Cheap WiFi Webcam: ESP32 + OV2640 camera

  • I got as small board from Amazon that was a ESP32 with a OV2640 camera integrated, and has a USB-C port for power and flashing, cost about $20 on Prime 1-day. Apparently the same setup can be obtained for under $10 if you order from China (eBay/AliExpress/etc)


    The software setup was pretty easy, I've worked with Espressif chips before so it was extra easy for me.

    • install Arduino
    • install the Espressif toolchain either by using the Arduino board manager or by using a few git commands (instructions from Espressif's github)
    • install CP210X drivers
    • downloading the code from
    • put that code as a library in the Arduino libraries folder

    EDIT: uploaded example of sketch folder, showing where the sketch and libraries are located, change contents inside wifikeys.h with SSID and password

    • put the example code in a sketch folder
    • setup your own WiFi network credentials in the example sketch code
    • hit compile and hit upload (selected board target is M5Stack-Core-ESP32
    • check your router to find its IP address
    • go to http://x.x.x.x/ to view your video stream, http://x.x.x.x/jpg for a static image
    • setup DWC to load http://x.x.x.x/ or http://x.x.x.x/jpg , if you choose the live stream, you need to check the "stream" checkbox

    then it looks like...


    (uh... can somebody please fix the sizing of the dialog when the image is rotated? thanks)

    cheaper and less complicated than a Raspberry Pi, cheaper than really any WiFi camera out there that DWC would support. horrible camera though...

  • Moderator

    Not bad.

    I'd probably still go with a Pi zero W with camera module. 8MP camera is quite good and as easy as flashing MotionOS to the card. Cost is nearly double though depending how hard you hunt.

  • I have a couple of AruCam 8MPx cameras and their associated ArduCam boards I was using for my previous printers. I really love the ArduCam systems because they just work out of box. I had setup my router with dedicated IPs for each as well as for my many other Arduino YUNs so I've got WiFi for pretty much everything, including powering on the printers.

    Just some fun stuff I did, but definitely learned alot in the process and - yup cameras on the printers are a great thing. Gives me huge piece of mind.

    With your idea, though, I like it alot since you could mount it on the edge of the bed being so small.
    Are you going to make a bed mount for the camera or leave it on the chassis (I think that is where you have it now)?

  • I've also considered getting an esp cam. One of the top reasons being that it's basically just a controller and powering it on and off randomly should not be much of a worry the way it is with the more of a computer class RPi type boards.

  • @DennisHall

    My camera is only 2MP so it'll suck at really showing me how good a layer is. At most it will be used to detect spaghetti prints while I am away. With that in mind, it's more convenient for me to mount it on the top front corner of my printer looking downwards. If I wanted a good timelapse, I actually have a clip on GoPro mount that has a flexible arm.


    You'll be happy to know that the ESP cam connects insanely fast. The source code I linked only supports one WiFi access point, but it should be trivial to support multiple by doing a scan and checking against a list.

    But obviously if your Duet and ESP are not on the same network then you might not get the image.

    I actually recently got a portable travel router that can extend a network but under its own name, it also doubles as a network drive, and it has a switch on the side that's configured to turn ON/OFF my VPN, cost about $60 and runs off USB 5V power. It's nice to have when you are doing IoT stuff.

  • I spent the day adding a USB port panel to my printer, and mounted my camera using two pieces of plastic and a section of flexible coolant hose

    1_1555298339834_20190414_191459 (Large).jpg 0_1555298339833_20190414_191350 (Large).jpg 2_1555298339834_20190414_191513 (Large).jpg

  • Just ordered an ESP32 + camera.
    Has anyone got a printable case that could be mounted on V profile?

  • @frank26080115 said in Cheap WiFi Webcam: ESP32 + OV2640 camera:

    cost about $20 on Prime 1-day

    Frank, can you post an amazon link? I see there many similar cameras and would like to make sure its exactly the same as yours.

    Also, do you see still images or actual video?

  • @zapta said in Cheap WiFi Webcam: ESP32 + OV2640 camera:

    Frank, can you post an amazon link? I see there many similar cameras and would like to make sure its exactly the same as yours.

    Also, do you see still images or actual video?

    both still images and actual video. for video, for still image

  • Thanks Frank. I will give it a try. I also have a Wize V2 on order. Will see what's inside. Hopefully can put the relevant parts in a smaller case.

    One of the reviews of the ESP32/OV2640 says that the video is limited to 800x600 by the ESP32's speed. Is it so?

    (I don't expect to evaluate layer quality from the video, just to verify that things are still going well more or less)

  • appjaws 11 May 2019, 14:50

    I have installed a M5Cam as per your instructions but the video is upside down.

    I'm sure there is a way to rotate the video but I haven't been able to find an answer.

    I have my camera the same way up as yours Can you help please?

    kind regards

  • Hi...this works good but not always. I want to use mine as a timelapse camera and have been looking into extreme low light (starlight ideally)
    and was hoping several second exposures would be possible, I came to the conclusion I needed that FREX pin broken out.
    Came to the conclusion that this is probably not the best sensor for this funtionality.

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