discussion / Camera Traps  / 2 March 2016

Project Feedback Wanted: Building Low Cost Cameras

We have been facing some problems for Cameras either for monitoring nests or for quick deployment for medical or behavioral reasons. We need them to be low cost and easy to use.

The solution we have been working on is based on a board that we have been testing for a little while.

This is just a board so there is no case or protection. It's small light and is very flexible in it's possible uses. Connection to the camera is done via Wifi allowing down load of the video or still images. It records into two folders. The first is the constant feed and the clips are save in selectable bites. The second folder contains the movment detected clips. You can remove the memory card if you wish to collect all the footage at once but we have found that it has been very helpful to be able to collect a few of the more interesting clip wirelessly without having to get too close to the camera. The battery life on the internal battery is 4-8hrs but you can feed with 5volts either from mains or we have been using bigger batteries. It can have PIR added if required. With the right card it is claimed that you can see upto 30 days recording. It's not perfect for all applications but it has been very usfull for what we have needed it for. I have attached an image of the board and an installed camera.

Cost wise it should be sub $50

Here are the specs

Camera  Image sensor, Mp2.0 mega-pixels CMOS

Camera Lens View angle120 degrees wide angle 

Video Resolution1920*1080

Video  Format MPEG-4

Photo Format JPG

Video Frame Rate30FPS 

Night VisionAutomatic

Loop recording Support( 1min /3min /5min )

Motion detectorSupport


Sound recording channels1 Channels

WifiBuilt-in (802.11b/g/n(2.4~2.4835GHz), Max: 150Mbps

Memory Card TF Card Up to 128GB

Recording date and time on the videoDate&Time 

System Android 4.0 or above / iOS

Operating VoltageDC 5V

Do you have another solution? any thoughts or suggestions?

thanks for this very interesting post! i was also trying to develop an inexpensive camera trap but with not good results. i think the use of a PIR sensor can give more battery life than motion detection via software. Can you give more details about the components you used please?


Hi Sorry been away, I'll list more about parts etc.. In the mean time the Pi Zero has just had an upgrade..