Camera module! (And a picture of JamesH)


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by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:47 am
tsuriyathep wrote:Actually the camera module in that link has all the pins it needs to connect exposed. I just need jumper wires. I have no idea where to start though, I see bits of linux code and data sheets for that module, but its very confusing.


If you don't know where to start, I'm pretty sure its going to be too difficult. You need to cross reference the pins on the camera to the pins on the CSI-2 header on the board. The camera attaches straight to the GPU, that's where the driver lives - you have no access to GPU code (it's closed), so need to reply on Arm side libraries to get at the images -OpenMAX is the API we use at the moment. No need for camera specific stuff you might find on the net.

I'd be inclined to wait for end of Feb when we hope to release the camera board. Much easier.
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by tsuriyathep » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:25 am
Ok I'll wait for March. If its any encouragement I'll probably down for atleast 20 of those modules and Pis together. I'm very much looking forward to it and I'm sure there are many other people too. Thanks!
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:34 am
tsuriyathep wrote:Ok I'll wait for March. If its any encouragement I'll probably down for at least 20 of those modules and Pis together. I'm very much looking forward to it and I'm sure there are many other people too. Thanks!


We reckon the camera module will be pretty popular, and by the time it comes out, we hope the final USB issues will be sorted, so remote wireless webcams are going to be a big draw I think. Model A, plus wireless dongle plus camera = $60 give or take. Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?
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by tsuriyathep » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:59 am
I didn't know model A existed. Just from the lettering, I assumed A was already obsoleted. I just read its coming out in about a month too, and it's a better choice than model B for my project. So you described my best config: Model A, wireless dongle and camera at a great price point. As for batch size I'm not sure, probably the last demand for B x2 :D
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:15 am
tsuriyathep wrote:I didn't know model A existed. Just from the lettering, I assumed A was already obsoleted. I just read its coming out in about a month too, and it's a better choice than model B for my project. So you described my best config: Model A, wireless dongle and camera at a great price point. As for batch size I'm not sure, probably the last demand for B x2 :D


Demand for the model B is around 1million for the first year. Don't think we will sell that many camera modules!
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by Ravenous » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:18 am
jamesh wrote:Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?

You already know the answer - it should be bigger than the number you eventually choose! There will be a flood of people wanting to be "the first" to do one thing or another, there will be people demanding pinouts wanting to multiplex two or more cameras from the CSI header, I can even see people having two PIs and two cameras, to handle stereo.

And one manufacturer is bound to order too few camera modules, leading to rants comparing one factory to another, and the slashdotters are bound to say "what, only 5MP", and and and...

I don't know how you guys keep your sanity sometimes... :)
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:56 am
Ravenous wrote:
jamesh wrote:Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?

You already know the answer - it should be bigger than the number you eventually choose! There will be a flood of people wanting to be "the first" to do one thing or another, there will be people demanding pinouts wanting to multiplex two or more cameras from the CSI header, I can even see people having two PIs and two cameras, to handle stereo.

And one manufacturer is bound to order too few camera modules, leading to rants comparing one factory to another, and the slashdotters are bound to say "what, only 5MP", and and and...

I don't know how you guys keep your sanity sometimes... :)


And what sanity might that be?

Bwahahahahahahahahha

I'm not sure who making/distributing the camera board. Think it might be the Foundation themselves, but I'll check to see.
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by aTao » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:08 am
First batch size would depend on cost, a hint from the RPi A +WiFi+camera ~= $60 means about 20 qid? My guess that there will be 40% RPi + camera bundles for new RPi sold plus 10% separate for those RPi already in the wild.
Anyway, aside from playing darts with a calendar, what is the intention for connection to the RPi? The socket type is mostly used for flexi circuit ribbons. Would that restrict how the camera can be placed or is there a cable solution?
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:15 am
aTao wrote:First batch size would depend on cost, a hint from the RPi A +WiFi+camera ~= $60 means about 20 qid? My guess that there will be 40% RPi + camera bundles for new RPi sold plus 10% separate for those RPi already in the wild.
Anyway, aside from playing darts with a calendar, what is the intention for connection to the RPi? The socket type is mostly used for flexi circuit ribbons. Would that restrict how the camera can be placed or is there a cable solution?


It's a ribbon cable to the connector on the board, I think about 15cm long, production one might be a bit shorter to reduce EM noise. Not really any other way of doing it.They are quite flexible though.

Your figures would mean we need to make about 100k now, plus another 1000 a week. Crivens.
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by MattHawkinsUK » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:41 am
I don't want to be selfish, so I suggest a batch size of two. One for me and one for someone else :D

Given some people are going to buy more than one any sensible batch size is likely to be too small. Can they go on sale at a decent time please? Perhaps 8am? That gives me time to wake up and have some breakfast ... and this time I know which retailer I won't be hassling for an order.

