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OV9281 1MP Global Shutter Camera for Raspberry Pi

Specs and Selection Guide for Arducam OV9281 MIPI Camera Module

Models in this Series

Currently, there are 4 models in Arducam OV9281 Series. The main difference between them is the sensitivity to infrared and the FOV of the lens.

Light SensitivityVisible Light OnlyInfraredInfraredVisible Light Only
IR filterBuilt-in 850nm IR cut-off filterNo IR filterNo IR filterBuilt-in 650nm IR cut-off filter
  • If you operate only in visible light, choose B0225 for a wide field of view or B0165 for a fisheye field of view.
  • If IR is needed in your application, choose B0224 for a wide field of view or B0165 for a normal field of view.
Wanna a stereo camera?

Arducam 1MP stereo camera dual OV9281 monochrome global shutter camera module is ready for you here.

Common Specs

The following specs applies to all products in this series.

Image sensor

Sensor ModelOV9281
Shutter TypeGlobal Shutter
Active Pixels1280 x 800
Resolution1 MP
Image Sensor FormatType 1/4″
Pixel Size3μm×3μm
Color Filter ArrayNone(Monochrome)
OV9281 Block Diagram
OV9281 Block Diagram


Focus TypeManual FocusManual FocusManual FocusManual Focus
Focusing Range30 mm~infinity30 mm~infinity30 mm~infinity30 mm~infinity
Effective Focal Length(EFL)2.4 mm2.4 mm2.80.83
Field of View(FoV)130°×110°×90°(D×H×V)130°×110°×90°(D×H×V)70°(H)166°(D)

Camera Board

Camera Board Size40×40 mm
Mechanical Drawing ov9281
Mechanical Drawing
Pin No.Pin NameTypeDescription
1VCCPower3.3V Power
2FSINInputFrame Sync Input
J2 Connector Pin Definition

Connector & Cable

Camera ConnectorMIPI CSI-2 15pin
Cable Length80mm (22-pin), 150mm(15-22pin)
Pin No.Pin NameTypeDescription
1GNDPower Ground
2CAM_D0_NOutputMIPI Data Lane 0 Negative
3CAM_D0_POutputMIPI Data Lane 0 Positive
4GNDPower Ground
5CAM_D1_NOutputMIPI Data Lane 1 Negative
6CAM_D1_POutputMIPI Data Lane 1 Positive
8CAM_CK_NOutputMIPI Clock Lane Negative
9CAM_CK_POutputMIPI Clock Lane Positive
11CAM_D2_NInputMIPI Data Lane 2 Negative
12CAM_D2_PInputMIPI Data Lane 2 Positive
14CAM_D3_NInputMIPI Data Lane 3 Negative
15CAM_D3_PInputMIPI Data Lane 3 Positive
17CAM_IO0OutputPower Enable
18CAM_IO1OutputLED Indicator
20CAM_SCLBidirectionI2C SCL
21CAM_SDABidirectionI2C SDA
22CAM_3V3Power3.3V Power Output
J1 Connector Pin Definition

Driver Performance (With Official V4L2 Driver)

Picture FormatRAW/JPEG/H.264
Video Format
Output Interface2-lane MIPI serial output
Output Formats8/10-bit BW RAW
Maximum Frame Rates120fps

Quick Start Guide for Arducam OV9281 MIPI Camera Module


The Arducam OV9281 camera breakout incorporates Omnivision 1/4-inch 1 Mp  (1280×800) CMOS digital image sensor which is capable of operating at up to 60fps in 1MP ( 1280×800 ) resolution at 1-lane MIPI mode. The OV9281’s high frame rates make it an ideal solution for low-latency machine vision applications.

The global shutter technology allows you to reduce or eliminate unwanted image artifacts, which occur with traditional rolling shutter image sensors as a result of motion during image capture. The sensor’s global shutter and excellent low-light sensitivity allow it to be used for any application that needs gesture detection, head/eye tracking, and depth and motion detection.


Hardware Setup


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

b0165 3

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

Software Setup

1. Check your firmware support

OV9281 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/ov9281.dtbo

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

ls ov9281 1

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 OV9281 overlay for your Raspberry Pi

We will edit the config.txt to enable the OV9281 overlay.

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

Edit config.txt to add OV9281 overlay.

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

1 1

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


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 https://github.com/6by9/yavta.git
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 OV7251 and OV2311.
  • Join the discussion in our forum.
Application Note for Arducam OV9281 MIPI Camera Module

Use OV9281 with Arducam Userland MIPI Camera Driver

Arducam is among the earliest to enable the use of OV9281 cameras on the Raspberry Pi. Before the OV9281 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.

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