Camera Interface Specs


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by jamesh » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:36 pm
mgoetzke wrote:There is lot of back and forth here ...

Did anybody from the Foundation look into this? I mean whether they want to invest time into researching the possibility of directly doing that or supporting external dev?


I'll ask Eben/Liz when I next see them, but there are many more important things to do at the moment so I doubt it would be top of their list. Gert's too busy at the moment with other stuff as well, and he might be a third party option.
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by shields » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:05 pm
Regarding the proprietary aspect of the broadcom drivers...I thought I understood from this post: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2221 that they were now OpenSource?
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by ghans » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:45 pm
Those are drivers for the GPU.
The GPU handles the camera. There is internal code running
on the GPU which drives the camera . While the drivers for the
GPU are open-source , no code running on the GPU is.


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by mgoetzke » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:08 am
jamesh wrote:
mgoetzke wrote:There is lot of back and forth here ...

Did anybody from the Foundation look into this? I mean whether they want to invest time into researching the possibility of directly doing that or supporting external dev?


I'll ask Eben/Liz when I next see them, but there are many more important things to do at the moment so I doubt it would be top of their list. Gert's too busy at the moment with other stuff as well, and he might be a third party option.


i would imaging it not being at the top of their lists ... but it is a pretty large market for us (unencrypted hdmi capture to streaming lan) which right now is dominated by either pc based designs (read expensive and large) or custom embedded solutions (requiring load of hardware design and inflexible).

i will keep checking this thread every once in a while though ...
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by Hardware_man » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:12 pm
This is the third application that I have seen presented in this thread:

1. HDMI to streaming LAN (just mentioned)
2. HDMI “in line” On Screen Display
3. HDMI input DVR

This is just from people who have followed this thread carefully. And I probably haven’t located this thread optimally.

There are probably a lot more applications that you and I haven’t even thought of that will be developed by Pi users if this were implemented.

Why not post a short article on your home page and call for public comment?

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by Ravenous » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:17 pm
Hardware_man wrote:Why not [...] call for public comment?

"Just give us the camera!" (Well you did ask.)
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by jamesh » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:17 pm
I've actually been working on the camera today. Trying to get the 640x480p90 mode working. No luck so far. This is the fastest frame rate the sensor can manage. Waiting some input from Omnivision - the datasheet is slightly less than helpful.

Do have full res captures and 1080p30 working though. Tuning needs work.
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by shuckle » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:41 pm
Just leave that p90 high speed to version 2...... i am quite happy for that p30. :)
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by jamesh » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:40 pm
shuckle wrote:Just leave that p90 high speed to version 2...... i am quite happy for that p30. :)


It's only software, so you'll just need to update the GPU binary to get additional camera features as we fix them up. I wanted a head start on high frame rates as people have been asking for it. Omnivision have emailed me some data (wish other camera people were so quick) so hopefully should get p60 working tomorrow. Looks like p90 is the maximum for this camera module though.
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by Alfadaz » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:32 am
Since you are currently working on it - any chance of those sample pics that you promised 6 weeks ago? :D

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by jamesh » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:45 am
Alfadaz wrote:Since you are currently working on it - any chance of those sample pics that you promised 6 weeks ago? :D

Daz


Nope, because they are terrible. I need to get the denoise tuning working better and some tweaks to the colour balance would be useful.
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by Ravenous » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:51 am
jamesh wrote:I need to get the denoise tuning working better and some tweaks to the colour balance would be useful.

Hmm bear in mind everybody - if James releases one dodgy looking picture now, slashdot and everything else on the net will be full of "shock, terrible unusable pictures, camera is dreadful" claims!

People will still nag though...
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by Burngate » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:13 pm
Ravenous wrote:... if James releases one dodgy looking picture now, slashdot and everything else on the net will be full of "shock, terrible unusable pictures, camera is dreadful" claims!...

