OV9281-160 Camera

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OV9281-160 Camera
OV9281-160 Camera

OV9281-160 Mono Camera for Raspberry Pi, Global Shutter, 1MP




Hardware Connection

To test the Camera, you need to connect a HDMI display or a DIS display for previewing.
The connectors of the DSI interface (display) and the CSI interface (camera) look the same, please take care of it when you connect the camera. The CSI interface is placed between the Audio jack and the HDMI port. The CSI connector of Pi zero series is beside the Power interface. If you use the Compute Module, please check the actual place of the carrier board.

  • Connect to Raspberry Pi 5
Place the metal surface of the FPC cable towards the wired network port, then connect to the CSI port. The Pi5 has two CSI ports; either port can be used for connection.
  • Connect to Pi Zero Series
Place the metal surface of the cable downward, then connect it to the CSI port.
  • Connect to other Raspberry Pi boards
Place the metal surface of the cable towards the HDMI port and connect to the CSI port.

About the model

Photosensitive Chip Model Supported Raspberry Pi Board Model Supported Driver Type
OV5647 All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera/Raspicam
OV9281 All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera
IMX219 (Official Raspberry Pi) All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera/Raspicam
IMX219 (Third party) Raspberry Pi Compute Module libcamera
IMX290/IMX327 All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera
IMX378 All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera
IMX477 (Official Raspberry Pi) All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera/Raspicam
IMX477 (Third party) Raspberry Pi Compute Module libcamera
IMX519 All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera (driver required)
IMX708 (Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3) All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera
IMX296 (Raspberry Pi Global Camera) All Raspberry Pi boards libcamera

Test Camera

Software Configuration

If you are using the latest Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 or Raspberry Pi Global Shutter Camera, you need to run the following command to update the system (network connection is required).

sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get upgrade-

If only one camera is invoked, connect the camera to the CAM1 port.
If you do not use an official Raspberry Pi camera, you need to configure the "config.txt " file. If you use the latest Bookworm system, you need to configure /boot/firmware/config.txt.

sudo nano /boot/config.txt
#If using the bookworm system
sudo nano /boot/firmware/config.txt

Find "camera-auto-detect=1" and modify it to "camera_auto_detect=0".

At the end of the file, add the following setting statements according to the camera model.

Model Set Statement
OV9281 dtoverlay=ov9281
IMX290/IMX327 dtoverlay=imx290, clock-frequency=37125000
IMX378 dtoverlay=imx378
IMX219 dtoverlay=imx219
IMX477 dtoverlay=imx477
IMX708 dtoverlay=imx708

Binocular Camera Configuration

  • Currently, both the CM4 and Raspberry Pi 5 support the connection of two cameras.
  • If you want to simultaneously connect to two cameras, you can designate the cameras by adding 'cam0' and 'cam1' after the corresponding camera configuration statements.
    • For example, the imx219 is connected to the cam0 interface and the ov5647 camera is connected to the cam1 interface.

Test Camera Commands

Enter the Raspberry Pi terminal and enable the camera to preview:

sudo libcamera-hello -t 0

If you want to close the preview window, you can directly press the keys "Alt-F4", or click "x" to close. Also, you can return to the terminal interface and press "Ctrl-c" to end the demo.
Note: if using "Camera Module 3", the auto-focus function is enabled.
Test Binocular Camera

  • When testing the binocular camera, you need to add "--camera" to specify the camera. If you do not add this parameter, "cam0" is specified by default.
sudo libcamera-hello -t 0 --camera 0
sudo libcamera-hello -t 0 --camera 1

libcamera/libcamera User Guide


After the Bullseye version, the underlying Raspberry Pi driver for the Raspberry Pi image has been switched from Raspicam to libcamera. Libcamera is an open-source software stack (referred to as a driver later for ease of understanding) that is convenient for third-party porting and developing their own camera drivers. As of December 11, 2023, the official pycamera2 library has been provided for libcamera, making it easier for users to call Python demos.

Call Camera

The libcamera software stack provides six commands for users to preview and test the camera interface.


This is a simple "hello world" program that previews the camera and displays the camera image on the screen.


This command will preview the camera on the screen for about 5 seconds. The user can use the "-t <duration>" parameter to set the preview time, where the unit of <duration> is milliseconds. If it is set to 0, it will keep previewing all the time. For example:

libcamerahello -t 0

Tune File
The libcamera driver of the Raspberry Pi will call a tuning file for different camera modules. The tuning file provides various parameters. When calling the camera, libcamera will call the parameters in the tuning file, and process the image in combination with the algorithm. The final output is the preview screen. Since the libcamera driver can only automatically receive the signal of the chip, the final display effect of the camera will also be affected by the entire module. The use of the tuning file is to flexibly handle the cameras of different modules and adjust to improve the image quality.
If the output image of the camera is not ideal after using the default tuning file, the user can adjust the image by calling the custom tuning file. For example, if you are using the official NOIR version of the camera, the NOIR camera may require different white balance parameters compared with the regular Raspberry Pi Camera V2. In this case, you can switch by calling the tuning file.

libcamera-hello --tuning-file /usr/share/libcamera/ipa/raspberrypi/imx219_noir.json

Users can copy the default tuning files and modify them according to their needs.
Note: The use of tuning files applies to other libcamera commands, and will not be introduced in subsequent commands.

Preview Window
Most libcamera commands will display a preview window on the screen. Users can customize the title information of the preview window through the --info-text parameter, and can also call some camera parameters through %directives and display them on the window.
For example, if you use HQ Camera: You can display the focal length of the camera on the window through --info-txe "%focus".

libcamera-hello --info-text "focus %focus".

