Best Webcam to have for April Tag Vision Processing

Hey guys,

I am currently in the process of adding items to order for next year and I am looking to order a couple of webcams to use for April tag vision processing.

From your team’s experience what are the ideal qualities to have in a webcam to get the most out of it for April tag processing?

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The state-of-the-art is the OV9281 camera. This is the one we used and had success with (up until we had to abandon AprilTags for many reasons).


Did it fair well with different lighting?

Note that this is the name of the sensor (a good global shutter one) and many cameras actually use it– some may be good some may be bad

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Have you encountered a bad one? The two models I worked with (the most common) were both good.

Well, the sensor is probably the most important part. It defines things like maximum resolution, quantum efficiency, and shutter type. Although it’s true that a sensor can have different backends (e.g. USB or MIPI-CSI) and optics (I hope to release a whitepaper on the later topic in the next few months).


I think there was a different sensor that was also heavily recommended that we got 1 good camera model with and 1 really bad one (it was kinda cheap and sketchy so that’s probably why)

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off topic, but are there ways to change those crappy connectors that interface the USB cord with the camera to be something latching?

On the Uctronics version (non-arducam) it’s a 2mm pitch JST PH, so it can be desoldered for a JST-PA or just soldered to wires directly.
On the Arducam version, it’s JST ZH, so only 1.5mm pitch. You could try desoldering and going to GH.

That’s probably the AR0144, because when I originally wrote the mini PC guide the OV9281 didn’t work properly with Photonvision. AR0144 is still good if you want to use more than 1 camera and can’t rename them.

Second solution to this problem is cluster computing, you can easily throw together some low cost raspberry pi alternatives for around 35$ a unit and also provide some redundancies in case something fails.

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Not necessarily; it depends on your priorities.

The OV2311 that we use provides 1600x1200 resolution. Yes, it’s “only” 50fps instead of 120fps, but the extra resolution over the 720p OV9281 makes a very real difference in the ability to resolve tags from a distance. We discuss our NorthStar solution, based around this camera + Orange Pi 5’s, in our build thread.


we use 2 Logitech C250 webcams for our April tags. they are small and the circuit board is very square so with it stripped down to just the board we were able to very reliably use them for april tags. they also have pretty good quality and are relatively cheap compared too many other options. we have them running to 2 rasperry pis running photon as photon can’t recognize two of the same camera. you can also use the limelight but we were not satisfied with it’s performance so we decided not to use it.

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