JPEG Color Camera - UART Interface

Replacement:SEN-10061. This page is for reference only.

This is a simple-to-use, UART controlled, color camera with on-board JPEG compression. Capable of resolutions up to 640x480, and a number of color types. Send the snapshot command, and this module will capture a single-frame picture, compress it, and send it back over a serial connection. The easy-to-use and well defined command set is detailed in the User's Manual below.

Note: This is a last time buy for this camera. COMedia is discontinuing the C328 serial series cameras. They have announced plans for another serial camera but have no information or ETA at this time. We have a few left, but when they're gone, they're gone.

This module includes an OmniVision OV7640/8 VGA camera sensor, OV528 camera-to-serial bridge, program EEPROM and a 4-wire cable that mates with the camera module.

  • Low power: 3.3V, 60mA
  • 4-pin interface: Vdd, GND, TX, RX
  • 100uA current consumption in sleep mode
  • VGA resolution; built-in down-sampling to QVGA or CIF
  • TTL interface of up to 115.2kbps, auto baud detection
  • Simple, well-defined command set
  • JPEG codec for different resolutions
  • Built-in color conversion: 4 gray, 16 gray, 256 gray, 12-bit RGB, 16-bit RGB
  • 20x28x10mm


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Rampagesmr / about 14 years ago / 2

    Unfortunately, 4D System's ?CAM-TTL camera module will also be discontinued. When I emailed 4D Systems about Comedia's Serial JPEG camera being discountinued, I told them it is because the Omnivision OV528 chip on the modules are discontinued. Omnivision upgraded their chip to the OV529 chip. Unfortunately, they are not the same footprint. The new one is a BGA! So both Comedia and 4D Systems must redesign their Serial Camera Modules. There is no word from both Comedia and 4D Systems when they plan to release a replacement module. 4D Systems told me that they are looking for an alternative, but may use the OV529 after all. IMHO, both Comedia and 4D Systems should have already designed their replacement camera module because the discontinuation of the OV528 has been known for about a year now.

  • Calif / about 15 years ago / 2

    It requires an exact baud rate & a clean UART signal to work reliably. Not 115478 or 115000 but 115200. Be sure to pick up a 14.7456Mhz crystal. Controlling it over a noisy radio connection doesn't work very well either. With an exact 115200 baud rate & a local microcontroller commanding it, it sends out continuous JPEGs from our aircraft on an XBee900 perfectly. 5 seconds per 320x240 frame.
    This is the source code for a dedicated PIC camera controller.

    • Member #223396 / about 13 years ago / 1

      mr calif,
      please re write the linke of pic-c code

    • clearsky / about 14 years ago / 1

      I used an xmega128 with just internal RC oscillator, it works fine with this camera. My UART speed is 28k and maybe 5% of the time the checksum indicates there is an error in UART transmission. If it happens, I just request the same data packet to be resent again and it works out fine.

  • svoisen / about 15 years ago / 2

    I wrote an Arduino-compatible library for communicating with this camera a few months ago for those who want to save some coding:

  • Member #485264 / about 11 years ago / 1

    how many frame per second ??

    • MikeGrusin / about 11 years ago / 1

      This is not set up to take movies; it will take at least a few seconds per picture. If you need something more like a GoPro, the HackHD might be of interest.

  • enliteneer / about 14 years ago / 1

    Can the C328/C329 output raw uncompressed images, or only jpeg?

    • alfmar / about 14 years ago / 1

      It can output raw images at 16 bits per pixel (5/6/5 bits for r/g/b) but it will be slooooow to download an image (while a 640x480 JPEG-compressed preview comes in 10 to 15 seconds at 115200 baud).

  • Swager / about 14 years ago / 1

    ehm.. sorry, the correct e-mail is If you need, I can also give examples of code in c by using the C328 camera.

  • Swager / about 14 years ago / 1

    if un need this camera just send me an e-mail at

  • Monik / about 14 years ago / 1

    Hi everybody !!!
    I bought this camera and the microSD Shield, this:
    I've been searching information for connect this two elements to the arduino duemilanove, but I'm so confused now and I don't know how to start. I want to save the photos of the camera in a SD card using de shield, Did anybody try it ?? or Someone to help me please??.
    Thanks from Mexico =)

  • Janfr / about 14 years ago / 1

    maybe this could be an alternative. seems similar in specs and pricing

  • Victoroza / about 14 years ago / 1

    I was wondering when will this camera be in stock. Thanks.

    • Chiel / about 14 years ago / 1

      its discontinued so it wont get back in to stock.
      they are searching for a different cam but that can take a little while

  • clearsky / about 14 years ago / 1

    I ordered one of these and it's working as it supposed to. I use UART speed of 28k and get reliable images. You need to check the checksum at the end of the packet to make sure data is sent/received right.
    It spend most of the time transmitting the image data. That's what slows it down, even it transmits at 90k in UART, it's still kinda slow. I do like the auto-baud rate configuration. Just send SYNC command until it configure itself and the rest of the communication is easy enough. I would like to see and SPI based interface to speed up the transmission.
    The image quality belongs to typical pinhole camera class. Enough for most cases but not for any serious application.

