Donkeycar supports a large number of cameras via the CAMERA_TYPE configuration. For most applications a wide field of vision is important, so your camera should use a 120 degree wide angle lens or better. A 160 degree wide angle lense is recommended.

Camera Setup

If you are using the default deep learning template or the computer vision template then you will need a camera. By default assumes a RaspberryPi camera. You can change this by editing the CAMERA_TYPE value in the file in your ~/mycar folder.

If you are using the gps path follow template then you do not need, and may not want, a camera. In this case you can change the camera type to mock; CAMERA_TYPE = "MOCK".

Raspberry Pi:

If you are on a raspberry pi and using the recommended pi camera ("PICAM"), then no changes are needed to your

This works with all Raspberry Pi cameras, including the original Raspberry Pi Camera Module based on the 5 megapixel OV5647 chipset and the Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 based on the Sony IMX219 chip. These cameras are easily obtainable and are offered in generic (clone) versions by many vendors.

NOTE: The latest donkeycar assumes 64bit RaspberryPi OS. This version of the OS has changed how camera software works. If you are having trouble with your camera then please make sure it works outside of donkeycar by using the build-in camera applications to capture a still and a video. See the RaspberryPi OS Camera Software documentation.

Jetson Nano:

The Jetson does not have a driver for the original 5 megapixels OV5647 based Raspberry Pi Camera, but it does have a driver for the v2 camera based on the IMX219 chip. Indeed the recommended camera is based on the IMX219 chip.

The default setting CAMERA_TYPE = "PICAM" does not work on the Jetson, even if you are using an 8mp RaspberryPi camera or a camera based on a Sony IMX219 based camera In either of these cases you will want edit your to have: CAMERA_TYPE = "CSIC".

For flipping the image vertically set CSIC_CAM_GSTREAMER_FLIP_PARM = 6 - this is helpful if you have to mount the camera in a rotated position.

USB Cameras

CAMERA_TYPE = CVCAM is a camera type that has worked for USB cameras when OpenCV is setup. This requires additional setup for OpenCV for Nano or OpenCV for Raspberry Pi.

If you have installed the optional pygame library then you can connect to the camera by editing the camera type to CAMERA_TYPE = "WEBCAM". See the required additional setup for pygame.

If you have more than one camera then you made need to the CAMERA_INDEX configuration value. By default it is zero.

NOTE: CAMERA_TYPE = CVCAM depends upon a version of OpenCV that has GStreamer support compiled in. This is the default on the Jetson computers and is supported in the recommended version of OpenCV for that Raspberry Pi.

Intel Realsense D435

The Intel Realsense cameras are RGBD cameras; they provide RGB images and Depth. You can use them as an RGB camera to provide images for the Deep Learning template or the Computer Vision template by setting CAMERA_TYPE = "D435" in your settings. You will also want to review the settings that are specific to the Intel Realsense cameras;

# Intel Realsense D435 and D435i depth sensing camera
REALSENSE_D435_RGB = True       # True to capture RGB image
REALSENSE_D435_DEPTH = True     # True to capture depth as image array
REALSENSE_D435_IMU = False      # True to capture IMU data (D435i only)
REALSENSE_D435_ID = None        # serial number of camera or None if you only have one camera (it will autodetect)

If you are not using depth then you will want to set REALSENSE_D435_DEPTH = False so it does not save the depth data.


If the colors look wrong it may be that the camera is outputting BGR colors rather than RGB. You can set BGR2RGB = True to convert from BGR to RGB.

We are adding other cameras over time, so read the camera section in to see what options are available.

If you are having troubles with your camera, check out our Discord hardware channel for more help.