simmisj
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:20 am

Settings for camera in a high altitude balloon scenario

Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:19 pm

Hi.
Me and my brother are working on sending a Raspberry Pi up in a high altitude balloon and would like to grab some pictures on the way.

I have therefor bought the Raspberry Pi camera and am currently fiddling with the settings of it trying to decide the best settings. I have not gone far as of now though. Only changed brightness, sharpness, contrast, saturation, and iso.

The conditions the camera will take pictures in are pretty much landscape scenario. The weather balloon goes up in the middle of no where, reaches the maximum height of some tens of kilometers, then goes back down. Hopefully not with the full force of gravity. :)

I have a pretty simple question. Is there someone with a good deal of experience working with these camera modules that can point me towards the best settings for the camera in such conditions?

Regards

jamesh
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Re: Settings for camera in a high altitude balloon scenario

Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:27 pm

Google Search for Dave Akerman. World expert on this I think!
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simmisj
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:20 am

Re: Settings for camera in a high altitude balloon scenario

Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:05 pm

I don't think I will bother him with such a thing unless I am out of options.
Actually worst case scenario I will do tedious testing myself.
I just thought that someone had done a similar thing and could share his/her opinion.
That way I would have a base I could start from.

But thanks for the link. His blog interests me a lot since it is exactly what we are going to do and he seems to have wealth of information on that blog.

6by9
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Re: Settings for camera in a high altitude balloon scenario

Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:22 pm

Leave brightness, sharpness, contrast, and saturation alone. They're all things that you can change after the event and won't affect the metering.
Fixing ISO will limit the adjustment auto exposure has - it shouldn't be necessary.
You may want to consider which exposure mode is most suitable, and which AWB mode (I'd guess sunlight!).

I actually have an email thread from Dave A regarding camera images - it looks like he doesn't add any significant capture options onto raspistill, just make sure you give -t of >=3000 to give AGC and AWB a chance to do something sensible, or -t >=2000 and add -st for a stats pass to recompute AWB settings.

If in doubt and have a big SD card, then add -raw and you'll have the raw Bayer image that can be reprocessed at your leisure on the ground.
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daveake
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Re: Settings for camera in a high altitude balloon scenario

Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:00 pm

Here's the raspistill line I use:

Code: Select all

raspistill -st -w <width> -h <height> -t 3000 -ex auto -mm matrix -o <filename>
With those raspistill does a pretty good job of coping with the rather challenging range of luminence.

The latest release of my balloon tracker software allows for extra raspistill settings to be added. e.g.:

Code: Select all

camera_setting=-raw
which would be a good one to add as 6by9 suggests.

Dave
Dave

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