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Jim JKla
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:53 pm

I think you will find that has already been suggested. ;)
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:41 pm

jamesh wrote:Just a quick note for people wanting a little bit more information on the new camera board.

The PCB is 25x20x9mm (approx). Weight currently unknown but very light.

The module itself is an OV5647 (see http://www.ovt.com/products/sensor.php?id=66), a fixed focus 5MP sensor capable of 2592x1944 stills, but also 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90. We are still working on the faster frame rates, but stills capture and 1080p30 are already working. There is still some work to do on the camera driver and on image quality.

The module package itself is 8.5x8.5x5mm.

Can you post a pdf with the dimensions and locations of the holes in the PCB?. ;)
Thank you very much..
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:55 pm

Happy to wait for software updates! I just want stills, preferably triggered via Python.

James, thanks for all your hard work. It is appreciated :D
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:26 pm

Just a few more snippets of information.

IR filters : these sensors come in two types, coated lens or separate filter. Obviously you cannot remove a coated lens, and I have it on the best authority that removing a separate filter AFTER manufacture is *very* difficult.
Removing the filter will also break all the ISP tuning parameters.

Separate lenses : There is no support for these, and again they will break the colour tuning done on the camera, but more importantly the lens shading will need to be redone for every different type of lens.


The long and short of it is : You will be a getting a decent all-round colour camera designed for the mass market. It's not going to be able to do some of the stuff people will want of it. Sorry, that's just the way it is. No point in complaining, because what you see is what you will be getting!
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:26 pm

But it would be cool to have as much access to the internal knobs, calibration settings, and modes of operation as possible.

Webcams are often frustrating because of the automatisms. For example they change the framerate depending on the auto-exposure. But then you cannot get precise timestamps of each VFR frame.

But I suppose since this all done in the blobware this won’t be possible.

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:46 pm

towolf wrote:But it would be cool to have as much access to the internal knobs, calibration settings, and modes of operation as possible.

Webcams are often frustrating because of the automatisms. For example they change the framerate depending on the auto-exposure. But then you cannot get precise timestamps of each VFR frame.

But I suppose since this all done in the blobware this won’t be possible.
On the other hand, since I've already said a lot of these features would be available (eventually), maybe that's what'll happen.

FYI, video recording is done at a constant frame rate, we maintain the fps independent of AGC.

Calibration settings for the ISP are unlikely to be made available (and are pretty useless without reams of documentation anyway).
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:58 pm

ISP tuning parameters
Is that like colour correction??

Perhaps a better solution would be to sell the camera module with either IR block filter or without that way people wouldn't have to void their warranty or damage the camera.
Or better still sell the camera with optional replaceable non-IR block filter lens at additional cost.

Would such an idea be workable??

I for one wouldn't mind spending extra for both lenses if it was on offer.

Richard S.

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:18 pm

What would I have to do to add multiple Cameras on the same Pi?

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:36 pm

elmsley wrote:What would I have to do to add multiple Cameras on the same Pi?
:roll:
use a usb camera
but your best bet would be to have 1RPi / camera
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:17 pm

For IR work, completely untuned raw pixel data would be preferable (you'd be ignoring the bayer pattern entirely and treating each subpixel as a pixel).

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:33 pm

RaTTuS wrote:
elmsley wrote:What would I have to do to add multiple Cameras on the same Pi?
:roll:
use a usb camera
but your best bet would be to have 1RPi / camera
Anyone remember this?
http://jonaspfeil.de/ballcamera

It would be a cool project, but fitting 10 RPis in a ball might require a catapult to launch.

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:47 pm

James,
will there be a possibility of adjusting the exposure time, for long exposures, like the 'bulb' setting of a dslr ?

Texy
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:47 pm

It would be cool if it can be used for astrofotography, as someone already posted. If it comes with the IR filter, it will not be a good choice for deep space, but maybe a low-cost solution for planetary...

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:21 pm

The board gives a standard conection it is not a big leap to de-solder the camera and replace it with a camera of any specification you want. ;)
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:39 pm

I gather it is a big leap to get any image, let alone a usable image from a different sensor, even if the physical layer connections match. Consider (1) non-standardized control register setup, (2) non-standardized data formats, including pixel representation and (3) completely different colorimetry, to give a few examples. All that could be overcome, with a lot of work, *except* that the camera interface is to the GPU, not the ARM, and GPU code is not user-accessible. So a different camera would have to connect in a different way: USB, ethernet, SPI, serial port, etc. Adafruit actually sells a serial-port camera: https://www.adafruit.com/products/397

Regarding the R-Pi camera, some OV5647 chip specs are available from http://www.ovt.com/download_document.ph ... ensorid=66

It is a color sensor, meaning it must have an IR-block filter in the assembled package (you cannot get reasonable color images otherwise). Unfortunately the market for astro cameras is a good approximation to 0 when compared with cell-phone cameras :-). It is a so-called 1/4" format sensor, with image area: 3.76 x 2.74 mm. It has 2592 x 1944 pixels (5.039 Mpixels). Pixel size is 1.4 x 1.4 um. It is a backside-illuminated device, giving somewhat better low-light sensitivity than a conventional geometry where the photons have to make their way past the metallization layers.

There is a spec for maximum exposure time: maximum exposure interval: 1968 x Trow, but we don't know what the row readout time would be. Anyway you can always stack multiple exposures.

