Hook up your OctoPrint to a compatible camera to be able to see prints being put together piece by piece. With the right camera and proper usage of Octoprint, your 3D images will always be top-notch.
In this article, we’re going to discuss six top options for the best camera for Octoprint. We have considered resolution, connectivity and compatibility to pick these cameras.
Let’s get to know them.
Top Pick: Raspberry Pi Camera
Nothing beats the Raspberry Pi Camera Modules when it comes to 3D printing. Although comparatively a bit on the pricy side, if you can invest in one you will get efficient and consistent output with your 3D printer.
Between the two Raspberry Pi camera modules discussed here, the clear winner is the upgraded Raspberry Pi HQ Camera Module for Raspberry Pi 4 3 Model B because it has better resolution, focus, and color patterns.
Best Camera For Octoprint Reviews 2021
The printers we have discussed here are compatible with Octoprint, and therefore, suitable for 3D printing purposes. They come with various price points, check them out below.
1. Logitech C920S HD Pro Webcam with Privacy Shutter
This is a full HD camera that records footage in 1920 x 1080 pixels. It captures details with incredible clarity. The field of view of the C920S is 78 degrees, which is great for quick scans.
Also, mistakes are unlikely with the deep focus of the Logitech S920S. The high-definition autofocus captures every detail of your printable object to full depth. The sharpness of the focus on layers, helps the 3D printer to clearly distinguish textures and colors. As a result, the end product always has great accuracy.
Another important factor that is required for achieving perfection in 3D prints, is light. If the object doesn’t have adequate light then the printer won’t be able to scan it clearly enough to replicate it without faults. The final print would come out blurry, and downright unsatisfactory.
However, with this camera, you don’t have to worry about that. It has light correction to give proper exposure to your prints.
You can control what you capture by using the privacy shutter on this camera. Put the shutter down when it’s not being used so that your camera can function longer.
The camera is compatible with Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime. You can use a variety of camera settings and control them via these apps. Overall, it’s one of the best Octoprint webcams out there.
- Great field of view
- Comes with a privacy shutter
- Improved autofocus and superb low-light performance
- Great color production
- Compatibility with a range of different apps
- 1080p camera takes full HD videos at 30fps
- Incredible image quality
- 60 FPS is only available at 480p, not at 720p
2. Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2
This camera replaces the original Raspberry Pi Module which only had a 5 MP sensor. The second generation of the Raspberry Pi is much better – it has a sensor that shoots 8 megapixels, which means that it can take images that are more detailed and precise. This always bodes particularly well for the purposes of 3D printing.
The camera supports static images at 3280 x 2464 pixels, 1080p at 30 fps, and 720p at 60 fps and VGA. Along with regular footage, you can also take slow-motion videos and do cool time-lapses. However, the ones that are most likely to come to printing use are the high-definition stills and videos that the camera takes.
For noise-less pictures, Sony Exmor IMX219 sensor is unparalleled in the industry. This is the active CMOS sensor used in this camera, and so it works as a testament to the incredible performance that you can expect from it. Due to the near-perfect resolution in low-light conditions, you will be able to point out every fault in the scan.
With the help of a direct connection with Raspberry Pi’s CSI interface, you can stop the printing right in its tracks so that you can redo an image until it is ready for perfect output. Forget about wasting hours from your life behind bad 3D prints and get on with the second-gen Raspberry Pi V2.
- Has Sony Exmor IMX219 sensor
- Noiseless pictures with adequate lighting
- Fixed focus lenses work fast to produce great photos
- 8 MP camera for 1080p footage at 30 fps, 720p at 60 fps
- Image quality is top-notch
- The manual control on the fixed focus is inefficient
- Cable is too short
3. Raspberry Pi HQ Camera Module for Raspberry Pi 4 3 Model B
This is an upgrade of Camera Module V2. It’s compatible with several versions of Raspberry Pi – B/3B+/3B/2B/B+/A+/Zero/Zero W.
The big jump to 12.3 MP will show up beautifully when you connect everything together. The higher pixel count makes images noticeably sharper, so you will be able to make 3D prints that are much more complex.
