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  • Raspberry Pi Announces The $50 High Quality Camera

    Phoronix: Raspberry Pi Announces The $50 High Quality Camera

    Raspberry Pi today announced their newest product, the High Quality Camera, which starts at $50 and supports interchangeable lenses...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...y-Pi-HQ-Camera

  • #2
    Eh...can we get a high quality camera for regular computers? O_o

    Comment


    • #3
      Can't wait to see what the astrophotography community comes up with

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by agurenko View Post
        Eh...can we get a high quality camera for regular computers? O_o
        since when is the Raspberry Pi not a regular computer? Certain more a computer than a tablet, ... ;-)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rene View Post

          since when is the Raspberry Pi not a regular computer? Certain more a computer than a tablet, ... ;-)
          That's not what I meant, given the camera's interface it's not suited for regular laptops/desktops, at least not out of the box.

          Comment


          • #6
            What makes this a "high quality camera" other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation branding it as such?
            The 12 megapixel sensor sounds very old, now with phones out there with 100+ megapixel cameras.

            Also what is the purpose for this camera?
            The Raspberry Pi Foundation have a goal to further education by creating a cheap and open computer, but why are they making a camera?
            Is it just because they can? For fun? for profit? Or do they have some vision of furthering education in machine vision and artificial intelligence by pairing a camera with Raspberry Pi?

            Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
            Can't wait to see what the astrophotography community comes up with
            They're probably already using something like the AXIOM from the Apertus project.

            Originally posted by rene View Post
            since when is the Raspberry Pi not a regular computer? Certain more a computer than a tablet, ... ;-)
            Well maybe he was thinking about webcams for streaming and videoconferencing. Most webcams are very poor and seem to have technology from the 90s. It is like 0.3 megapixel sensors and 720p at only 24 or 30 fps.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by uid313 View Post
              What makes this a "high quality camera" other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation branding it as such?
              The 12 megapixel sensor sounds very old, now with phones out there with 100+ megapixel cameras.
              Uh, isn't that pretty obvious? It is high quality compared to the cheap camera modules they have. It obviously doesn't compare well against a high-end smartphone camera, but I hope nobody seriously expects it to at this price point.

              By the way, the linked blog post explains it all, but of course you didn't bother to read it.

              Also what is the purpose for this camera?
              The Raspberry Pi Foundation have a goal to further education by creating a cheap and open computer, but why are they making a camera?
              Is it just because they can? For fun? for profit? Or do they have some vision of furthering education in machine vision and artificial intelligence by pairing a camera with Raspberry Pi?
              Look at what fun and interesting projects people have made with the existing camera modules. The new high quality module will open up the platform for even more possibilities, e.g. serious computer vision. Again, this is super obvious. And it completely fits the mission.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                What makes this a "high quality camera" other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation branding it as such?
                The 12 megapixel sensor sounds very old, now with phones out there with 100+ megapixel cameras.
                So there are 108MP cell phone cameras out there, but this compares favorably
                https://www.gsmarena.com/google_pixel_4_xl-9895.php
                against (one of the cameras from) the Pixel 4XL, which is a flagship level modern phone from a major company.

                A bigger deal is that it also has swappable lenses and adapters, making it more like DSLR and Mirrorless prosumer grade equipment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                  What makes this a "high quality camera" other than the Raspberry Pi Foundation branding it as such?
                  The 12 megapixel sensor sounds very old, now with phones out there with 100+ megapixel cameras.
                  The camera's claiming 100MP+ aren't quite the same. IIRC those are using some tricks with a much smaller sensor to achieve that. You can find it in DSLRs too, I think one of Sony's A7 or whatever range they have, there's a ~60MP sensor that takes 240MP or so images by slightly shifting the sensor to sub-divide the pixel range(so what was 1px ends up being 4px), something like that, Hasselblad has used that technique for their expensive cameras that have been capable of "100MP" for quite some time.

                  MegaPixels is not a metric to gauge the quality of a camera by anyway. That's like only considering a CPU by it's GHz rating. These smartphone and embedded camera sensors don't have the same coverage as you'd get with a DSLR, limited depth of field, etc (not familiar with the tech in the recent 1-2 years on the premium smartphones, but they seem to get around some limitations like shallow depth of field by throwing more cameras into the mix to solve it in software).

                  I'd have to look up my notes, but 12MP is close to an interface limit that this sensor is probably using afaik. Take the Khadas SBC for example, it has 4-lane MIPI-CSI as the interface which provides that camera data into an ISP(Image Signal Processor) to do some processing(de-bayering iirc?) before reaching the CPU, it has a limit of 8MP by the ISP chipset. (Yes, looking at my notes now :P )

