pseyepy: a python API for acquisition, display, and saving of video from the PS3Eye camera

About this package

pseyepy is a lightweight, cross-platform, and open-source Python interface to the Playstation PS3Eye USB camera. Its core is a wrapper of a C API that derives from the excellent PS3EYEDriver project.

At this point, the dependencies for the project are:

The important features are:

  • stream simultaneously from as many cameras as you have available usb ports

  • frame rates: up to 150 Hz

  • resolutions: 640x480 or 320x240 pixels

  • control of camera settings include gain, exposure, white balance, orientation, etc.

  • high-resolution software timestamps

  • simple gui for real-time video display

  • save movies to disk

  • *Contributions** are greatly appreciated!


Installation has not yet been thoroughly tested on all platforms. Eventually I will get around to enabling a pip install. For now:

  1. (If you are on Windows: download & install libusb; Mac and Linux are handled without this step)
  2. Download the source code, unzip, and navigate to the root directory
  3. sudo python install

If that does not work, it's likely a libusb issue. Try adjusting paths such that libusb paths are included by default.

  1. (If you want to use ffmpeg for saving, download and install ffmpeg)


Basic usage:

from pseyepy import Camera

# initialize all connected cameras
c = Camera()

# read from the camera/s
frame, timestamp =

# when finished, close the camera

You may specify specific camera/s:

c = Camera(0) # camera at index 0
c = Camera([0,1]) # cameras at indices 0 and 1

Set initialization parameters for your camera/s:

c = Camera([0,1], fps=60, resolution=Camera.RES_LARGE, colour=False)

Note that frame rate, resolution, and colour are the 3 parameters that cannot be changed after initializing.

Set initialization parameters for each camera independently:

c = Camera([0,1], fps=[30, 60], resolution=[Camera.RES_LARGE, Camera.RES_SMALL], colour=[True, False])

Set mutable image acquisition parameters upon initialization:

c = Camera(fps=30, colour=[False,True], gain=50, vflip=[True, False])

The mutable parameters include gain, exposure, whitebalance, vflip, hflip. See docstring for full details.

Set parameters after initialization:

c.exposure = 23

For each camera independently:

c.exposure[0] = 23
c.exposure[1] = 45

Read from all cameras:

frames, timestamps =

Read from a specific camera:

frame1, timestamp1 = # read from camera at index 1

Live display of camera feed with parameter controls:

from pseyepy import Camera, Display

c = Camera() # initialize a camera
d = Display(c) # begin the display

Stream camera data to a file using ffmpeg:

from pseyepy import Camera, Stream

c = Camera() # initialize a camera
s = Stream(c, file_name='example_movie.avi', codec='png') # begin saving data to files

# when finished, close the stream

Stream to file while also displaying (beta):

s = Stream(c, file_name='example_movie.avi', display=True)

# when finished, close the stream

Troubleshooting and known pitfalls

  • The PSEye camera has two LED indicators: a blue light indicating power, and a red light indicating communication with the computer. If these lights are not on, then their respective functions are not active (although note that you can intentionally destroy these LEDs if you please, and the camera will work fine).
  • If the cameras or API act strangely, try disconnecting and reconnecting the cameras, restarting the Python shell, and running the program again.
  • In general it is recommended to restart the python process before each camera use; it's not technically necessary but it helps avoid some issues.
  • The on-board camera settings can be wonky; changing them in a particular order can have specific effects, that sometimes prove irreversible until you restart the program.
  • The Stream writer currently can drop ~0.01% of frames (likely from the very end of the recording only, details still unclear)
  • On Ubuntu 18.04 in order to get pseyepy to work in some instances it was necessary to install libusb. This could be done through sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev or, if in a conda environment, with conda install -c conda-forge libusb


  • more documentation
  • build a multithreaded cython option for camera streaming to free the main process
  • importantly: without a threading implementation, Stream to file with cameras of different framerates will result in lowest for all


PSEye-py: a python interface to the PS3Eye camera

Pseyepy Info

⭐ Stars40
🔗 Source
🕒 Last Update8 months ago
🕒 Created5 years ago
🐞 Open Issues7
➗ Star-Issue Ratio6
😎 Authorbensondaled