  • fsphil / about 14 years ago / 1

    One of these cameras was flown to 31km altitude as part of a high-altitude balloon project I was involved with. The data was being transmitted live and the images are incomplete, but the camera worked perfectly in the very low pressure and temperatures up there:

  • tz / about 14 years ago / 1

    Something similar, probably the same controller with clearer documentation:

  • jlcsa / about 14 years ago / 1

    Has anybody successfully interfaced the c328 with an MSP430? I'm trying to adapt the gizmologi API but it's heavily Arduino-specific.

  • tz / about 14 years ago / 1

    I updated some python code to include a shift to 921600 baud and to show the image using GTK (just under 1fps).

  • GTBecker / about 15 years ago / 1

    I found the COMedia C328 evaluation application at : .

  • GTBecker / about 15 years ago / 1

    Or does the filter look like this: ?

  • GTBecker / about 15 years ago / 1

    The documents suggest that the IR filter is on the back of each lens. That should be easy to test. Remove the lens and illuminate the sensor with an IR remote. If the field washes out, the filter is probably on the lens, I think.
    I found the same family at, BTW, where the mono IR versions are available.

  • GTBecker / about 15 years ago / 1

    Can the IR-block filter in this camera be removed?

    • oohh, good question, I'd be interested to know as well. Perhaps I'll pop one open and check.

  • jsd / about 15 years ago / 1

    I am a Senior Hardware Designer for a telematics company and I choose this camera for our camera sensor. I now understand that this camera is in it's "obsolescence" phase and I am wondering if I should look elsewhere for a camera or if the replacement will be a direct replacement for the C328? Over the coming year we will need 2000+ of these and I'm worried now. We interfaced this to an MSP430 5438 series using an RS485 interface to communicate between our telematics unit and the sensor. Any advanced notice of the replacement would be greatly appreciated.

  • Calif / about 15 years ago / 1

    We have notes & videos on using it for live video on aircraft. It's main problem is its very prone to malfunctioning.

  • Calif / about 15 years ago / 1

    Now if someone invented a composite frame capture -> UART, that would win a nobel prize.

  • Bob R / about 15 years ago / 1

    The datasheet has a table that shows several different lens options. But when I try to order, there's no way to pick one. Which lens does it come with, and is there a way to pick a different one? - Thanks

  • jarv / about 15 years ago / 1

    i've had some success recently interfacing this module to an arduino using the module as well as code for writing to an SD card. posted a summary over on the arduino forums if anyone is curious -

  • davederevo / about 15 years ago / 1

    I'd like to use PC to communicate with this module.
    What kind of serial trasceiver should i use?
    Does Sparkfun sell one?

    • Marcel Sanchez / about 15 years ago / 1

      You need a MAX232 (or similar), some capacitors and a serial port (internal COM or USB like FT232r). It's used as a voltage converter.
      Does anyone have another picture taken with this camera? Thanks.

      • jarv / about 15 years ago / 2

        Marcel S?nchez and davederevo :
        see -
        for how to connect it to a PC to test it out and I also stuck an example picture at the end of the post

        • Marcel Sanchez / about 15 years ago / 1

          Thank you for publishing your photo. It seems to be well compressed, but it has only got 640x480 pixels :(
          I have ordered one camera and some components.
          When I get the package (at least one week), I will write a C linux code and a STM32 code for these modules.

  • jarv / about 15 years ago / 1

    python script for testing it out using an ft232r breakout:

  • Skimask / about 15 years ago / 1

    The datasheets say it'll output a raw image (RGB565 format and others).
    Anybody tried to use any of these 'non-JPEG' output modes?

  • dantearmando / about 15 years ago / 1

    Finally!! I've been working with this camera for the past few months and I was wondering when you guys were gonna get something similar.

  • sakko303 / about 15 years ago / 1

    This seems really cool but reading the instructions it would appear that it can only support .75fps for "video" (preview mode) ... so, less than 1 frame per second. I am looking for a wireless (hopefully wifi via wifly) solution to get video for a telerobotic project. I think this is maybe a bit too hopeful for arduino?
    Still a cool little device...

  • Carbon-rod / about 15 years ago / 1

    Hi guys,
    Just wondering, the sample image on this page is 600x600 pixels is this an actual image taken from the camera or just a similar image? The resolution should be 640x480 I am guessing....

    • Good point - That is a real image taken with the camera but I believe the image has been down sized to fit our system. Most of the big images have max of 600pix wide. I will see if we can get the original posted.

      • The original image is posted now. It looks distorted in the preview but if you enlarge it you can see the original size.

  • jps330 / about 15 years ago / 1

    Can anyone point me in the direction on how one would bridge this serial connection to a pc using zigbee?

  • bluehash / about 15 years ago / 1

    Surveyor( used to use this camera for their older robots. The camera is pretty good if you dont want a high frame rate.

  • Gintaras / about 15 years ago / 1

    Just 2 days ago I spent several hours looking for camera with serial output here and other sites with no luck, its like you guys know exactly what I want! I love sparkfun!

    • Thanks Gintaras! We've been looking for a long time as well. We're pretty happy with this solution. 640x480 isn't great quality, but it will give you photographic evidence that the cat is terrorizing the kitchen.

      • Has / about 15 years ago / 2

        Wanna know a secret? The datasheet states the maximum UART speed is 115,200 bps. It'll really operate at 921,600 bps. That's either a lot more pictures, or a lot less power consumption depending on your application.

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