Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Now Released



The Pi NoIR is a Raspberry Pi camera module with no Infrared filter for night time and low light photography using an Infrared light. Useful for wildlife research, science projects, night time security or making artistic photo’s.

The Raspberry Pi camera module has been used for many things such as a security camera, for time lapse photography and even sent high up into the atmosphere on a weather balloon.
With the wide range of project Raspberry Pi’s are being used for, some users were finding that the camera was no good when it was being used in low light with an Infrared light source. Unfortunately for them the Raspberry Pi camera module has a Infrared filter built in which makes it unusable for their project. In response we come up with a camera module just for these type of projects called the Pi NoIR camera. It is the same as the standard camera module but without an IR filter.

Without the Infrared filter the camera can be used for night time photography, night time security or for any project where the scene will be lit by an IR light. Without a filter the camera sensor can see short wavelength IR light around 800nm which is the IR wavelengths not generated with heat but just beyond the visible red light in the spectrum.

The camera has the same specifications as the standard camera module but has a black circuit board so it can be told apart from the standard green camera board.




Raspberry Pi Camera Module Released


In order to meet the increasing need of Raspberry Pi compatible camera modules. The ArduCAM team now released a add-on camera module for Raspberry Pi which is fully compatible with official one. It attaches to Raspberry Pi by way of one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface. This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, which was designed especially for interfacing to cameras. The CSI bus is capable of extremely high data rates, and it exclusively carries pixel data. The camera is supported in the latest version of Raspbian, Raspberry Pi’s preferred operating system

The board itself is tiny, at around 36mm x 36mm. The highlight of our module is that the Lens is replaceable compared to official one, making it perfect for mobile or other applications where size and image quality are important. It connects to Raspberry Pi by way of a short ribbon cable. The camera is connected to the BCM2835 processor on the Pi via the CSI bus, a higher bandwidth link which carries pixel data from the camera back to the processor. This bus travels along the ribbon cable that attaches the camera board to the Pi.

The sensor itself has a native resolution of 5 megapixel, and has a fixed focus lens onboard. In terms of still images, the camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images, and also supports 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video.


  • High-Definition video camera for Raspberry Pi Model A or B
  • Omnivision 5647 sensor in a fixed-focus module with replaceable Lens
  • Lens holder: M12x0.5 or CS Mount
  • 5MPixel sensor
  • Integral IR filter
  • Still picture resolution: 2592 x 1944
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • Max frame rate: 30fps
  • Size: 36 x 36 mm
  • Connection by flat ribbon cable to 15-pin MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI) connector S5 on Raspberry Pi computer board


ArduCAM Shiled Rev.C Now Released


With the great success of ArduCAM shield Rev.B, we received hundreds of comments and feedbacks from ArduCAM users. The ArduCAM team now released a more powerful ArduCAM shield Rev.C with past few months’ hard work. The new features list as follows:

  • Incorporating standard SPI slave interface
  • Reduced IOs consumption, only 4 IOs for SPI, 2 IOs for I2C and 1 IO for SD are required
  • All IOs are 5V and 3.3V tolerant
  • Support all Arduino families including Arduino DUE
  • Can be easily ported to any platforms which have SPI port like Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, BeagleBone, pcDuino and etc
  • Support 1080p still JPEG image capture
  • Provide low power mode, reduce power consumption and prolong battery life
  • Well mate with Arudino UNO R3, MEGA2560 R3, Leonardo R3 and DUE boards

SPI interface which is widely used in most micro-controllers and peripherals sensors. SPI is a synchronous serial data protocol used by microcontrollers for communicating with one or more peripheral devices quickly over short distances. With the advantage of SPI bus, the ArduCAM shield Rev.C reduced the IO consumption, achieve higher bus speed than the Rev.B. By using Arduino standard SPI and I2C pin out, the Rev.C can well mate with Arduino mainstream boards like UNO R3, Mega2560 R3 and DUE etc. A brief comparison between Rev.C and Rev.B :

Feature Rev.C Rev.B
IO consumption 7 19
Bus speed 8Mbps < 1MB/s
Low power mode Support Not support
Dedicate SPI/I2C interface Yes No

ArduCAM shield Rev.C not only work with Arduino boards, it now can be ported to any platform easily because it use standard SPI bus. We now are busy with Raspberry Pi and helix_4 porting. The helix_4 FPGA module is an efficient, low cost Altera FPGA System on Module designed to give design teams the best possible FPGA development experience, for more information please visit thin-layer-embedded.com. ArduCAM shield Rev.C also provide low power feature for battery powered device. When it is in idle, user can shut down the LCD back light OFF and disable FIFO and etc to reduce power consumption, and prolong battery.

ArduCAM Shield Rev.B released, significant improvement!


