So I think the title says it all. I recently purchased an ESP32 CAM in India for a pretty cheap price.

It looks like an AI Thinker but doesn’t have the tag on the chip itself. Nonetheless, to get it setup before my use case I decided to test the camera. I loaded up the CameraWebServer example and set my camera type to AI thinker.

The code uploads successfully and runs successfully. I can open up the IP address and it shows the page. However whenever I try to get a still or start a stream, it gives this error:

[E][camera.c:1344] esp_camera_fb_get(): Failed to get the frame on time!
Camera capture failed

It’s pretty annoying and this happens in both 5V power and 3V power. The camera does physically get a bit hot after loading the website. Oh yeah, I have an OV 2460 Camera attached to the ESP.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!


Solution for if this occurs on a known working ESP-32-cam with PSRAM (i.e. example sketch with face recognition works ok).
If you're using anything other than PIX_FORMAT_JPEG, try reducing xclk_freq_hz.
In my case, it suddenly worked fine with PIX_FORMAT_RGB888, FRAMESIZE_VGA and xclk_freq_hz = 5000000 (4x lower).

( @Vraj P, this might not apply directly to what you found your problem was, but this post gets seen by many searching for this problem. Thanks!).


I had tried and tried to get the camera working. However, I decided to concede to the part of me that thought it was a hardware error. I purchased a new OV2640 module and instantly it worked.

I think I learned my lesson in purchasing cheap components. I inspected the old one further. Turns out there was a faulty ribbon cable. Anyways, I hope you aren’t in this situation. Seems like the only solution is to purchase new hardware, and the current issue is faulty hardware.

  • THIS is not a solution.
    – pikkuez
    Mar 21 '20 at 8:35

One possible cause is given here (scroll down to find this specific issue) https://randomnerdtutorials.com/esp32-cam-troubleshooting-guide/

There appear to be two sets of ESP-32-CAMs, one with and one without the PSRAM.

  • 1
    This is something that I did come across, but like I said, using a new camera module worked instantly. This probably meant that in my case it was a simple hardware error.
    – Vraj P
    Jun 30 '20 at 15:13

Look I've just had that problem for a month and if you're using esp32- ov2640 look the camera reference because the one I've had was TY 0V2640-V2.0 and what I've saw it's like a cheap copy of the normal camera, so be careful. I had to buy a new one because everything looked like a broken image, although all the config worked fine. Even changing the PIX_FORMAT and xclk_freq_hz didn't work. The camera was the problem.


This stung me too. I found increasing the frame buffer count helped.

camera_config_t config;
config.fb_count = 10;  // Or some other number

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