True
But it would be nice to see before and after piccies, if only to convince the agnostics that the tuning is worthwhile
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by jamesh » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:28 pm
Burngate wrote:
Ravenous wrote:... if James releases one dodgy looking picture now, slashdot and everything else on the net will be full of "shock, terrible unusable pictures, camera is dreadful" claims!...

True
But it would be nice to see before and after piccies, if only to convince the agnostics that the tuning is worthwhile


I can do before and after pictures. Once I have after pictures.
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by towolf » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:39 am
> I wanted a head start on high frame rates as people have been asking for it.

Yes please, as high as possible, even if its at 320x240.
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by jamesh » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:35 am
towolf wrote:> I wanted a head start on high frame rates as people have been asking for it.

Yes please, as high as possible, even if its at 320x240.


The highest the sensor can do appears to be 640x480p90, although I haven't got it to work yet (or the 640x480p60 mode).
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by MattHawkinsUK » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:13 am
For my security system I just need high res stills at 1fps. So I'm easy to please!
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by jamesh » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:24 pm
MattHawkinsUK wrote:For my security system I just need high res stills at 1fps. So I'm easy to please!


The sensor can do full resolution at 15fps, but the GPU can't quite get that sort of throughput - 5fps should be feasible. The bottleneck will probably be writing to the SD card.
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by Hardware_man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:52 pm
Jamesh,

As this thread seems to have gone the way of “where is my camera!” people, could you reply to my suggestion of posting an article on your home page to see what kind of interest is generated for an HDMI input (or maybe high definition analog component, possibly more universal)?

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by jamesh » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:59 pm
Hardware_man wrote:Jamesh,

As this thread seems to have gone the way of “where is my camera!” people, could you reply to my suggestion of posting an article on your home page to see what kind of interest is generated for an HDMI input (or maybe high definition analog component, possibly more universal)?

Hardware_man


I don't do the front page stuff - that's Liz or Clive. Not sure a questionnaire is front page material though, or whether it would be of any benefit anyway. Judging demand in that way is fraught with inaccuracy.
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by cjowers7 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:40 pm
hi folks,
just wondering... whats the minimum subject distance the camera can focus on? is <1cm attainable? <10cm? or even better, im looking for the minimum macro area (mm x mm) at close focus range?
thanks
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by Ravenous » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:15 am
It's fixed focus so not suitable for that sort of thing. Also as it's a single module you can't change the lens (at least not without breaking it off).

However like any camera, it should be possible to put a close up lens in front - the sort that you thread on the filter thread of an SLR for example. Some great images should be possible that way...
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by Hardware_man » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:07 pm
Jamesh,

Above is another example of a need for a “universal” video input. The camera that you are developing and tuning for the Pi will work for many people in many applications. But it won’t work for all people in all applications as cjowers7 noted above. He has a need for a very close focus distance. My particular application requires a camera with an analog / mechanical zoom lens. Thus sometimes the need arises to use a different camera.

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by Ravenous » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:10 pm
No it wasn't, it was a request for information about the camera itself.
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:21 pm
Hardware_man wrote:Jamesh,

Above is another example of a need for a “universal” video input. The camera that you are developing and tuning for the Pi will work for many people in many applications. But it won’t work for all people in all applications as cjowers7 noted above. He has a need for a very close focus distance. My particular application requires a camera with an analog / mechanical zoom lens. Thus sometimes the need arises to use a different camera.

Hardware_man


As I explained before, camera modules are all different. So there is no such thing as universal input for them. The CSI-2 protocol doesn't dictate the protocol I2C needed to talk to the cameras. And the pain I am having just trying to get high frame rates out of this 'standard' camera is a prime example.

HDMI could be used as a universal video input, it needs no other interface than itself. But camera modules that output HDMI are unheard of - it's just not possible to make them that generic. So the problem of a generic camera interface is not as simple as implementing HDMI in. It's a currently unsolved problem i.e. no-one, anywhere in the whole wide world, has ever solved it. Nokia tried with SMIA, but pretty much failed. So even two SMIA compliant cameras need different drivers and setup (although it does make them slightly easier to write)
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