Note: For more information on parameter settings, please refer to the following chapters.


libcamera-jpeg is a simple static picture shooting program, different from the complex functions of libcamera-still, libcamera-jpeg code is more concise and has many of the same functions to complete picture shooting.
Take JPEG image of full pixel

libcamera-jpeg -o test.jpg

This shooting command will display a preview serial port for about 5 seconds, and then shoot a full-pixel JPEG image and save it as test.jpg.
Users can set the preview time through the -t parameter and can set the resolution of the captured image through --width and --height. E.g:

libcamera-jpeg -o test.jpg -t 2000 --width 640 --height 480

Exposure control
All libcamera commands allow the user to set the shutter time and gain themselves, such as:

libcamera-jpeg -o test.jpg -t 2000 --shutter 20000 --gain 1.5

This command will capture an image with 20ms exposure and camera gain set to 1.5x. The gain parameter set will first set the analog gain parameter inside the photosensitive chip. If the set gain exceeds the maximum built-in analog gain value of the driver, the maximum analog gain of the chip will be set first, and then the remaining gain multiples will be used as digital gains to take effect.
Remarks: The digital gain is realized by ISP (image signal processing), not directly adjusting the built-in register of the chip. Under normal circumstances, the default digital gain is close to 1.0, unless there are the following three situations.

  1. Overall gain parameter requirements, that is, when the analog gain cannot meet the set gain parameter requirements, the digital gain will be needed for compensation.
  2. One of the color gains is less than 1 (the color gain is achieved by digital gain), in this case, the final gain is stabilized at 1/min(red_gain, blue_gain), that is, a uniform digital gain is applied, and is the gain value for one of the color channels (not the green channel).
  3. AEC/AGC was modified. If there is a change in AEC/AGC, the digital gain will also change to a certain extent to eliminate any fluctuations, this change will be quickly restored to the "normal" value.

The Raspberry Pi's AEC/AGX algorithm allows the program to specify exposure compensation, which is to adjust the brightness of the image by setting the aperture value, for example:

libcamera-jpeg --ev -0.5 -o darker.jpg
libcamera-jpeg --ev 0 -o normal.jpg
libcamera-jpeg --ev 0.5 -o brighter.jpg


libcamera-still and libcamera-jpeg are very similar, the difference is that libcamera inherits more functions of raspistill. As before, users can take a picture with the following command.
Test Command

libcamera-still -o test.jpg

libcamea-still supports image files in different formats, can support png and bmp encoding, and also supports saving binary dumps of RGB or YUV pixels as files without encoding or in any image format. If you save RGB or YUV data directly, the program must understand the pixel arrangement of the file when reading such files.

libcamera-still -e png -o test.png
libcamera-still -e bmp -o test.bmp
libcamera-still -e rgb -o test.data
libcamera-still -e yuv420 -o test.data

Note: The format of image saving is controlled by the -e parameter. If the -e parameter is not called, it will be saved in the format of the output file name by default.
Raw Image Capture
The raw image is the image output by the direct image sensor without any ISP or CPU processing. For color camera sensors, the output format of the raw image is generally Bayer. Note that the raw image is different from the bit-encoded RGB and YUV images we said earlier, and RGB and YUV are also ISP-processed images.
A command to take a raw image:

libcamera-still -r -o test.jpg

The raw image is generally saved in DNG (Adobe Digital Negative) format, which is compatible with most standard programs, such as dcraw or RawTherapee. The raw image will be saved as a file of the same name with the .dng suffix, for example, if you run the above command, it will be saved as a test.dng, and generate a jpeg file at the same time. The DNG file contains metadata related to image acquisition, such as white balance data, ISP color matrix, etc. The following is the metadata encoding information displayed by the exiftool:

File Name                       : test.dng
Directory                       : .
File Size                       : 24 MB
File Modification Date/Time     : 2021:08:17 16:36:18+01:00
File Access Date/Time           : 2021:08:17 16:36:18+01:00
File Inode Change Date/Time     : 2021:08:17 16:36:18+01:00
File Permissions                : rw-r--r--
File Type                       : DNG
File Type Extension             : dng
MIME Type                       : image/x-adobe-dng
Exif Byte Order                 : Little-endian (Intel, II)
Make                            : Raspberry Pi
Camera Model Name               : /base/soc/i2c0mux/i2c@1/imx477@1a
Orientation                     : Horizontal (normal)
Software                        : libcamera-still
Subfile Type                    : Full-resolution Image
Image Width                     : 4056
Image Height                    : 3040
Bits Per Sample                 : 16
Compression                     : Uncompressed
Photometric Interpretation      : Color Filter Array
Samples Per Pixel               : 1
Planar Configuration            : Chunky
CFA Repeat Pattern Dim          : 2 2
CFA Pattern 2                   : 2 1 1 0
Black Level Repeat Dim          : 2 2
Black Level                     : 256 256 256 256
White Level                     : 4095
DNG Version                     :
DNG Backward Version            :
Unique Camera Model             : /base/soc/i2c0mux/i2c@1/imx477@1a
Color Matrix 1                  : 0.8545269369 -0.2382823821 -0.09044229197 -0.1890484985 1.063961506 0.1062747385 -0.01334283455 0.1440163847 0.2593136724
As Shot Neutral                 : 0.4754476844 1 0.413686484
Calibration Illuminant 1        : D65
Strip Offsets                   : 0
Strip Byte Counts               : 0
Exposure Time                   : 1/20
ISO                             : 400
CFA Pattern                     : [Blue, Green][Green, Red]
Image Size                      : 4056x3040
Megapixels                      : 12.3
Shutter Speed                   : 1/20

Long Exposure
If we want to take a super long exposure picture, we need to disable AEC/AGC and white balance, otherwise, these algorithms will cause the picture to wait for a lot of frame data when it converges. Disabling these algorithms requires another explicit value to be set. Additionally, the user can skip the preview process with the --immediate setting.
Here is the command to take an image with an exposure of 100 seconds:

libcamera-still -o long_exposure.jpg --shutter 100000000 --gain 1 --awbgains 1,1 --immediate

Remarks: Reference table for the longest exposure time of several official cameras.

