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Topic: Powering a digital camera? (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Hi All,

I am working on a project that involves controlling a stepper motor and a digital camera from an Arduino Uno. I found a FujiFilm E550 digital camera at the second hand shop for the project. The camera can be powered either by two AA batteries or a 3VDC external power supply. My plan was to power the camera from a little circuit board I built to control the stepper and tie together a couple of sensors. The power supply I found provides 12VDC and 5VDC at 1.5AMPS. This seemed perfect since I needed 12VDC for my stepper motor and I could use a adjustable voltage regulator to bring the 5VDC down to the 3VDC I needed for my camera.

So I went out to RadioShack and bought an LM317T adjustable voltage regulator and hooked it out so it was putting out 3.47 VDC, I found an old cell phone car charger that would fit the power in on the camera and hooked it all up, hit the power on the camera and blah, the power LED on the cam flickers and that's it. The camera says 3V 4.5 WATTS, so I thought perhaps my power supply at 1.5AMPS wasn't up to the task so pulled out a 350WATT ATX computer power supply that supplies 3.3V 16AMPS. Same exact thing. I also tried supplying my voltage regulator with 12VDC instead of 5VDC just to see what would happen. The voltage regulator handled it np and continued to give a steady 3.47VDC but still no luck with the camera.

I am hoping someone has some insight here that will help me out. I was pretty excited to have this working and spent a bunch of time soldering, the darn thing even works! It just won't run my camera. :(

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Have a great day!


3.47v is too high?  I should be 3.0-3.2v for 2x AA batteries.


Does the camera still work separately from everything (when doing stuff like this, always sanity check yourself)...?
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Do you have a capacitor on the output of the regulator.  If not try fitting a 100microfarad unit rated at least 6 volts.  It could be that the camera electronics is upsetting your regulator.



I did not have a cap on the output initally, but after it didn't work I wondered about that so I added a 10v 1000 microfarad cap that I had on hand. I assumed overkill would not be a problem in this application?

In answer to the other kind folks that replied. Before going up to 3.47V I tried 3.05 or something close to that then increased it a little after it didn't work. As for sanity checking, yes I checked the cam thinking perhaps I fried something but no, it still works fine on battery power. I wish I had the actual power supply it's meant to work with so I could see exactly what it's output is and see if it actually works with my camera.

The next thing I want to try it to disassemle the cam a bit and check the continuity of the connector and or perhaps try connecting my power supply directly to the battery contacts.

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas!
Have a great day!


Did the camera come with a main power supply - you could measure the voltage it actually puts out if so, and check its ratings (the data for the camera might be in error).

Be very careful with polarity - an expensive mistake if the camera doesn't have reverse-polarity protection.
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