                  I'll share some products from the notes, not linking to the sales websites (just ask or PM, don't know if it'd be considered spam or something here):
                  • OV13850 - 13MP, 2.94mm focal length, 60 degrees viewing angle, MIPI based, $25USD
                  • oCam-18CRN-U - 18MP 1/2" sensor, body only(can add any C-mount compatible lens), USB for data and power, rolling shutter though.. $199
                  • Sony IMX179 - 8MP 1/3" sensor, 5-50mm varifocal lens(CS Mount), USB based, $76
                  • Sony IMX214 13MP 1/3" sensor with 3.30mm lens(100 degrees FOV) and CSI cable - 12-35 USD per unit, min 10 piece order
                  • Same IMX214 sensor from a popular vendor at $22, it has an M12 Mountable lens for switching to another if the provided one doesn't suit you(90 degree wide angle lens), it is not pre-calibrated as a result though.. They have a pre-calibrated one that ditches the M12 interchangeable lens support, it's limited to 60 degrees, has a micro motor for auto focus support, $19
                  • Looks like the Zero supports the same interface. Looks like you can go cheaper still if you want to trade cost for effort, module alone can be had for 10-13 USD at a min order of 5 pieces. 4k @ 30FPS or 1080p at 60FPS, 13MP stills. It can handle 1.2Gbps data per lane, pi zero has CSI-2(2 lanes), so 2.4Gbps will get you around 300MB/sec? Should be enough for your needs. I think 13MP is about 40MB, so ~7FPS tops.
                  • First up is is the dual 4K MIPI CSI and the dual ISP [email protected] + [email protected] That’s a pair of full speed 4K cameras. A pair of cameras can do binocular vision or 360 degree spherical VR. Note the ISP can do stitching and spherical correction in realtime. Binocular vision means depth perception without expensive TOF hardware. Video Input – 2x MIPI-CSI2 camera interfaces (1.27mm pitch), 4 lanes per channel
                  • Seems to be two Point Grey Chamelon 3 cameras, model unclear, 1.3-5MP sony sensors, ranging from 300-750USD
                  • The CMV50000 is listed at $5k per unit, min 10 units purchased and it's not in stock. 35mm 47.5MP CMOS
                  • CMV8000, 8MP global shutter CMOS, $833 USD per unit, no minimum qunatity, out of stock
                  • CMV300, low res basic version for $99 at min 100 units, 480FPS subsampling HDR
                  CSI-1 can achieve 1.25-1.5Gbps, CSI-2 2.5-2.9Gbps, CSI-3 5-5.8Gbps
                  The 8MP Pi camera (Sony IMX219) outputs data at 2Gbit/s

                  Blogpost on delvelopment of an IMX219 CMOS linux driver for nvidia jetson xavier and TX1/TX2, They manage a glass to glass latency of ~200ms for pushing 8MP(3280x2464) images at 16FPS for the Xavier. 1080p(2MP) at 30FPS manages 130ms g2g latency on a TX1
                  Hopefully that provides some insight. I've found the sony IMX219 bare sensor selling for ~10-20 cents, but adding all the supporting hardware and wiring it up would probably cost more than just buying a module and lens, which again is still more effort than a more expensive USB solution.

                  You'll find that the reason we don't have the smartphone grade stuff, is one probably volume pricing (I think RPi 5MP/8MP cam products and supporting third-party products that I think can be found to use the same sensor, would have helped a fair bit bringing that to a wider market), and then the main gotcha, IP/Patents/NDA.

                  Those smartphone companies can slap them into their products, pay devs to get it all working and license from vendors docs / assistance / whatever to implement into their products, where every sale of the phone is a sale of the camera, so probably a good ROI?

                  Meanwhile, on linux your wanting open-source drivers that get upstreamed into the kernel. That's not always an option, or a cheap one. I don't know why, but you don't really see a lot of camera sensors getting good linux support, even Sony only has a select set in the kernel. ISP seems to possibly play into it too, at least I've noticed a few products only work with some SBC like nvidia's boards or RPis, so some sort of hardware restriction maybe adding friction there(or it's just easier to support in a non-generic way). I imagine it's possible some products are sold that use IP from other companies, like with AmLogic SoCs they have a bit of a reputation for USB issues, and it turns out the I/O core for that is by another company that AmLogic lease the IP from or something, presumably that's been too expensive (or that company feels it risks their position by losing any edge/advantage they have over would be competitors) to make open-source.

                  I think it's great personally. We've had the 8MP for years, there's been other options but none are easy or widely supported at a low cost above the 12MP, this should be seen as a good thing

                  That said, I assume this is an old sensor from Sony, so that they don't mind having better open-source support for it (not sure what it was like prior to this product, I'm assuming that RPi Foundation probably cut some sort of deal that Sony benefits from, perhaps that's the volume sales, or some more $ to compliment that too).


                  Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                  Also what is the purpose for this camera?
                  The Raspberry Pi Foundation have a goal to further education by creating a cheap and open computer, but why are they making a camera?
                  Is it just because they can? For fun? for profit? Or do they have some vision of furthering education in machine vision and artificial intelligence by pairing a camera with Raspberry Pi?
                  Long due for an upgrade tbh

                  There are quite a few projects that use these RPi cams, look up DIY photogrammetry rigs for example, some build an array of many cams to do full body capture(though the quality has historically been poor with these sensors), catering to computer/machine vision and education is probably a good market to be open too as well. This sensor likely has better features to offer beyond the 12MP resolution.

                  Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                  Well maybe he was thinking about webcams for streaming and videoconferencing. Most webcams are very poor and seem to have technology from the 90s. It is like 0.3 megapixel sensors and 720p at only 24 or 30 fps.
                  Those have a fairly small form-factor and don't generally matter as much to customers compared to purchasing smartphones, so the budget probably goes elsewhere. They're also usually positioned quite far from the mainboard, which possibly imposes some sort of constraints. The low resolution cap is likely due to interface, I'm guessing SPI or something?

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                  • #10
                    I wish the RPi Foundation would rather fix their power issues.

                    I've had some 5 RPis for various projects and none of them were ever stable. As soon as you plug something power hungry into USB no matter what the power supply, it becomes unstable. Either the USB cable is too thin or the PPTC fuse starts limiting, or the RPI just starts freezing without any explanation.

                    (A USB key flash drive is 'power hungry' enough to make it unstable.)

                    Can't they just spend another dollar or two and put a proper USB-C power-delivery capable chip on board...

                    Considering the cost of my own time wasted debugging RPi power problems, I'd be much better off buying an NUC and use that for my projects. I'm definitely not buying another RPi until they get serious about these problems.
                    Last edited by pkese; 04-30-2020, 10:10 AM.

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