I have always struggled when trying to set up OpenCV for Python before. So I decide to write this post to help myself in the future and share with you =). My setup is for OpenCV 2.2 but I think you can apply for any version of OpenCV.

Step 1: Download and install Python 2.7 from Python site. You need to install the 32bit version of Python. OpenCV currently does not work with Python 64bit.

Step 2: Download and install OpenCV 2.2 from OpenCV Sourceforge. Note that this version only supports Python 2.7 (not 3.x).

Step 3: Download and install NumPy 1.6.1 and SciPy 0.9.0 from: (you need tochoose the files which support Python 2.7)

Step 4: Setup Windows Path in Environment Variables

  • Add “C:/Python2.7;C:/OpenCV2.2/bin” to PATH variable (You need to change the directory to where you install Python and OpenCV).
  • Create PYTHONPATH variable and put “C:/OpenCV2.2/Python2.7/Lib/site-packages” as value.

Update: For OpenCV2.3, There are two other options for this step:

  • As Kyle commented below, you can copy the content of folder “C:opencvbuildpython2.7” (for opencv 2.2: C:/OpenCV2.2/Python2.7/Lib/site-packages) to folder “>C:Python27Libsite-packages
  • OR, add these two lines at the beginning of your program:
import sys

Yosh!!! You have finished setup OpenCV for Python in Windows. Open Python IDLE, create a new file, add the program below and run it:

import cv

cv.NamedWindow("camera", 1)
capture = cv.CaptureFromCAM(0)

while True:
  img = cv.QueryFrame(capture)
  cv.ShowImage("camera", img)
  if cv.WaitKey(10) == 27:

(This is the program to show your webcam)


  1. OpenCV has just released version 2.3.1 which is more stable than 2.2 I think. You can download it here and try it (the setup is same as 2.2).

  2. About the black screen you encounter with the example, I think it’s because your camera is not supported. My camera works fine. You can find more information here.