On the other hand if pre-orders were allowed the demand could be quantified and measured.
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by RaTTuS » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:44 am
I'll be going for 2 .... initially; as well as 1 model A
and another call for them to be put on sale at 9:00am uk time so I have time to get to work and use he fast internet connection .....
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by fbutler » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:54 am
jamesh wrote:Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?
The batch size should be based on people being able to purchase multiple cameras at launch, rather than being resticted to one per person. I imagine quite a few people would like to investigate video conferencing, and other applications, where two or more would be required.
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by aTao » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:59 pm
fbutler wrote:
jamesh wrote:Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?
The batch size should be based on people being able to purchase multiple cameras at launch, rather than being resticted to one per person. I imagine quite a few people would like to investigate video conferencing, and other applications, where two or more would be required.


And, since they are likely to be "reasonably" priced (as per the RPi) then a few hundred per customer should do the trick, just for those that WILL model insect eyes with them. :shock:
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by bfinleyui » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:09 pm
I am getting married in June. I had previously written a photo booth app in Adobe AIR to capture images, but ran into some stability issues and just general wonkiness, in addition to being limited to about 1600x1200 image capture size.

As far as we know, would this module be able to accomplish the following:

1. Display a live preview from the camera (not necessarily full 5MP quality, but enough to give users a view of what they're about to take a picture of)
2. At a specified time (a countdown of 3, 2, 1, for instance), take a full-res picture and save that locally.

It seems to me like it would work, but there's also been some talk here about it not being able to pull higher-framerate (wouldn't need more than ~15fps at 1024x768) video.
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by cosmo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:31 pm
jamesh wrote:
tsuriyathep wrote:Ok I'll wait for March. If its any encouragement I'll probably down for at least 20 of those modules and Pis together. I'm very much looking forward to it and I'm sure there are many other people too. Thanks!


We reckon the camera module will be pretty popular, and by the time it comes out, we hope the final USB issues will be sorted, so remote wireless webcams are going to be a big draw I think. Model A, plus wireless dongle plus camera = $60 give or take. Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?

Gosh, I hope you're not basing your initial run on how many people post in this thread, but if so, put me down for one of them. ;) :D

I'm torn on whether I want to order one right away, or wait a short while in case there are any revisions and risk the kind of delays that happened with the initial RPi.

I'll probably go with plan C: Buy one right away to play with now, and if any significant revisions happen, then purchase that one futher down the line when my projects require.
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by CleverEngineer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:57 pm
We need 20 to develop with and test. And are looking at a minimum of 400.

And I think the idea of pre-orders is a good idea.
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by tsuriyathep » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:38 pm
jamesh wrote:
tsuriyathep wrote:Ok I'll wait for March. If its any encouragement I'll probably down for at least 20 of those modules and Pis together. I'm very much looking forward to it and I'm sure there are many other people too. Thanks!


We reckon the camera module will be pretty popular, and by the time it comes out, we hope the final USB issues will be sorted, so remote wireless webcams are going to be a big draw I think. Model A, plus wireless dongle plus camera = $60 give or take. Not sure how many will be in the first batch - just for fun, what do people think should be the first batch size?


If you can ensure that with a specified USB Wifi dongle, camera, Model A, that everything works together, hardware and software, that would be great! If it could all run on the same one USB power source, without any special splicing, even better.
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by jamesh » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:38 am
bfinleyui wrote:I am getting married in June. I had previously written a photo booth app in Adobe AIR to capture images, but ran into some stability issues and just general wonkiness, in addition to being limited to about 1600x1200 image capture size.

As far as we know, would this module be able to accomplish the following:

1. Display a live preview from the camera (not necessarily full 5MP quality, but enough to give users a view of what they're about to take a picture of)
2. At a specified time (a countdown of 3, 2, 1, for instance), take a full-res picture and save that locally.

It seems to me like it would work, but there's also been some talk here about it not being able to pull higher-framerate (wouldn't need more than ~15fps at 1024x768) video.


That all sounds pretty feasible. The preview would be up to 1080p30 - remember we can encode 1080p30, so we can pull frames in at that speed, displaying them is no problem on top of that.
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by cosmo » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:50 am
jamesh wrote:
bfinleyui wrote:I am getting married in June. I had previously written a photo booth app in Adobe AIR to capture images, but ran into some stability issues and just general wonkiness, in addition to being limited to about 1600x1200 image capture size.

As far as we know, would this module be able to accomplish the following:

1. Display a live preview from the camera (not necessarily full 5MP quality, but enough to give users a view of what they're about to take a picture of)
2. At a specified time (a countdown of 3, 2, 1, for instance), take a full-res picture and save that locally.

It seems to me like it would work, but there's also been some talk here about it not being able to pull higher-framerate (wouldn't need more than ~15fps at 1024x768) video.


