M5Stack's Latest Espressif ESP32 Camera Module Includes Wi-Fi and Power-over-Ethernet Connectivity

Whether you need wired or wireless networking, the M5PoECAM-W has it all — plus Power-over-Ethernet support, too.

Gareth Halfacree
12 days agoHW101

Embedded and hobbyist electronics specialist M5Stack has launched a new smart camera module, built around Espressif's ESP32 and an Omnivision OV3660 image sensor — and delivering a choice of Fast Ethernet with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) or 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connectivity.

"M5PoECAM-W V1.1 is a programmable PoE camera based on the 'ESP32+W5500' solution, featuring a 3-megapixel OV3660 image sensor with a 65° field of view," M5Stack explains of its latest launch. "It integrates PoE (power over Ethernet, max power consumption 6W) and Wi-Fi functionality. It also comes with a camera mounting clip and LEGO-compatible clip."

The compact camera module is built around the Espressif ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 microcontroller module, which includes integrated connectivity for single-band 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks. For those who prefer their cameras to be connected to a wired network, there's an on-board WIZnet W5500 chip powering a 10/100 Fast Ethernet port with IEEE 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support — delivering up to 6W of power through the same cable as the Ethernet connection, when used with a suitable PoE switch or power injector.

The module includes 8MB of pseudo-static RAM (PSRAM) and 16MB of flash storage, though there's no built-in support for additional storage via microSD Card or similar. The Omnivision OV3660 image sensor, meanwhile, delivers a maximum three-megapixel resolution with support for capturing in RAW, RGB565/555/444, YUV422/420, YCbCr422, and JPEG formats. There's automatic control of exposure, gain, white balance, band filtration, and black level calibration — but no optical zoom or focus capabilities.

Designed, the company says, for image monitoring, smart home, and industrial automation projects, the camera module provides a user-definable on-board button — to trigger manual captures, for instance — and an LED indicator light. A Grove interface allows for connection to external Grove hardware modules, for building more complex projects.

The M5PoECAM-W is now available on the M5Stack store for $32.50, including a clip-on stand with tripod thread and LEGO-compatible "back-brick" mount.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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