The sensitivity of the octoprint camera is also higher – it will pick up a great number of details even in low light. It has an IMX477 sensor inside, which is Sony’s 1/2.3-inch active-pixel digital imaging sensor with CMOS technology. Active CMOS sensors turn light into voltage, thus the image production with such sensors is simply unbeatable. It’s perfect for creating and printing layer upon layer of details out in 3D.
Full resolution still images are captured at 60 frames per second and 4K2K is also possible at 60 fps, 1080p footage happens at 240 fps, and so on. So, there can be no complaint regarding video quality.
Furthermore, the photosensor’s color filter array supports an RGB Bayer pattern which picks out raw RGB colors individually from a sample and then projects it onto the screen after further processing them via a demosaic stage. Ultimately the result is simple – great accuracy in color representation.
- Takes 12MP digital images and 1080p videos at 240fps
- Package contains C-CS adapter, dust cap, FPC ribbon, a screwdriver along with the main camera unit
- Produces great color through RGB Bayer pattern
- The active CMOS sensor technology picks up details with great accuracy
- Compatible with several versions of Raspberry Pi
- Allows you to monitor temperatures and print bed remotely
4. Logitech C270 HD Webcam
Now, this isn’t a niched 3D print-assisting camera. This is in fact a webcam, but a pretty good one that comes with USB connectivity and thus it works with Raspberry Pi. The connection is possible through Windows 7, 8, 10, MacOS 10.10, ChromeOS, Android v5.0, and more. It’s considered as one of the best octoprint webcams on the market by many.
The octoprint camera has HD video calling and recording at 720p. Admittedly, the quality of the footage and the stills won’t be top-notch, but you’ll be able to get the job done with this. This is a good deal for the price that it comes at.
Another thing that makes us happy is that this webcam features image compression ability. If you have a system that runs 2.4 GHz intel core 2 duo and has a RAM of 2GB along with additional hard disk space of 200 MB, the images and videos may be compressed without any loss on pixel range.
This USB camera is also a fixed focus lens. The frame size is 1280 x 720, and the image will have a bit of noise. In response to the noise problem, you can try adjusting and readjusting camera settings like white balance, exposure, brightness, zoom aspects, and so on.
Also, lastly, there’s a microphone built into the system, and although this isn’t going to be of much use for printing purposes it’s still a good bonus to have for the purposes of general webcam functionality.
- Affordable camera offering great image and video quality
- Video calling and recording 720p at 30fps
- The interface supports connectivity through high-speed USB 2.0
- White balance, exposure, brightness can be adjusted
- Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, MacOS 10.10, ChromeOS, etc. above
- Ideal for video conferencing
- Built-in microphone
- Images are quite noisy – just barely gets the job done for 3D printing under good light
5. Amcrest 1080P Webcam with Microphone & Privacy Cover
This webcam will be much better than the Logitech one because it shoots full HD at 1080p with fixed focus lenses. This picks up rich details with great clarity, thus proving to be immensely helpful when making 3D prints.
Another great thing about this full HD webcam is that it has viewing angles that are as wide as 70 degrees – so you won’t get any distortion in the footage. The orientation will be proper without tweaks or corrections afterward.
CMOS sensors are always better at image production because they directly convert light into electrical signals. This camera has ⅓-inch CMOS sensors which are really good at providing smooth videos in lowly lit settings.
However, the rolling shutter used in these sensors might make the images a bit blurry, and in case that happens, tweak the shutter speeds to make improvements when you’re working with compact pixels. That will help you to produce clearer images.
This is a USB webcam that is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android and so on. You can monitor the webcam remotely by using platforms like Skype, Messenger, etc. Connect with the 2.0 USB port interface, and get into work.
- Connects interface with USB 2.0
- 70-degree viewing angles for better image production
- Creates stills and footage at 1080p
- Compatible with Windows, Apple, and Android
- ⅓ inch CMOS sensor is great for low-light conditions
- Kit includes a ¼ inch tripod thread and a mounting clip
- External lights cause a glare on the screen
6. NexiGo N660 USB FHD Web Computer Camera, Plug and Play
Another contender for the best octoprint webcam title, the NexiGo is an FHD webcam that shoots 1080p at 60 frames per second to produce images and videos that are incredibly sharp and clear. The glass lenses are 3.6mm thick, and they provide viewing angles of about 110 degrees, which is adequate for use within close proximity.
