The Guinean striker headed a 33rd minute winner in a scrappy and tense affair at the ground of non-league Kingstonian FC, where there seemed to be more supporters than at a Wimbledon first team match!
Both sides struggled to find any fluency or rhythm on a bobbly playing surface in south west London, but Hammers deserved their first win of the new season following last week's 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
Camara had missed the best chance of the game in the 27th minute, when he bustled through the middle only to see Dons keeper Berni block his effort from point blank range, but the 29-year-old made amends six minutes later when he scored what proved to be the winner.
Brent Rahim's deep cross from the left was clipped back by Glen Johnson into the six yard box, where Camara was lurking to powerfully head home.
Wimbledon finished the half in impressive fashion, and young goalkeeper Glenn Jackson was called upon to make two excellent saves, first from a bullet header six yards out, and then from a scorching 25-yard effort that was heading for the top corner.
The Hammers regained control in the second half and enjoyed the majority of possession without really threatening to extend their advantage, although Grant McCann went close with a 20-yard free-kick, and Shaun Byrne was denied by another fine save from Berni when put clean through in the closing minutes.
Watching boss Glenn Roeder will have been pleased to see Steve Lomas come through 75 minutes of action that will speed up his recovery from a shin injury, but the evening ended on a sour note for the Hammers when Rahim, making his first appearance for the club since completing his loan move from Bulgarian Levski Sofia, was harshly sent off for a second bookable offence in the final minute of normal time.
The Trinidadian international had looked lively alongside Lomas in the centre of midfield, and was unfortunate to be punished by referee Lewis for an innocuous challenge as the game was petering out.
Wimbledon gave one last surge in stoppage time, as Ainsworth almost hit the net with an acrobatic overhead kick, while full-back Leigertwood saw a 30-yard screamer flash just wide of the post, but Hammers held on to claim the three points.
Team: Jackson, Johnson, Pearce, Iriekpen (Ferdinand 78), Minto, Byrne, Lomas (Britton 75), Rahim, McCann, Camara, Mehmet. Subs unused: Sealey, McMahon, Allen.