Update! Here is a post with the BOM for the project.
Sometime ago I came across the Arducam Mini which is quite a nice camera module from UCTronics. It is a small PCB with a two megapixel OmniVision OV2640 sensor, an interchangeable lens and an FPGA to do the heavy lifting of image processing and JPEG encoding. Priced at around 24 Euros (lens included) you can easily buy a few without hurting your wallet and combined with an ESP8266 you can build quite a low cost wifi camera. Or several. Because designing and building PCBs is both fun and inexpensive I designed a board to go with the ESP8266/Arducam Mini combo, aptly named the Esparducam. And uniquely named too, try googeling for “esparducam“. Heck, even the domain name is available at the time of writing ?
Anyhow. The Esparducam board is a development board for the Arducam Mini module and is quite well suited for ESP8266 development in general.
The board is powered through a barrel connector at a minimum of 5V (upper limit untested) and all the IO pins on the ESP8266 are available on pin headers. The double rows are intended for the design of small breakout boards that sit on the inner 0.1″ aligned headers while the outer headers allow for connecting logic analyzers/oscilloscopes and so on. The Arducam Mini module plugs right into the front header and the standard FTDI connector is at the back of the board.
Image quality is, imho, quite decent at this price point, here are a few samples.
An optional SPI flash can be mounted for image storage and you can connect a standard eBay PIR module to the white JST header next to the FTDI connector if you want to build a motion triggered camera.
I am no hardware engineer but if you are and you find any silly design mistakes please let me know.
You can order the Esparducam board form DirtyPBCs and I would love to know if you build one. I plan to build a few for house monitoring, kite photography, reading my water meter and whatever else I can come up with.
Read more: Building a low cost wifi camera