Module Maximum exposure time (s)
V1 (OV5647) 6
V2 (IMX219) 11.76
V3 (IMX708) 112
HQ (IMX477) 670


libcamera-vid is a video recording demo that uses the Raspberry Pi hardware H.264 encoder by default. After the program runs, a preview window will be displayed on the screen, and simultaneously the bitstream encoding will be output to the specified file. For example, record a 10s video.

libcamera-vid -t 10000 -o test.h264

If you want to view the video, you can use vlc to play it.

vlc test.h264

Note: The recorded video stream is unpackaged. Users can use --save-pts to set the output timestamp to facilitate the subsequent conversion of the bit stream to other video formats.

libcamera-vid -o test.h264 --save-pts timestamps.txt

If you want to output the mkv file, you can use the following command:

mkvmerge -o test.mkv --timecodes 0:timestamps.txt test.h264

Raspberry Pi supports JPEG format and YUV420 without compression and format:

libcamera-vid -t 10000 --codec mjpeg -o test.mjpeg
libcamera-vid -t 10000 --codec yuv420 -o test.data

The --codec option sets the output format, not the output file extension.
Use the --segment parameter to split the output file into segments (unit is ms), which is suitable for JPEG files that need to split the JPEG video stream into separate short (about 1ms) JPEG files.

libcamera-vid -t 10000 --codec mjpeg --segment 1 -o test%05d.jpeg

UDP Video Streaming Transmission
UDP can be used for video streaming transmission, and the Raspberry Pi runs (server):

libcamera-vid -t 0 --inline -o udp://<ip-addr>:<port>

Among them, <ip-addr> needs to be replaced with the actual client IP address or multicast address. On the client (client), enter the following commands to obtain and display the video stream (you can use one of the two commands);

vlc udp://@:<port> :demux=h264
vlc udp://@:<port> :demux=h264

Note: The port needs to be the same as the one you set on the Raspberry Pi.
TCP Video Streaming Transmission
You can use TCP for video streaming, and the Raspberry Pi runs (server):

libcamera-vid -t 0 --inline --listen -o tcp://<port>

The client runs:

vlc tcp/h264://<ip-addr-of-server>:<port> #Select one of the two commands
ffplay tcp://<ip-addr-of-server>:<port> -vf "setpts=N/30" -fflags nobuffer -flags low_delay -framedrop

RTSP Video Streaming Transmission
On the Raspberry Pi, vlc is usually used to process the RTSP video stream:

libcamera-vid -t 0 --inline -o - | cvlc stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{sdp=rtsp://:8554/stream1}' :demux=h264

On the playback side, you can run any of the following commands:

vlc rtsp://<ip-addr-of-server>:8554/stream1
ffplay rtsp://<ip-addr-of-server>:8554/stream1 -vf "setpts=N/30" -fflags nobuffer -flags low_delay -framedrop

In all preview commands, if you want to turn off the preview window on the Raspberry Pi, you can use the parameter -n (--nopreview) to set it. Also, pay attention to the setting of the --inline parameter. Changing the setting will force the header information of the video stream to be included in each I (intra) frame. This setting allows the client to correctly parse the video stream even if the video header is lost.
High Frame Rate Mode
If you use the libcamera-vid command to record high frame rate video (generally higher than 60fps) while reducing frame loss, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  1. The target level of H.264 needs to be set to 4.2, which can be set with the --level 4.2 parameter.
  2. The color noise reduction function must be turned off, which can be set with the --denoise cdn_off parameter.
  3. If the set frame rate is higher than 100fps, close the preview window to release more CPU resources and avoid frame loss, which can be set with the -n parameter.
  4. It is recommended to add the setting force_turbo=1 in the /boot/config.txt file to ensure that the CPU clock will not be limited in the video stream.
  5. Adjust the ISP output resolution, use -width 1280 --height 720 to set the resolution, or set it to a lower resolution, depending on the camera model.
  6. If you are using Pi 4 or higher-performance model, you can add the setting gpu_freq=550 or higher in the /boot/config.txt file to overclock the motherboard GPU to achieve higher performance.

For example, record 1280x720 120fps video.

libcamera-vid --level 4.2 --framerate 120 --width 1280 --height 720 --save-pts timestamp.pts -o video.264 -t 10000 --denoise cdn_off -n


Libcamera-raw is similar to a video recording demo. The difference is, libcamera-raw records the Bayer format data output by the direct sensor, that is, the raw image data. Libcamera-raw doesn't show a preview window. For example, record a 2-second piece of raw data.

libcamera-raw -t 2000 -o test.raw

The demo will directly dump the raw frame without format information, the program will directly print the pixel format and image size on the terminal, and the user can view the pixel data according to the output data.
By default, the program will save the raw frame as a file, the file is usually large, and the user can divide the file by the --segement parameter.

libcamera-raw -t 2000 --segment 1 -o test%05d.raw

If the memory is large (such as using SSD), libcamera-raw can write the official HQ Camera data (about 18MB per frame) to the hard disk at a speed of about 10 frames per second. To achieve this speed, the demo writes the unformatted raw frames, there is no way to save them as DNG files like libcamera-still does. If you want to ensure that there are no dropped frames, you can use --framerate to reduce the frame rate.

libcamera-raw -t 5000 --width 4056 --height 3040 -o test.raw --framerate 8

Common Command Setting Options

Common command setting options apply to all libcamera commands:

--help, -h

Print program help information, you can print the available setting options for each program command, and then exit.


