C++ OpenCV 2.4.11: List all cameras


I want to list all connected webcams (USB-webcams and internal webcams), using C++, OpenCV 2.4.11, Windows 8.1 and Qt Creator 3.4.2. For me it is enough to get the number of accessible webcams in the following way:

VideoCapture videoCapture(0); // Will access my internal laptop webcam.
VideoCapture videoCapture(1); // Will access the first connected usb webcam.

Here is my code:

// Following procedure detects, how many webcams are accessible from 0 on upwards.
numberOfDevices = 0;
bool noError = true;

while (noError)
        // Check if camera is available.
        VideoCapture videoCapture(numberOfDevices); // Will crash if not available, hence try/catch.

        // ...
    catch (...)
        noError = false;

    // If above call worked, we have found another camera.

The code in the try-block works if I have activated my internal webcam. The call fails when I deactivate the internal camera in the hardware manager (and no other camera is attached to my laptop) with the following error message (debug mode):

Exception Triggered
The inferior stopped because it triggered an exception.<p>Stopped in thread 0 by: 
Exception at 0x7ff8533d9090, code: 0xc0000005: read access violation at: 0x0, flags=0x0 (first chance).

and the following 2 build problems:

Exception at 0x7ff871af8b9c, code: 0xa1a01db1: , flags=0x0 (first chance)

Exception at 0x7ff8533d9090, code: 0xc0000005: read access violation at: 0x0, flags=0x0 (first chance)

How can I fetch the occuring error? As you see, try/catch does not work.

Or is there a method where I can access all available webcams in OpenCV without such a dirty loop?

asked on Stack Overflow Dec 10, 2015 by Loomis • edited Dec 10, 2015 by m0nhawk

3 Answers


There is still no any functionality related to camera count in OpenCV at the current moment (3.0.0 version) - see corresponding ticket.

Proper camera handling seems like OpenCV internal problem (for example, described here or here). Usually it appears in capture code after physically disabling camera while it is still opened in OpenCV (when we try to read destroyed file descriptor).

Generally you can even implement your own handler for access violations (please look into this thread), but it's really dirty trick.

answered on Stack Overflow Dec 10, 2015 by avtomaton • edited May 23, 2017 by Community

I created this C++ class that allows enumerating devices (including the ID) to be used inside OpenCV. It is hosted on GitHub.


The idea is to use DirectShow to get all the devices that have the category with GUID CLSID_VideoInputDeviceCategory, and then, through an enumerator, you get in which order they appear on the system, which is the ID you need to open them on OpenCV by creating a VideoCapture object (by using the constructor that receives the ID, which would be the index of the device on the enumeration). Obviously, this approach only works on Windows.

answered on Stack Overflow Jan 16, 2018 by dagilpe • edited Jan 16, 2018 by dagilpe

In OpenCV >4 version, the default API is MSMF. Here is a variant for it: https://github.com/Aoderus/OpenCV_CameraList_MSMF

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 26, 2021 by Andrei

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