Cameras for Raspberry Pi

  1. Home
  2. Docs
  3. Cameras for Raspberry Pi
  4. Migrated Raspberry Pi Cameras
  5. OV7251 0.3MP Global Shutter Camera for Raspberry Pi

OV7251 0.3MP Global Shutter Camera for Raspberry Pi

Specs and Selection Guide for Arducam OV7251 MIPI Camera Module


Global shutter cameras eliminate rolling shutter artifacts to better capture moving objects, and OV7251 is just one of them. Arducam OV7251 MIPI cameras are mainly designed for the Raspberry Pi and connected directly to its CSI connector. They support the official V4L2 camera driver and Arducam userland driver.

Models in this Series

Currently, there are 2 models in Arducam OV7251 Series. The main difference between them is the sensitivity to infrared.

Light SensitivityVisible Light OnlyInfrared and Visible Light
IR filterBuilt-in 650nm IR cut-off filterNo IR filter
  • If you operate only in visible light, get B0161.
  • If IR is needed in your application, get B0206.

Common Specs

The following specs applies to all products in this series.

Image sensor

Sensor ModelOV7251
Shutter TypeGlobal Shutter
Active Pixels640×480
Resolution0.3 MP
Image Sensor FormatType 1/7.5″
Pixel Size3μm×3μm
Color Filter ArrayNone(Monochrome)
ov7251 block diagram
OV7251 Block Diagram


InterchangeabilityNOT Interchangeable
Focus TypeFixed Focus
Focusing Range65 mm~infinity
Effective Focal Length(EFL)1.3 mm
Field of View(FoV)86.5°×72.9°×57.7°(D×H×V)

Camera Board

Camera Board Size40×40 mm
ov7251 board mechanical
Mechanical Drawing
Pin No.Pin NameTypeDescription
1FSINInputFrame Sync Input
2STROBEOutputLED Strobe Output

Connector & Cable

Camera ConnectorMIPI CSI-2 15-pin
Cable Length150mm (15-pin), 73mm(15-22pin)
Pin #NameDescription
2CAM_D0_NMIPI Data Lane 0 Negative
3CAM_D0_PMIPI Data Lane 0 Positive
5CAM_D1_NMIPI Data Lane 1 Negative
6CAM_D1_PMIPI Data Lane 1 Positive
8CAM_CK_NMIPI Clock Lane Negative
9CAM_CK_PMIPI Clock Lane Positive
11CAM_IO0Power Enable
12CAM_IO1LED Indicator
15CAM_3V33.3V Power Input

Driver Performance (With Official V4L2 Driver)

Picture Format
Video Format
Output Interface1-lane MIPI serial output
Output Formats8/10-bit BW RAW
Maximum Frame Rates30fps
Quick Start Guide for Arducam OV7251 MIPI Camera Module


Arducam OV7251 MIPI Camera Module is a 0.3MP monochrome camera module with a global shutter, and it can be used on all Raspberry Pi models with a camera interface.


Hardware Setup


Please shut your Pi down and disconnect it from power supply before connecting the camera module.

Arducam OV7251 B0161 2

For Standard Raspberry Pi Models with 15-pin connector

  1. Locate the camera port (CSI). It’s between the HDMI and audio port of the Raspberry Pi board.
  2. Pull up on the plastic edges. Do it gently to avoid pulling it off.
  3. Push in the camera ribbon. Make sure the silver contacts are facing the HDMI port. Do not bend the flex cable, and make sure it’s firmly inserted.
  4. Push the plastic connector down. Do it while holding the flex cable until the connector is back in place.

For Raspberry Pi Zero and Compute Module with 22-pin connector

  1. Remove the default white ribbon cable
  2. Push in the gold ribbon cable to the camera board’s connector
  3. Connect the Module to the Raspberry Pi Zero/Compute Module

Software Setup

Using ROS?

Please check this Stack Overflow answer on OV7251 in RPi to use with ROS.

1. Check your firmware support

OV7251 is not native to the Raspberry Pi kernel, so it is not supported in the older firmware. Please first confirm whether you are on a proper firmware.

  • Open your Terminal with CTRL+ALT+T
  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
ls /boot/overlays/ov7251.dtbo

If you get a successful result like the following picture, then you are good to go.

ls boot ov7251
I get error no such file or directory?

If you get no such file or directory, please first double check whether you’ve typed the wrong command.

If not, then update your firmware with the following commands.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter line by line:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
sudo reboot

2. Enable OV7251 overlay for your Raspberry Pi

We will edit the config.txt to enable the OV7251 overlay.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Edit config.txt to add OV7251 overlay.

  • Use to navigate to the bottom of the config.txt file, and
  • Add the following line to it as the picture shows.
arducam mipi camera unicam 7251

Save the change and exit.

  • Press Ctrl+o to save the changes, then hit Enter
  • Press Ctrl+x to exit.

After you exit Nano, go back to the Terminal and reboot so the changes can take effect.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
sudo reboot

3. Check your camera device

You can list the video device node to test whether your Raspberry Pi sees this camera module.

  • Open your Terminal with CTRL+ALT+T
  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
ls /dev/video0
My RPi does not list the device?

If your Raspberry Pi does not list the device, make sure you have:

  • Gone through the steps above, and then
  • Double-check the cable connection, especially the orientation of the contacts on the cable and connector.

If the problems still exist after your troubleshooting, please:

  • Contact Arducam with your order number included.

To take a step further, you can use the following command to know the camera runs well.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
  • If you get successful results, press Ctrl+C to stop the program.
v4l2-ctl --stream-mmap --stream-count=-1 -d /dev/video0 --stream-to=/dev/null
30fps ov7251

Need Higher Frame rates?

You can:
– Use the Arducam userland driver for OV7251
– Wait for a official kernel driver update
– Try the OV9281 camera module with official V4L2 driver

First Use

Preview the camera feed

We will use yavta to preview the camera feed. yavta stands for “Yet Another V4L2 Test Application”.

We need to clone yavta and then compile it.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter line by line:
git clone
cd yavta

Preview the video feed in UYUV format.

  • In your Terminal, type the following command then hit Enter:
  • After you’ve done with the preview, hit Ctrl+C to exit.
./yavta --capture=1000 -n 3 --encode-to=file.h264 -f UYVY -m -T /dev/video0

What’s Next

Here are the things you can do after this quick start:

  • Check the Datasheet for details like pin and mechanical definition.
  • Check the Application Note for applications like using Arducam userland MIPI camera drivers.
  • Check other Arducam global shutter cameras like OV9281 and OV2311.
  • Join the discussion in our forum.
Application Note for Arducam OV7251 MIPI Camera Module

Use OV7251 with Arducam Userland MIPI Camera Driver

Arducam is among the earliest to enable the use of OV7251 cameras on the Raspberry Pi. Before the OV7251 camera driver was officially merged to the Raspberry Pi kernel tree, there had already been Arducam drivers.

Check our userland driver SDK and examples for more details.

Was this article helpful to you? Yes 3 No 1