Print the software version, print the software version of libcamera and libcamera-app, then exit.


Displays the recognized supported cameras. for example:

Available cameras
0 : imx219 [3280x2464] (/base/soc/i2c0mux/i2c@1/imx219@10)
    Modes: 'SRGGB10_CSI2P': 640x480 [206.65 fps - (1000, 752)/1280x960 crop]
                             1640x1232 [41.85 fps - (0, 0)/3280x2464 crop]
                             1920x1080 [47.57 fps - (680, 692)/1920x1080 crop]
                             3280x2464 [21.19 fps - (0, 0)/3280x2464 crop]
           'SRGGB8' : 640x480 [206.65 fps - (1000, 752)/1280x960 crop]
                      1640x1232 [41.85 fps - (0, 0)/3280x2464 crop]
                      1920x1080 [47.57 fps - (680, 692)/1920x1080 crop]
                      3280x2464 [21.19 fps - (0, 0)/3280x2464 crop]
1 : imx477 [4056x3040] (/base/soc/i2c0mux/i2c@1/imx477@1a)
    Modes: 'SRGGB10_CSI2P': 1332x990 [120.05 fps - (696, 528)/2664x1980 crop]
           'SRGGB12_CSI2P': 2028x1080 [50.03 fps - (0, 440)/4056x2160 crop]
                             2028x1520 [40.01 fps - (0, 0)/4056x3040 crop]
                             4056x3040 [10.00 fps - (0, 0)/4056x3040 crop]

According to the printed information, the IMX219 camera has a suffix of 0, and the IM new 477 camera has a suffix of 1. When calling the camera, you can specify the corresponding suffix.


Specify the camera, and the corresponding suffix can refer to the print information of the command --list-camera.
For example: libcamera-hello -c config.txt
In the setting file, set parameters one line at a time, in the format of key=value:

--config,	-c

Under normal circumstances, we can directly set the camera parameters through commands. Here we use the --config parameter to specify the setting file and directly read the setting parameters in the file to set the camera preview effect.

--timeout, -t

The "-t" option sets the runtime of the libcamera demo. If the video recording command is run, the timeout option sets the recording duration. If the image capture command is run, the timeout sets the preview time before the image is captured and output.
If "timeout" is not set when running the libcamera demo, the default timeout value is 5000 (5 seconds). If the timeout is set to 0, the demo will continue to run.
Example: libcamera-hello -t 0

--preview, -p

"-p" sets the size and position of the preview window (the qualified settings are valid in both X and DRM version windows), and the format is --preview <x. y, w, h> where "x, y" sets the preview window coordinate, "w" and "h" set the width and length of the preview window.
The settings of the preview serial port will not affect the resolution and aspect ratio of the camera image preview. The demo will scale the preview image to display in the preview window and adapt it according to the original image aspect ratio.
Example: libcamera-hello -p 100,100,500,500

--fullscreen, -f

The "-f" option sets the preview window full screen, the preview window and the border in full-screen mode. Like "-p", it does not affect the resolution and aspect ratio, and will automatically adapt.
Example: libcamera-still -f -o test.jpg


Using the preview window based on the QT framework, this setting is not recommended under normal circumstances, because the preview demo will not use zero-copy buffer sharing and GPU acceleration, which will occupy more resources. The QT preview window supports X forwarding (the default preview program does not).
The Qt preview serial port does not support the "--fullscreen" setting option. If the user wants to use the Qt preview, it is recommended to keep a small preview window to avoid excessive resource usage and affecting the normal operation of the system.
Example: libcamera-hello --qt-preview

--nopreview, -n

Images are not previewed. This setting will turn off the image preview function.
Example: libcamera-hello -n


Set the title and information display of the preview window (only available in the X graphics window) using the format --info-text <string>. When calling this option, multiple parameters can be set, and the parameters are usually called in the % command format. The demo will call the corresponding value in the graphics metadata according to the instructions.
If no window info is specified, the default --info-text is set to "#%frame (%fps fps) exp %exp ag %ag dg %dg"
Example: libcamera-hello --info-test "Focus measure: %focus
Available parameters:

Instructions Instructions
%frame Frame sequence number
%fps Instantaneous frame rate
%exp The shutter speed when capturing the image, in ms
%ag Image analog gain controlled by the sensor chip
%dg Image value gain controlled by ISP
%rg Gain of the red component of each pixel
%bg The gain of the blue component of each pixel
%focus The corner measurement of the image, the larger the value, the clearer the image
%lp Diopter of the current lens (1/distance in meters)
%afstate Autofocus state (idle, scanning, focused, failed)

These two parameters set the width and height of the image, respectively. For libcamera-still, libcamera-jpeg, and libcamera-vid commands, these two parameters can set the resolution of the output image/video.
If the libcamera-raw command is used, these two parameters affect the size of the obtained metadata frame. The camera has a 2 x 2 block reading mode. If the set resolution is smaller than the split mode, the camera will obtain the metadata frame according to the 2 x 2 block size.
libcamera-hello cannot specify the resolution.
libcamera-vid -o test.h264 --width 1920 --height 1080 Record 1080p video
libcamera-still -r -o test.jpg --width 2028 --height 1520 Takes a 2028 x 1520 JPEG image.


