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Hobby-level microcontrollers are finally getting big and powerful enough to start handling camera modules that historically would have required a full computer or FPGA to handle. The RP2040 and ESP32-Sx series of chips, for example, have enough pins to communicate with the 8-bit data output, DMA to quickly grab a frame, and the necessary RAM to buffer a raw snapshot. Now all we need is a nice camera module to make interfacing easy!

This Adafruit OV5640 Camera Breakout with 120 Degree Lens has a nice quality OV5640 camera with a 5 Megapixel sensor element, 120-degree wide angle lens, and all the support circuitry you need. We looked at existing camera modules and while this breakout board is backwards compatible, we made some improvements:

  • Standard 2x9 header if you want it, but also a duplicated header strip 0.3" apart so you can plug it into a breadboard or perfboard 
  • Selectable external or internal 24MHz "XCLK" clock generation - save one gpio pin, or just have a nice stable 24 MHz signal even if your microcontroller can't generate it for you.
  • Heat-sinking camera area with exposed ground pad, with lots of vias for good thermal transfer. Helpful for when doing continuous encoding and reducing thermal image drift.
  • Optional VMotor 3.3V power jumper on DATA1, for auto-focusing camera modules
  • 3.3V power-good LED on back that can be disabled

https://www.youtube.com/embed/djkzn9eSXe8?start=684

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ur_Rojlr9EE?start=465

The Adafruit OV5640 Camera Breakout - 120 Degree Lens appears in the following collections:

SKU AF-5673