The octoprint software camera has a rotational movement of 360 degrees, which allows it to capture the frame from all sides, thus providing an all-around scan. Any problems with the prints can be detected quite clearly, and stopped midway for fixes.
You can easily fix the exposure time, white balance, contrast, saturation, etc to meet your viewing needs.
Also, you can connect this webcam to the interface of your computing device via the USB 2.0 that comes in the kit. No other plugins are required for complete connectivity. This camera is comptaible with Windows 7, 8, 10, Android 4.0, MacOS 10.7 and above.
Additionally, the octoprint camera comes with noise-cancelling microphone that is great for video calls, Zoom calls, conferences and so on. These features aren’t particularly necessary for Octoprint at all, but its a decent webcam at the end of the day.
- Fixed focus lenses for better image quality
- takes full HD images and 1080p footage at 30 fps
- USB 2.0 quickly connects with the interface
- 3.6 mm glass lenses provide good viewing angles
- Uses ⅓ inch CMOS sensor technology
- Great at reducing background noise to absolute minimum
- Perfect for print jobs
- Connectivity issues
Buying Guide For Octoprint Cameras
To gain some perspective into Octoprint cameras before you go to the market, look into this list of criteria such as resolution, image quality, wide angle lens, TrueColor technology, ring light, sound quality, video output, so that you know exactly what to look for while purchasing the best octoprint camera.
Plug-n-Play with Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a whole computing device in a small chip. It is the hardware you need in order to use your 3D printer, but we assume you already know this if you’re looking for an OctoPrint suitable camera. Well, make sure that the camera you get is compatible with Raspberry Pi and Octoprint both.
There aren’t too many cameras that are made particularly for 3D printing. But you might run into problems with a camera that is compatible with both the 3D software and hardware. To help you sort out those problems, you need a community of people who have used the camera that you got in order to get their 3D prints out. Without that support from the community, it might become difficult for you to troubleshoot. So make sure you get a camera that has adequate support from the 3D printing community.
Figure out how to set up the camera that you are buying. It’s better to learn about octoprint set up before you get the camera home – consider the appropriate distance that the camera requires for full scope viewing comfort. Mounting equipment is always a good help. If you can find a webcam with mounts then your 3D printing techniques will benefit greatly from it.
The first requirement for the product to be the best webcam for Octoprint is that it must have an amazing video output. Otherwise, you would have difficulties while remote monitoring.
It would be nice if the camera has some additional features like basic plastic optics, dual microphones. It helps with game streaming on platforms such as twitch. If you frequent live stream, the camera should have an embedded webcam feed. Another great feature for gaming is motion control that lets you do interactive gaming by improving gestures, movement, and sound.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I change my camera resolution in OctoPrint?
Ans: Go into Octoprint settings, then click “Spaghetti Detective” > Advanced, and finally into Webcam Streaming. You will see that there are 4 resolutions to choose from.
2. Can OctoPrint use multiple cameras?
Ans: Yes, multiple cameras are supported by Octoprint. With multiple cameras, you can have more control over your printer and a closer look at the prints that are being stitched up inside. This can also allow time lapse videos.
3. How do I change my camera settings on OctoPi?
Ans: Click the wrench tool icon you see on the OctoPi interface. A list will pop out. In that list select “Webcam & Timelapse”, enable the webcam option, and then click on the aspect ratio you want. Aspect ratio options you get are 16:9 and 4:3.
Additionally, you can change the layout of the prints by changing the position of the camera to flip horizontally, flip vertical, and rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
4. Do 3D prints take a long time?
Ans: It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days. The time it takes is equivalent to the complexity of the products you are printing.
5. Do 3D printers have practical use?
Ans: You can use many of the items that you are printing out. Customize tools for the house, and create essentials for repairing items. Knobs, casters, utensils, etc can be made.
Resolution and focus are the two most important aspects of any camera that is expected to help with 3D printing.
The camera must also be compatible with your system otherwise it will be a nuisance. We hope that our list was the last one you needed to look at. We’re not going to hold you off for much longer, go out there get your best camera for Octoprint and start experimenting with the fascinating possibilities of 3D printing! Best of luck.