This setting option is also used to set the resolution of the image, the difference is only the image size of the preview. It does not affect the final output image or video resolution.The size of the preview image will not affect the size of the preview window and it will be adapted according to the window.
Example: libcamera-hello --viewfinder-width 640 --viewfinder-height 480.


This setting forces the sensor to use the --width and --height settings to output still images and video in full-resolution read mode. This setting libcamera-hello has no effect.
With this setting, the framerate is sacrificed. In full-resolution mode, frame reading will be slower.
Example: libcamera-raw -t 2000 --segment 1 --rawfull -o test%03d.raw The example command captures multiple Metadata frames in full-resolution mode. If you are using an HQ camera, the size of each frame is 18MB, and if --rawfull is not set, the HQ camera defaults to 2 x 2 mode, and the data size of each frame is only 4.5MB.


This parameter is more general than rawfull. It is used to set the camera mode. When using it, you need to specify the width, height, bit depth and packing mode, and separate them with colons. The set value does not have to be completely accurate, the system will automatically match the closest value, and the bit depth and packing mode can be set (the default is 12 and P means packing).

  • 4056:3040:12:P - 4056x3040 resolution, 12bit per pixel, packed. Packed means that the raw image data will be packed in the buffer. In this case, two pixels will only occupy 3 bytes, which can save memory.
  • 1632:1224:10 - 1632x1224 resolution, 10bit per pixel, packed by default. In 10-bit packing mode, 4-pixel data will occupy 5 bytes.
  • 2592:1944:10:U - 2592x1944 resolution, 10bits per pixel, no packed. In the case of unpacking, each speed limit will occupy 2bytes of memory, in this case, the highest 6 bits will be set to 0.
  • 3262:2448 -3264x2448 resolution, 12bits and packed mode are used by default. However, if the camera model, such as Camera V2 (IMX219), does not support 12-bit mode, the system will automatically select 10bits mode.
--viewfinder-mode       #Specify sensor mode, given as <width>:<height>:<bit-depth>:<packing>

The --mode parameter is used to set the camera mode when recording video and shooting still images. If you want to set it when previewing, you can use the --viewfinder-mode parameter.


These two options set low-resolution images. The low-resolution data stream compresses the image, causing the aspect ratio of the image to change. When using libcamera-vid to record video, if a low resolution is set, functions such as color denoising will be disabled.
Example: libcamera-hello --lores-width 224 --lores-height 224
Note that low-resolution settings are often used in conjunction with image postprocessing, otherwise it has little effect.

--hflip #Flip the image horizontally
--vflip #Flip the image vertically
--rotation #Flip the image horizontally or vertically according to the given angle <angle>

These three options are used to flip the image. The parameters of --rotation currently only support 0 and 180, which are equivalent to --hflip and --vflip.
Example: libcamera-hello --vflip --hflip

--roi #Crop image <x, y, w, h>

"--roi" allows the user to crop the image area they want according to the coordinates from the complete image provided by the sensor, that is, digital scaling, paying attention to the coordinate value if it is in the valid range. For example --roi 0, 0, 1, 1 is an invalid instruction.
Example: libcamera-hello --roi 0.25,0.25,0.5,0.5
The example command will crop 1/4 of the image from the center of the image.

--hdr Run the camera in HDR mode (supported cameras only)

The hdr parameter is used to set the wide dynamic mode of the camera. This setting will only take effect if the camera supports a wide dynamic range. You can use --list-camera to see if the camera supports hdr mode.

--sharpness #Set the sharpness of the image <number>

Adjust the sharpness of the image by the value of <number>. If set to 0, no sharpening is applied. If you set a value above 1.0, an extra sharpening amount will be used.
Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --sharpness 2.0

--contrast #Set image contrast <number>

Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --contrast 1.5

--brightness #Set image brightness <number>

The setting range is -1.0 ~ 1.0
Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --brightness 0.2

--saturation #Set image color saturation <number>

Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --saturation 0.8

--ev #Set EV compensation <number>

Set the EV compensation of the image in aperture units, the setting range is -10 ~ 10, the default value is 0. The program works by improving the target method of the AEC/AGC algorithm.
Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --ev 0.3

--shutter #Set the exposure time, the unit is ms <number>

Note: If the frame rate of the camera is too fast, it may not work according to the set shutter time. If this happens, you can try to use --framerate to reduce the frame rate.
Example: libcamera-hello --shutter 30000

--gain #Set gain value (combination of numerical gain and analog gain) <number>
--analoggain #--gain synonym

--analoggain is the same as --gain, the use of analoggain is only for compatibility with raspicam programs.