Improved Features:

  • Provide two board options, ArduCAM-LF has both LCD and FIFO, ArduCAM-F only has FIFO
  • ArduCAM-LF provide live video and real time snapshot
  • Support both Arduino UNO and MEGA1280/2560 boards (but not limited to these boards)
  • 3Mbit memory space and support  the RAW RGB fromat resolution up to 640×600,
  • Support 2MP (1600×1200) JPEG image capture and storage
  • Various Arduino firmware application demonstrations  for IOT (Internet of things)
  • User can add their own camera modules to the ArduCAM library easily

Schematic :

Please download the schematic of ArduCAM Rev.B for connection and pin out.

How to Buy:

Please purchase the ArduCAM shield and camera modules from distributor UCTronics.

Demonstration Video:



An Arduino Time-Lapse Camera Using ArduCam

This Article is written by one of our customer, the original article can be found from here.


While experimenting with my pinhole cameras, I did a lot of thinking about capturing and displaying the passage of time.  Day and night, the change of seasons, sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, tides, rush hour, busy times at restaurants, even life and death marks the passage of time.

There are plenty of commercially-available time-lapse photography devices.  These require either an AC power source, a solar panel or a beefy battery, expensive photography equipment, and are large and easy to spot.  Between the size and the expense, this strongly limits the duration of time lapse I would be able to take even if such a device wasn’t prone to being stolen by the first philistine that came across it.  My goal is to make the smallest, most energy efficient and least expensive camera possible so that I am free to set them everywhere and see what the passage of time shows me.

To do this, I decided to give ArduCam a try.

Continue reading “An Arduino Time-Lapse Camera Using ArduCam” »


This section describe the ArduCAM shield Rev.C hardware feature and user guide. For information about Rev.B, please refer here.


ArduCAM shield hardware integrates all the necessary components to interface with camera modules. User only need a extra support camera modules and a TF/SD card to start image capture.

The shield provide the following features:

  • Dedicate DigtalVideoPort Camera Module Interface
  • Standard SPI slave bus interface
  • 3.2” TFT Color LCD Screen(a)
  • Build-in 3Mbit FIFO Memory
  • TF/SD Card Reader with LED indicator
  • Use Arduino SPI / I2C dedicate pin out
  • Well mated with UNO/MEGA2560/DUE/Leonardo boards

Note: (a) Model ArduCAM-F doesn’t not include a 3.2” LCD screen

ArduCAM Shield Pin Out

ArduCAM shield includes to sets of pin out see Figure 1,  they are identical in function. One is Arduino standard, it can be well mate with standard Arduino boards like UNO, MEGA2560, Leonardo and DUE etc. The other one is alternative port which can be connect to any platform like Raspberry Pi. The detail pin out for each see Table 1 and Table 2.

Figure 1 ArduCAM pin out








Table 1 Arduino Standard Pin Out

Index Arduino Pins Description
1 I2C_SCL I2C clock
2 I2C_SDA I2C data
3 SPI_SCLK SPI clock
4 SPI_MISO SPI Master In Slave Out
5 SPI_MOSI SPI Master Out Slave In
6 9 SD/TF Card Chipselect
7 10 ArduCAM Shield Chipselect
8 Reset Arduino Reset Input
9 5V 5V Power Input
10 GND Gound

Table 2 Alternative Pin Out

Index Arduino Pins Description
1 I2C_SDA I2C data
2 I2C_SCL I2C clock
3 CS_n ArduCAM Shield Chipselect
4 SD_CSn SD/TF Card Chipselect
5 SPI_MISO SPI Master In Slave Out
6 SPI_MOSI SPI Master Out Slave In
7 SPI_SCLK SPI clock
8 Trigger Snapshot Input
9 RST Reset Input
10 GND Gound
11 5V 5V Power Input

Camera Interface

CMOS image sensor interface divided into two catalogs, one is DVP (Digital Video Port) interface, the other is MIPI Mobile Industry Processor Interface. The main difference between DVP and MIPI is that DVP is parallel interface and the MIPI interface is high speed differential serial interface. MIPI interface provide higher data band width than DVP interface and support higher resolution and frame rate. Because the complexity and need additional hardware of MIPI interface, we only discuss DVP interface here.

For a standard DVP image sensor you will find the following signals:

  • SCL: I2C compatible clock signal for sensor registers configuration
  • SDA: I2C compatible data signal for sensor registers configuration
  • XCLK: clock input to the sensor
  • PCLK: clock output from the sensor,
  • HREF: Line valid signal
  • VSYNC: Frame valid signal
  • Data[N-1..0]: Data output from the sensor, N is the internal ADC bit width.

ArduCAM shield provide a DVP interface which support wide range of camera modules from 0.3MP to 5MP. The camera modules should line up with the shield based on Pin1 shown in the Figure 2 and Table 3 provide camera interface pin out on the shield.

Figure 2

CAM Pin Out

CAM Pin Out






Table 3 Camera Interface Pin Out

Pin Signal Pin Signal
1 +3.3V 2 GND
9 D7 10 D6
11 D5 12 D4
13 D3 14 D2
15 D1 16 D0


The ArduCAM shield includes a ArduChip which handle complex timing between MCU and LCD, Camera, FIFO. It exports a standard SPI serial interface shown in Table 4 and can be interfaced with wide range of micro-controller. MCU control the shield through a set of ArduChip internal registers shown in Table 6.

Table 4 ArduCAM shield SPI Interface

Signal Arduino UNO Pin Description
SCL I2C_SCL I2C clock
SDA I2C_SDA I2C data
MISO SPI_MISO SPI master in slave out
MOSI SPI_MOSI SPI master out slave in
CSn 10 ArduCAM shield chipselect, active LOW
SD_CSn 9 TF/SD card chipselect,      active LOW

Bus Timing and Protocol

ArduCAM shield Rev.C use standard SPI slave bus protocol (CPOL = 0, CPHA = 0). One bus transaction composed by two 8bit access. Every bus transaction start with CSn goes low. The first 8bit is command phase, and the second 8bit is data phase. The bus timing shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.

Figure 3 Bus Write Timing


Figure 3 Bus Read Timing


Data protocol in the command phase see Table 5

Table 5 Command Byte Protocol

Command Byte Protocol

Bits Bit[7] Bit[6] Bit[5:1] Bit[0]
ArduChip Internal Register 1: Write0: Read 0: R/W Register1: RO Register Register Address  bit[5:1] Register Address bit[0]
LCD Command Write 1 0 11111 1
LCD Data Write 1 0 11111 0
FIFO Read 0 0 11110 1

Table 6 ArduChip Registers

Address Name Mode Description
0×00 ARDUCHIP_TEST1 R/W Testing Register, only used in bus testing
0×01 ARDUCHIP_TEST2 R/W Testing Register, only used in bus testing
0×02 ARDUCHIP_MODE R/W Bus Mode selection .Bit[7:3]: Reserved Bit[2]: LCD to MCU, Bit[1]: Camera to LCD , Bit[0]: MCU to LCD
0×03 ARDUCHIP_TIM R/W Timing Control register. Bit[7..6]: Reserved. Bit[5]: FIFO power down, 1 = power down, 0 = normal operation. Bit[4]: reserved. Bit[3]: Camera data delay control. 1 = delay 1 clock, 0 = no delay. Bit[2]: LCD backlight control, 1 = backlight off, 0 = ON. Bit[1]: Camera VSYNC polarity control, 1 = Inverted, 0 = Normal. Bit[0]: Camera HREF polarity control, 1 = Inverted, 0 = Normal.
0×04 ARDUCHIP_FIFO R/W FIFO control Bit[1]: Write 1 to start a capture, Bit[0]: Reset the FIFO read and write pointer to ZERO.
0×40 ARDUCHIP_REV RO Bit[7:6]: Revision integer part. Bit[5:0]: Revision decimal part. Default value is 0xC0.
0×41 ARDUCHIP_TRIG RO Trigger input Register. Bit[7:4]: Reserved. Bit[3]: Capture complete flag, 1 = Complete, 0 = Busy. Bit[2]: Reserved. Bit[1]: Capture button status, 0 = pressed, 1 = released. Bit[0]: Frame start signal, equal to VSYNC



Where to find the source code

ArduCAM shield latest library and examples can be downloaded from download section. Please download the correct library for the the different shield version. For the Rev.B please use the V2.x.x or below, for the Rev.C please use the V3.0.0 or above.

What are the libraries

The library package contains two independent libraries: ArduCAM library and UTFT4ArduCAM_SPI. The ArduCAM library includes all the functionality to access the camera and the shield. The UTFT4ArduCAM_SPI is derived from the UTFT library from Henningkarlsen , we ported the library with SPI interface and remove the code which is not used in ArduCAM shield for the memory saving.

How to install the libraries

Use Arduino 1.5.2 IDE for example, unzip the downloaded library package to the folder X:\arduino-1.5.2\libraries, X is the disk driver that your Arduino IDE resides. When the libraries are correctly installed, open the menu File->Examples->ArduCAM you can see a lot of examples like the Figure1 shown.









What can the examples do

All the examples can be run in the ArduCAM-LF or ArduCAM-F boards, no matter the LCD exist. But we highly recommend to disable or remove the LCD functions for memory saving.


This example does the bus testing by write the test register and read it back to check it out if the SPI bus communication has errors. If you face problems with ArduCAM shield, you have to upload this example to check out if hardware has any problems.