S/N ratio: 36 dB
dynamic range: 68 dB
sensitivity: 680 mV/lux-sec
dark current: 16 mV/sec @ 60 C
well capacity: 4.3 Ke-
10-bit ADC

From those specs I gather the dark current (at +60C) is equivalent to a light exposure level of 16/680 = 0.02 lux. For comparison, the illumination given by a full moon on a clear night is 0.25 lux, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:54 am

killor wrote: Can you post a pdf with the dimensions and locations of the holes in the PCB?. ;)
Thank you very much..
I'd like to second this request. Some diagrams with detailed measurements would be greatly appreciated. Being able to fabricate a camera mount/enclosure will hopefully be enough satisfy my burning anticipation until I can get my hands on one. :)

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:48 am

@ Jamesh
you cannot have long cable like you have connected there (cable should be <5cm), you will have really big noise issue at higher resolution and higher fps.
Looking forward your video post from the camera and software update !, appreciate your hardware

@all
by default all mobile phone camera modules come with IR cut filter ( chemical coating), if you are looking for no-IR cut then it will be customized one.

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Jim JKla
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:54 am

No matter how hard and technically unfeasable it is to swap out the camera there will be those trying it and by testing the removed camera there is a posibility of reverse engineering.

See "Idiot Stick" by Damon Knight. ;)
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:15 am

CameraGuY wrote:@ Jamesh
you cannot have long cable like you have connected there (cable should be <5cm), you will have really big noise issue at higher resolution and higher fps.
Looking forward your video post from the camera and software update !, appreciate your hardware

@all
by default all mobile phone camera modules come with IR cut filter ( chemical coating), if you are looking for no-IR cut then it will be customized one.
Er, yes you can have a long cable as shown. It's been tested and is working fine. We have had to put the oscillator on the PCB rather than using the signal from the GPU for EMC reasons.

It's possible a shorter cable will reduce noise slightly, but I've not noticed a problem with noise we cannot tune out.
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:19 am

texy wrote:James,
will there be a possibility of adjusting the exposure time, for long exposures, like the 'bulb' setting of a dslr ?

Texy
Yes, eventually, but there is an upper limit to what the exposure can be. Not sure what it is on this device.
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:27 am

redhawk wrote:
ISP tuning parameters
Is that like colour correction??

Perhaps a better solution would be to sell the camera module with either IR block filter or without that way people wouldn't have to void their warranty or damage the camera.
Or better still sell the camera with optional replaceable non-IR block filter lens at additional cost.

Would such an idea be workable??

I for one wouldn't mind spending extra for both lenses if it was on offer.

Richard S.
The ISP tuning for this camera has about 2000 lines of tuning parameters, covering (not not limited to) AGC, AWB, lens shading, black level, denoise (stills and video), demosaicing, defective pixel correction, sharpening, colour correction, chrominance stretching etc. All this is done in real time at 30fps for 1080p video.

I've investigated the possibility of a sensor with no IR filter. It would need to be a custom build of the device, only available in large quantities (many thousands), certainly larger than the number of people who would be interested in it. And it would also be expensive (custom anything always is). So it won't be happening from the Foundation.
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:30 am

Enough with the questions and "why not this feature"...

- Well bloody done!

$25 camera sensor with those specs looks very promising!
I shall order a handfull as soon as possible and my Raspberry Pi car-puter will now be outfitted with a camera or two to complement all the other weird electronic bits I've added!

Thank you Raspberry Pi foundation! Thank you for enabling early-stage-tinkerers hardware to bolt together without too much knowledge and us old-people-tinkerers things to show our friends that they could actually understand ;)

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:52 pm

Jamesh thank you for ALL your work! I'm so excited for this.. You can expect atleast 20 orders from me at launch and hundreds more after :)

To everyone else. You are asking for two different things. One you want it to be released ASAP. Yet you want all these features. Jamesh and the foundation has done amazing effort here. They've balanced the features that would benefit the majority of users and to get this released within a reasonable time period.

So... Thank you Jamesh and the foundation!!

This doesn't have all the features I need but its $25 and it's doing something I could never do. So no complaints from me :)

..James could I make a suggestion? Maybe we as the community could help develop this once its released? For example not all the resolutions are complete. Sharing what you have, we as the community could do alot :)

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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:14 pm

CleverEngineer wrote:Jamesh thank you for ALL your work! I'm so excited for this.. You can expect atleast 20 orders from me at launch and hundreds more after :)

To everyone else. You are asking for two different things. One you want it to be released ASAP. Yet you want all these features. Jamesh and the foundation has done amazing effort here. They've balanced the features that would benefit the majority of users and to get this released within a reasonable time period.

So... Thank you Jamesh and the foundation!!

This doesn't have all the features I need but its $25 and it's doing something I could never do. So no complaints from me :)

..James could I make a suggestion? Maybe we as the community could help develop this once its released? For example not all the resolutions are complete. Sharing what you have, we as the community could do alot :)
I don't get much credit for this - Gert designed the board, a guy called Bruce originally got it going, I've done some testing and am writing some new applications to make it easier to use.

All Linux side SW will be available as source when we release I believe. I've written the code on my own time, so there is no Broadcom involvement (except asking people how the hell to do stuff), although it does use Broadcom written libraries.
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Re: Foundation Camera Board information

Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:56 pm

..Thank you Gert and Bruce aswell :)

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