--metering #Set metering mode <string>

Set the metering mode of the AEC/AGC algorithm, the available parameters are:

  • centre - Center metering (default)
  • spot - spot metering
  • average - average or full frame metering
  • custom - custom metering mode, can be set via tuning file

Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --metering spot

--exposure #Set exposure profile <string>

The exposure mode can be set to normal or sport. The report profile for these two modes does not affect the overall exposure of the image, but in the case of sports mode, the program will shorten the exposure time and increase the justice to achieve the same exposure effect.
Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --exposure sport

--awb #Set white balance mode <string>

Available white balance modes:

Mode Color Temperature
auto 2500K ~ 8000K
incadescent 2500K ~ 3000K
tungsten 3000K ~3500K
fluorescent 4000K ~ 4700K
indoor 3000K ~ 5000K
daylight 5500K ~ 6500K
cloudy 7000K ~ 8500K
custom Custom range, set via tuning file

Example: libamera-still -o test.jpg --awb tungsten

--awbgains #Set a fixed color gain <number,number>

Set red and blue gain.
Example: libcamera-still -o test.jpg --awbgains 1.5, 2.0

--denoise #Set denoising mode <string>

Supported denoising modes:

  • auto - default mode, use standard spatial denoising, if it is video, it will use fast color noise reduction and use high-quality color noise reduction when taking still pictures. The preview image will not use any color denoising.
  • off - turn off spatial denoising and color denoising.
  • cdn_off - turn off color denoising.
  • cdn_fast - use fast color denoising.
  • cdn_hq - use high-quality color denoising, not suitable for video recording.

Example: libcamera-vid -o test.h264 --denoise cdn_off

--tuning-file #Specify camera tuning file <string>

For more instructions on tuning files, you can refer to official tutorial
Example: libcamera-hello --tuning-file ~/my~camera-tuning.json

--autofocus-mode			Specify the autofocus mode <string>

Set the autofocus mode.

  • default - By default, the camera will use continuous autofocus mode, unless --lens-position or --autofocus-on-capture manual focus is set.
  • manual - manual focus mode, the focus position can be set by --lens-position.
  • auto - focus will only be done once when the camera is turned on, and will not be adjusted in other cases. (If you use the libcamera-still command, only when --autofocus-on-capture is used, it will focus once before taking a photo).
  • continuous - The camera will automatically adjust the focus position according to the scene changes.
--autofocus-range   Specify the autofocus range <string>

Set the autofocus range.

  • normal -- the default item, from nearest to infinity.
  • macro - macro mode, only focus on nearby objects.
  • full - full distance mode, adjusted to infinity for the closest object.
--autofocus-speed   Specify the autofocus speed <string>

Set the focus speed.

  • normal - default item, normal speed.
  • fast - fast focus mode.
--autofocus-window   --autofocus-window

To display the focus window, you need to set x, y, width, height, and the coordinate value setting is based on the ratio of the image. For example --autofocus-window 0.25,0.25,0.5,0.5 would set a window half the size of the image and centered.

--lens-position	    Set the lens to a given position <string>

Set the focus position.

  • 0.0 -- set the focus position to infinity.
  • number -- set the focus position to 1/number, number is any value you set, for example, if you set 2, it means that it will focus on the position of 0.5m.
  • default -- focus on the default position relative to the hyperfocal distance of the lens.
--output, -o #output file name <string>

Set the filename of the output image or video. In addition to setting the file name, you can also specify the output udp or tcp server address to output the image to the server. If you are interested, you can check the relevant setting instructions of the subsequent tcp and udp.
Example: libcamera-vid -t 100000 -o test.h264

--wrap #Wrap the output file counter <number>

Example: libcamera-vid -t 0 --codec mjpeg --segment 1 --wrap 100 -o image%d.jpg

--flush # Flush the output file immediately

--flush will immediately update each frame of the image to the hard disk at the same time as it is written, reducing latency.
Example: libcamera-vid -t 10000 --flush -o test.h264

Still Photo Shooting Setting Parameters

--quality, -q            #Set JPEG image quality <0 ~ 100>
--exif, -x               #Add extra EXIF flags
--timelapse              #Time interval of time-lapse photography, the unit is ms
--framestart             #Start value of frame count
--datetime               #Name output file with date format
--timestamp              #Name the output file with the system timestamp
-- restart               #Set the JPEG restart interval
--keypress, -k           #Set the enter button photo mode
--signal, -s             #Set the signal to trigger the photo
--thumb                  #Set thumbnail parameters <w:h:q>
--ebcoding, -e           #Set the image encoding type. jpg/png/bmp/rgb/yuv420
--raw, -r                #Save raw image
--latest                 #Associate symbols to the latest saved file
--autofocus-on-capture   #Set to do a focus action before taking a photo

Video Recording Image Setting Parameters

--quality, -q   #Set JPEG commands <0 - 100>
--bitrate, -b   #Set H.264 bitrate
--intra, -g     #Set the internal frame period (only supports H.264)
--profile       #Set H.264 configuration
--level         #Set H.264 level
--codec         #Set encoding type h264 / mjpeg / yuv420
--keypress, -k  #Set carriage return to pause and record
--signal, -s    #Set signal pause and record
--initial       #Start the program in the recording or paused state
--split         #Split video and save to another file
--segment       #Split video into multiple video segments
--circular      #Write video to the circular buffer
--inline        #Write header in each I frame (only supports H.264)
--listen        #Wait for a TCP connection
--frames        #Set the number of frames recorded

Raspicam User Guide


If you are using the Buster version of the image, the system is installed with the Raspicam driver by default, so you can turn on the camera directly and use it.
If you are using the latest Bullseye system, you need to install and configure it separately.
Applicable to OV5647, official IMX219, official IMX477.

Install Raspicam (Optional)

If you use the Bullseye image (the newest image), you need to install the Raspicam for using the legacy stack.
Note: This driver does not support the 64-bit Raspberry Pi system for now.