  •  UTFT_Demo_320x240

This example does the demonstration of graphic functions from UTFT library. User can upload this example to check out if the LCD has any problems and how to use graphic functions to draw lines, circles and text.

  • ArduCAM_xxxx_LCD_CAM_SD_BMP

This example demonstrates how to use most functions from the ArduCAM library. It configures the camera module to output RGB565 QVGA format. Then display the image on the LCD screen in realtime. If user press the snapshot button, ArduCAM saves the image into SD/TF card with a 320×240 RGB565 bmp file.

  •  ArduCAM_xxxx_FIFO_SD_JPEG

This example demonstrates how to capture high resolution JPEG image from the camera module which support JPEG output. The demo configures the camera module to output JPEG format. In JPEG mode LCD doesn’t support realtime playback. And after user trigger the snapshot button, ArduCAM saves the image into SD/TF card with jpg file.

  •  ArduCAM_SPI_xxxx_FIFO_UART

This example demonstrates how to transfer the image back to host computer via Arduino board USB port or serial port. It is useful when user wants to transfer the image wirelessly by bluetooth, Zigbee, Xbee or GPRS/3G.

  • ArduCAM_xxxx_FIFO_SD_JPEG_LP

This example demonstrate how to use low power mode in the ArduCAM shield. When shield in idle mode, it shut down the LCD backlight and disable FIFO circuit. And running in full power after the snapshot button is triggered then getting back to low power mode after image captured.


Frequent Asked Questions

Q: Where can I order camera modules and ArduCAM shield?

A: Please order from our distributor www.uctronics.com

Q: Where can I find the source code and schematic of ArduCAM shield?

A: Please download source code from Download section, schematic can be found Rev.C and Rev.B.

Q: What kind of Arduino boards will be support?

A: The ArduCAM shield Rev.C support all families of Arduino boards including DUE. It has been tested on the following Arduino boards:

Arduino Boards
1 UNO R3
2 MEGA2560 R3
3 Leonardo R3
4 Nano

Q: What is the max resolution will be support?

A: The resolution is depend on the max frame buffer size. Now the ArduCAM has build in 3Mbit FiFo, it support following resolution:

Width Height Format
320 240 RGB565,YUV
600 320 RGB565,YUV
640 600 RGB Raw, Mono 8bit
1600 1200 JPEG
1920 1080 JPEG


Q: What kind of camera modules does ArduCAM support?

A: The following list shows the support of camera modules, we will add support for more camera modules in the future.

Resolution Camera modules Part No. Support
0.3MP OV7670, OV7675 Yes
1.3MP OV9650,OV9655 No
1.3MP MT9M111,MT9M112,MT9M001 No
2MP OV2640,MT9D111 Yes
2MP MT9D112 No
3MP OV3640 Yes
3MP MT9T112 No
5MP OV5642 Yes
5MP MT9P013 No
10MP MT9J001 No


Q: Can I connect OV7670 directly to Arduino board without ArduCAM shield?

A: The OV7670 data speed is about 6MHz~24MHz, the Arduino board is too slow to catch up with the camera data stream’s speed. So user has to use extra hardware like ArduCAM shield to buffer a full frame, then read out the image byte by byte with fairly low speed.


Q: How can I customize settings on it using register values (brightness, exposure, speed)?

Yes, we can help you with the brightness, speed , exposure level settings

A: Please contact us for the customized settings.


Q: My lab is interested in building large numbers of x-ray detectors using consumer-grade CMOS

sensors. Do you have some kind of camera modules for that?


A: Yes, the MT9M001 module is monochrome image sensor which is used in Xbox360 and suitable for image processing.


Q: I’m working on a project where I need to trigger 15 digital photo cameras simultaneously.

Is it possible to daisy chain these camera shields to trigger multiple cameras?

A: It is no problems to trigger multi-cameras in parallel or daisy chain. There is external trigger input in ArduCAM shield, user can connect them together and trigger them simultaneously.


Q: How can I make the LCD display brighter.

A: The LCD back light is controlled by R6 and RN7.You can reduce the value of these two resistors to make the backlight much brighter.


CMOS camera modules are widely used in mobile phones and web cameras, and the price is pretty low when in volume. Therefore it becomes the best choice for embedded applications.  However there is barrier in both hardware and software when using camera modules and block the hobbyists off. That why ArduCAM is born. ArduCAM is an open source project for CMOS camera modules, which hide the complexity of capturing high speed high resolution image data stream and provide the source code configuration for camera modules. User can freely control the ArduCAM shield to accomplish their different tasks. The first release of ArduCAM shield target for Arduino and its compatible platforms like Maple, Chipkit. And we plan to move to more powerful platform like Raspberry PI, Beagle board or Pandaboard. Continue reading “Introduction” »