That all sounds pretty feasible. The preview would be up to 1080p30 - remember we can encode 1080p30, so we can pull frames in at that speed, displaying them is no problem on top of that.

This is pretty much exactly what I am looking to do as well. For me, it's plans for a 'photo booth' halloween costume. My plan is similar - show a live image, with a LED countdown to show when the picture is about to be taken (after user presses a button to start the timer), then display the still shot for a period of time. Plus, upload the resulting shot to a web server. I'd also like to be able to stream the live feed to the server so people at the party can login to see the view from the camera, if battery capacity and bandwith allow.

Another idea i had, although I doubt it would be feasible, would be to look for a very small printer (possibly a label printer) to actually print out the resulting photos.
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by d0vr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:41 am
cosmo wrote:Another idea i had, although I doubt it would be feasible, would be to look for a very small printer (possibly a label printer) to actually print out the resulting photos.


Alternatively, have a smaller label printer print out a code or something, so that the person can find the photo. If it's at a house party/your party, set up a printer with a scanner. "Customer" takes the voucher, scans the barcode, and picks up the photo.

Alternatively, make some holiday money if it's at a public event? Tell the person before hand that they can get prints or a download for x amount of money. Voucher has a website and a retrieval code, customer puts in credit card details, and viola, truly mobile photo booth! :)

Either way though, it saves you carrying around a heavy printer, and you don't lose out on quality. I think I might borrow this idea and market myself as a truly mobile, pi powered, photo booth...
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by cosmo » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:16 pm
d0vr wrote:
cosmo wrote:Another idea i had, although I doubt it would be feasible, would be to look for a very small printer (possibly a label printer) to actually print out the resulting photos.


Alternatively, have a smaller label printer print out a code or something, so that the person can find the photo. If it's at a house party/your party, set up a printer with a scanner. "Customer" takes the voucher, scans the barcode, and picks up the photo.

Alternatively, make some holiday money if it's at a public event? Tell the person before hand that they can get prints or a download for x amount of money. Voucher has a website and a retrieval code, customer puts in credit card details, and viola, truly mobile photo booth! :)

Either way though, it saves you carrying around a heavy printer, and you don't lose out on quality. I think I might borrow this idea and market myself as a truly mobile, pi powered, photo booth...

The event is a huge public party (1000's of people) in a hotel's grand ballroom; I can't set up a printer of my own. The ability to print the photos directly would definitely be cool, but the added weight (and power requirements) of not only the printer, but the print stock as well, might prove to be too much. Another feasability issue I will need to find out is if they even have WIFI available in the ballroom, and if I can access it. If not, I could always store the pics on the SD card, and upload to a website afterwards.

There is a professional photographer set up at this party, so I definitely can't be charging for the photos (wouldn't want to be seen as 'competing' with him).
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by aTao » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:46 pm
cosmo wrote: My plan is similar - show a live image, with a LED countdown to show when the picture is about to be taken


Please excuse my question but why the LEDs? Surely the countdown could be superimposed by software on screen, saving a whole bunch of hardware.
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by cosmo » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:39 pm
aTao wrote:
cosmo wrote: My plan is similar - show a live image, with a LED countdown to show when the picture is about to be taken


Please excuse my question but why the LEDs? Surely the countdown could be superimposed by software on screen, saving a whole bunch of hardware.

I may not use a monitor, that will depend on many things - getting a small enough monitor, weight, battery capacity, distance from monitor to Pi. A simple set of LEDs driven off of the GPIO would be much easier, and should be more reliable. A monitor to display the current camera image would be nice (and desirable), but just may not be feasible. It also may be more programming work to impose the countdown over the camera image, but of course, I won't know that until the camera module is available, and I have time to learn the corresponding programming.
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by Ravenous » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:44 pm
cosmo wrote:I may not use a monitor, that will depend on many things -

Just a suggestion - how about a speaker? Either beeps or a spoken countdown (synthesised or pre-recorded). That way you won't get people looking off to the monitor or LEDs at the crucial moment, which let's face it is guaranteed to happen to somebody :lol:

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by cosmo » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:16 pm
Ravenous wrote:
cosmo wrote:I may not use a monitor, that will depend on many things -

Just a suggestion - how about a speaker? Either beeps or a spoken countdown (synthesised or pre-recorded). That way you won't get people looking off to the monitor or LEDs at the crucial moment, which let's face it is guaranteed to happen to somebody :lol:

"Say Cheese!"

Good idea. Of course, the speaker would require a modest amplifier (I can't drive it directly from the headphone output), and this may have similar issues with weight/power as the monitor would (although it wouldn't add too much weight, every ounce does count - remmember I will be wearing this thing. ;) ). A set of 5 or so LEDs would be negligible, so I will almost certaily use the LEDs either alone, or in combination with a monitor/speaker if they become feasible.
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