Open a terminal and run the following commands.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install cmake
git clone https://github.com/raspberrypi/userland
cd userland
cp build/bin/* ~/bin/

Rrestart the system after installation.

sudo reboot

Call the Camera


raspistill is for taking still pictures. For example: raspistill -o cam.jpg


raspivid is for recording video. For example: raspivid -o vid.h264


The commands of raspiyuv and raspisitll have the same function. The difference is that instead of outputting standard image files such as jpgs, raspiyuv generates YUV420 or RGB888 image files from the camera's ISP output.
For the most part, it is better to use raspistill to shoot images, but if you want to use uncompressed black-and-white images, you can choose to use the raspiyuv command.
For example: raspiyuv -o cam.jpg

Command Setting Options

The raspicam command can be used with setting options to adjust the final image effect. The following is a list of the available setup options for reference.

--preview, -p  #Set the preview window<x, y, w, h>

The user can set the x, and y values to set the position of the preview window and the w, and h values to adjust the resolution of the preview image.

--fullscreen, -f  #Full screen preview window

Display the preview window in full screen.

--nopreview, -n  #No preview window displayed

Close the preview window and the command will output the image or video directly to the file.

--opacity, -op  #Set the preview window transparency

Set the transparency of the preview window, 0 is invisible, and 255 is fully transparent.

--sharpness, -sh  #Set image sharpness (-100 - 100)

The default sharpening value is 0.

--contrast. -co  #Setting Image Contrast(-100 - 100)

The default contrast is 0.

--brightness, -br  #Set Image Contrast(0 - 100)

The default brightness is 50, 0 is all black and 100 is all white.

--saturation, -sa  #Set image saturation (-100 - 100)

The default saturation is 0.

--ISO  #Setting Shutter Sensitivity (100 - 800)

Setting the sensitivity when taking pictures.

--vstab, -vs  #Enable video stabilization

Only the video recording mode is valid, with video stabilization turned on.

--ev  #Set EV compensation

Set the EV compensation value of the image, and the default is 0.

--exposure,  -ex  #Setting the exposure mode

Configurable exposure options:

  • auto: Auto Exposure Mode
  • night: Night shooting mode
  • nightpreview
  • backlight: Backlight mode
  • spotlight
  • sports: Sports mode (the shutter time is shortened in sports mode)
  • snow: Snow mode
  • beach: Beach Mode
  • verylong: Long exposure mode
  • fixedfps: Fixed fps
  • antishake: Anti-shake mode
  • fireworks: Fireworks Mode

Note: Depending on the camera model, some modes are not available.

--flicker, -fli   #Flicker Avoidance

Configurable mode:

  • off: Turn off anti-flicker mode
  • auto: Automatic detection of injection frequency
  • 50Hz: Set the anti-flicker frequency to 50 Hz
  • 60Hz: Set the anti-flicker frequency to 60Hz
--awb,  #Set auto white balance mode
  • off: Turn off auto white balance
  • auto: Auto white balance mode (default)
  • sun: Sunny mode (5000K ~ 6500K)
  • cloud: Cloudy mode (6500K ~ 12000K)
  • shade: Shade mode
  • tungsten: Tungsten lamp mode(2500K ~ 3500K)
  • incandescent: Incandescent mode (2500K ~ 4500K)
  • flash: Flash mode
  • horizon: Horizon mode
  • greyworld: If you are using a camera without an IR filter (e.g. NoIR), you can fix the white balance imbalance caused by the lack of an IR filter.

Note: Depending on the camera model, some modes are not available.

--imfx, -ifx  #Set the image filter effect

Configurable filter effect:

  • none: No effect (default)
  • negative: Color Flip
  • solarise: Sunlight effect
  • posterise: Poster effect
  • whiteboard: Whiteboard effect
  • backboard: Blackboard effect
  • sketch: Sketch effect
  • denoise: Denoise effect
  • emboss: amboss effect
  • oilpaint: Oil paint effect
  • hatch: Hatch effect
  • gpen: Pencil sketch effect
  • pastel: Colored pencils effect
  • watercolour: Watercolor effect
  • film: Film effect
  • blur: Blur effect
  • saturation: Saturation effect

Note: Depending on the camera model, some modes are not available.

--colfx, -cfx  #Set the color effect<U:V>

The U and V parameters are set in the range of 0 ~ 255 and are used to adjust the values of the U and Y channels. For example --colfx 128:128 will set the image to a monochrome image.

--metering, -mm  #Setting the metering mode

Configurable mode:

  • average: Average or full-frame metering
  • spot: Spot metering
  • backlit: Preset a backlit image
  • matrix: Matrix metering
--rotation, -rot  #Set image rotation (0 - 359)

The image rotation angle can be set by the angle parameter.

--hflip, -hf  #Set image horizontal flip

Set image horizontal flip.

--vflip, -vf  #Set image vertical flip

Set image vertical flip.

--roi, #Crop image <x, y, w, h>

Crop the image according to the parameters, note that the parameters are planned in (0,0 ~ 1.0), for example, if you want to crop 1/4 of the image, you can use the command -roi 0.5,0.5,0.25,0.25

--shutter, --ss  Set shutter speed/time

Set the shutter time (unit:ms). The maximum shutter time that can be set varies depending on the light-sensitive chip.

Mode Maximum number(ms)
V1 (OV5647) 6000000 (6s)
V2 (IMX219) 10000000 (10s)
HQ (IMX477) 200000000 (200s)
--drc, -drc  #Enable/disable dynamic range compression
  • off (Default)
  • low
  • med
  • high
--stats, -st  #Counting images by still image frames
--awbgains, -awbg

Set blue and green gain, effective when --awb off is set.

--analoggain, -ag

Set the analog gain value.

--digitalgain, -dg

Set the digital gain value.

