5MP Plus OV5642 Capture to SD on Raspberry Pi

  1. Where did you get the camera module(s)?

  2. Model number of the product(s)?

  3. What hardware/platform were you working on?
    Raspberry Pi Zero W 2

  4. Instructions you have followed. (link/manual/etc.)

  5. Problems you were having?
    Are there any example codes that allow you to just save a photo from the camera to SD? The capture program in “SPI_Camera” requires you to download an Android app and connect the pi to wifi, the “Multi_Camera_Adapter” uses an old version of openCV and seems to require a monitor to work? And the Raspberry Pi program in the Arduino folder uses some pretty outdated dependencies as well.

Are there any example codes that take a photo and just write it out to the pi’s SD card?

Figured it out!

Here’s the code in case anyone else is looking for it:


#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include “ArduCAM.h”
#include “sccb_bus.h”
#include <unistd.h>
#include <string.h>

void captureAndSaveImage(int camera_id);

#define IMAGE_SAVE_PATH “/home/evan/RaspberryPi/” // Path where images will be saved
#define MAX_JPEG_SIZE 1465535 // Adjust size as needed

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
char inputKey;

ArduCAM_CS_init(CAM_CS1, -1, -1, -1); // Initialize the CS for one camera
spiInit(4000000, 0); // Initialize SPI at 4MHz
Arducam_bus_detect(CAM_CS1, -1, -1, -1); // Detect SPI bus
resetFirmware(CAM_CS1, -1, -1, -1); // Reset firmware
// Set the highest resolution before starting capture
printf("Set the resolution to OV5642_2592x1944 successfully\r\n");

// Configure sensor settings

printf("Press 'Enter' to capture an image, 'q' to quit.\n");

while(1) {
    inputKey = getchar(); // Wait for user input
    if(inputKey == '\n') {
        printf("Capturing image...\n");
        captureAndSaveImage(CAM_CS1); // Capture and save image
    } else if(inputKey == 'q') {
        break; // Exit loop

return 0;


void captureAndSaveImage(int camera_id) {
static int image_count = 0; // Static variable to keep track of image count
printf(“Starting image capture…\n”);


while (!get_bit(ARDUCHIP_TRIG, CAP_DONE_MASK, camera_id));

unsigned int length = read_fifo_length(camera_id);
if (length >= MAX_JPEG_SIZE) {
    printf("Error: Image size too large for buffer\n");

printf("Captured image size: %u bytes\n", length);

unsigned char *imageBuffer = (unsigned char*)malloc(length);
if (!imageBuffer) {
    printf("Failed to allocate memory for image buffer\n");

// SPI read operation
set_fifo_burst(); // Set FIFO burst mode

unsigned char temp_last = 0, temp = 0;
int is_header = 0;
int i = 0; // Index for imageBuffer

while (length--) {
    temp_last = temp;
    temp = spiSendReceive(0x00);

    // If we find the JPEG header, set the flag and start collecting data
    if ((temp == 0xD8) && (temp_last == 0xFF)) {
        is_header = 1; // 'true' replaced with '1'
        imageBuffer[i++] = temp_last;
        imageBuffer[i++] = temp;
    } else if ((temp == 0xD9) && (temp_last == 0xFF)) {
        // If we find the EOI marker, we stop reading
        imageBuffer[i++] = temp_last;
        imageBuffer[i++] = temp;
        // Update the length to reflect the actual data size
        length = 0;
    } else if (is_header) {
        // Collect the data
        imageBuffer[i++] = temp;


// Verify if JPEG header was found
if (!is_header || i < 2 || imageBuffer[i-2] != 0xFF || imageBuffer[i-1] != 0xD9) {
    printf("JPEG header not found or EOI marker missing!\n");

// Update length to the actual number of bytes read
length = i;

char filename[100];
// Use the image_count in the filename, increment after using it
sprintf(filename, "%simage_%03d.jpg", IMAGE_SAVE_PATH, image_count++); // Create file path with sequential number

FILE *file = fopen(filename, "wb");
if (file == NULL) {
    printf("Failed to open file for writing at %s\n", filename);

fwrite(imageBuffer, 1, length, file);

printf("Image successfully captured and saved as %s\n", filename);


Thank you so much for your effort.
Can you launch a PR and upload your code to the repository below. Or do you mind us putting your code into the rapo below for anyone in need? :smiley: