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$16.00 Arducam Mega supports SPI interface

Dec 20, 2022 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,087 views

The Arducam Mega is a low-power camera compatible with any microcontroller that supports SPI protocol. This embedded camera is offered in 3MP/5MP variants and it supports a fully open-source SDK for software development. 

According to the product page, the Arducam Mega should be compatible with any 3.3V and 5V microcontroller that supports SPI interface. The page also specifies, “Only six pins are required. No memory is needed for register settings or frame buffers”. 

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Arducam Mega features
(click image to enlarge)
        

The company is also offering the Pico4ML Pro Development board which is built around the RP2040 microcontroller and it can support up to 4x Arducam Mega modules. The Pico4ML Pro is equipped with a screen, an onboard camera, a microphone, an IMU and it supports TensorFlow Lite Micro. 

Arducam Mega & Arduino Uno demo
        

The GitHub for the Arducam Mega includes examples for a few different embedded devices (Arduino Uno, ESP32, RPi, MSP430, etc.). There is also a tutorial available on how2electronics.com which shows how to interface Raspberry Pi Pico and the 5MP Arducam Mega.

               
Pico4ML Pro (left) and Arducam Mega (right)
(click images to enlarge)
 

Specifications listed for the Arducam Mega include: 

  • Interface:
    • SPI (4-wire), up to 8MHz
  • Optical Size:
    • 1/4″
  • Sensor Resolution:
    • 2048 x 1536 (3MP)
    • 2592 x 1944 (5MP)
  • Focus/Focal Length:
    • 6cm – INF (3MP)
    • 8cm – INF(5MP)
    • 3.3mm
  • Focal Ratio:
    • F2.8 (3MP)
    • F2.0 (5MP)
  • View Angle:
    • 68.75 degrees (diagonal)
  • Shutter Type:
    • Rolling
  • Wake-Up Time:
    • 42ms (3MP)
    • 94ms (5MP)
  • Power:
    • 3.3V/5V
    • 185 – 585mW (3MP power consumption)
    • 182 – 650mW (5MP power consumption)
  • Dimensions:
    • 33 x 33 x 17mm

 Further information

Unfortunately, it seems that Early Bird rewards (50% off) are no longer available. The 3 MP Arducam Mega starts at $16.00 (40% off MSRP) and the 5 MP variant is available for $22.00. The Arducam PicoML Pro is offered for ~$30.00, although it doesn’t seem to include any Arducam Mega module. Shipping is only available to certain countries and it’s estimated to happen in April 2023. See the Kickstarter page for more information. 

The “Comments” section also mentions that there might be a NoIR version reward available soon.

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