--mode, -md

Set the sensor mode:

  • OV5647
Mode Resolution Aspect Ratio Frame Rate FoV
0 Auto-select
1 1920 x 1080 16:9 1-30fps Local
2 2592 x 1944 4:3 1-15fps Full Frame
3 2592 x 1944 4:3 0.1666 - 1fps Full Frame
4 1296 x 972 4:3 1 - 42fps Full Frame
5 1296 x 730 16:9 1- 49fps Full Frame
6 640 x 480 4:3 42.1 - 60fps Full Frame
7 640 x 480 4:3 60.1 - 90fps Full Frame
  • IMX219
Mode Resolution Aspect Ratio Frame Rate FoV
0 Auto-select
1 1920 x 1080 16:9 0.1-30fps Local
2 3280 x 2464 4:3 0. 1-15fps Full Frame
3 3280 x 2464 4:3 0.1 - 15fps Full Frame
4 1640 x 972 4:3 1 - 42fps Full Frame
5 1296 x 730 16:9 1- 49fps Full Frame
6 640 x 480 4:3 42.1 - 60fps Full Frame
7 640 x 480 4:3 60.1 - 90fps Full Frame
  • HQ Camera
Mode Resolution Aspect Ratio Frame Rate FoV
0 Auto-select
1 2028 x 1080 169:90 0.1-50fps Local
2 2028 x 1080 4:3 0. 1-50fps Full Frame
3 4056 x 3040 4:3 0.005 - 10fps Full Frame
4 1332 x 990 74:55 50.1-120 fps Local
--camselect, -cs

When the system is connected to multiple cameras, select camera, 0 or 1.

--annotate, -a #Enable/Set Comments

The parameters are represented in the metadata by means of bit masks, which can be expressed directly in additive terms. For example, 12 can represent the display time (4) and the display date (8), by adding 4+8 = 12.
Configurable options:

Value Parameters
-a 4 Time
-a 8 Date
-a 12 Time and date, actually 4 + 8
-a 16 Shutter setting
-a 32 CAF setting
-a 64 Gain setting
-a 128 Lens settings
-a 256 Animation Settings
-a 512 Frame Rate
-a 1024 Black background
-a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X" Display text
-a 4 -a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X" Display time/date in custom format
-a 8 -a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X" Display time/date in custom format
--annotateex, -ae  #Set additional annotation parameters
--stereo, -3d

Set the binocular mode.

  • sbs - Side-by-side mode
  • tb: -Vertical mode
  • off -Turn off binocular mode (default)
--decimate, -dec

Halving the width and height of binocular images.

--setting, -set

Output the current camera settings.

raspistill Parameters

--width, -w  #Set image width
--height, -h  #Set image height
--quality, 0q  #Set JPEG quality <0 ~ 100>
--raw, -r  #Add the original Bayer data to the JPEG metadata
--output, -o #output file <filename>
--latest, -l  #Associating the last image frame to the file <filename>
--verbose, -v #Print Details
--timeout, -t  #Set program preview time
--timelapse, -tl  #Set up demo photography
--framestart, -fs #Save the number of the first frame
--datetime, -dt  #Naming files with date and time
--timestamp, -ts #Naming files with timestamps
--thumb, -th #Set thumbnail parameter <x:y:qulity>, default is (64:48:35)
--demo, -d  #Run demo mode <ms>
--encoding, -e #Encode in the specified format, jpg, bmp or png
--restart, -rs  #Set JPEG restart flag
--exif, -x   #Setting EXIF tags
--gpsdexif, -gps #Set real-time exif time (requires GPS Dongle access)
--fullpreview,  -fg  #Full Screen Preview
--keypress, -k  #Push button photo mode
--signal, -s  # Signal mode
--burst, -bm #Capture mode

raspivid Parameters

--width, -w #Set the video width
--height, -h #Sets the height of the video
--bitrate, -b #Sets the bitrate
--output, -o #Set output file name <filename>
--listen, -l #When using a network connection, wait for a network connection
--versbose, -v #Print details
--timeout, -t #Sets the preview time
--demo, -d #Run demo <ms>
--framerate, -fs #set frame rate
--penc, -e #Show encoded preview image
--intra, -g #Set internal refresh period
--qp, -qp #Set quantization parameters
--profile, -pf #Specify H264 profile, baseline / main / high
--level, -lev #Sets the H264 encoding level
--irefresh, -if #set H264 internal refresh type cyclic / adaptive / both / cyclicrows
--inline, -ih #insert PPS, SPS header
--spstimings, -stm #insert timing information into the SPS block
--timed, -td #Timed toggle recording and pause functions
--keypress, -k #Pause recording by keystroke
--signal, -s #Switch between pause and record according to SIGUSR1
--split, -sp #In signal and keypress mode, the file will be recreated each time you re-record
--vectors, -x #Vector output
--flush, -fl # Force a flush of the output data buffer immediately after writing video data, bypassing any OS caching of the written data and reducing latency.
--save-pts, -pts #Save timestamp information to the specified file.
--codec, -cd # Specify encoder H264 / MJPEG
--initial, -i # Set the initial state for startup
--segment, -sg # Split the video stream into multiple files
--wrap, -wr # Set the maximum value for splitting
--start, -sn #Sets the initial split encoding
--raw, -r #Sets the metadata filename
--raw-format, -rf #Specify metadata format yuv / rgb / grey


3D Drawing

【Note】IMX219-D160 should be bought separately.



The ov9281 is black and white camera without IR filter.
You can directly add IR LED to capture pictures at night time.



Technical Support

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