way of too many uses. Let me have an AF camera that can shoot distant scenery AND can shoot QR codes from 2 inches away, like any self-respecting phone camera can. It’s almost like vendors don’t want to let us near the good stuff.
The 5MP model supports autofocus. It’s just the 3MP model that’s fixed focus.