Arduino Serial and RS-232

I'm going to be interfacing with this Serial JPEG camera:

The datasheet for it says that it communicates over RS-232. Does the SoftwareSerial library in Arduino communicate in RS-232? What about pins 0 and 1, which are the hardare UART?

I'm trying to keep this project as small as possible, so I want to avoid needing to add a MAX232 chip if at all possible.

Thanks, Jeremy

I took a quick look at the datasheet and it doesn't say anything about RS232. I'm assuming you are correct and it is indeed RS232 for the answer below.

RS232 is a specification for voltage levels. The software serial library actually uses TTL level outputs. You need to add an RS232 to TTL level shifter between the camera and the Arduino. One like this should work assuming vcc = 5v:

I didn’t read the spec sheet (you defininitely should, before hooking anything up), but I would guess by looking at it that the camera module also provides serial at TTL levels, so a direct connection to the arduino pins would be appropriate.

A rough rule of thumb is a module (bare PCB) probably speaks TTL levels, but a device with an enclosure or a DB9 connector probably speaks RS232 levels.