Raspberry Pi Camera Module
This document describes the use of the three Raspberry Pi camera applications as of January 8th 2015.
There are three applications provided,
raspistillyuv are very similar and are intended for capturing images;
raspivid is for capturing video.
All the applications are driven from the command line, and written to take advantage of the mmal API which runs over OpenMAX. The mmal API provides an easier to use system than that presented by OpenMAX. Note that mmal is a Broadcom-specific API used only on Videocore 4 systems.
The applications use up to four OpenMAX(mmal) components: camera, preview, encoder, and null_sink. All applications use the camera component,
raspistill uses the Image Encode component,
raspivid uses the Video Encode component and
raspistillyuv does not use an encoder, and sends its YUV or RGB output direct from camera component to file.
The preview display is optional, but can be used full-screen or directed to a specific rectangular area on the display. If preview is disabled, the null_sink component is used to 'absorb' the preview frames. It is necessary for the camera to produce preview frames even if these are not required for display, as they are used for calculating exposure and white balance settings.
In addition, it is possible to omit the filename option (in which case the preview is displayed but no file is written), or to redirect all output to stdout.
Command line help is available by typing just the application name in on the command line.
See Camera Setup
If the Camera Module is not working correctly, there are number of things to try:
Is the ribbon cable attached to the Camera Serial Interface (CSI), not the Display Serial Interface (DSI)? The ribbon connector will fit into either port. The Camera port is located near the HDMI connector.
Are the ribbon connectors all firmly seated, and are they the right way round? They must be straight in their sockets.
Is the Camera Module connector, between the smaller black Camera Module itself and the PCB, firmly attached? Sometimes this connection can come loose during transit or when putting the Camera Module in a case. Using a fingernail, flip up the connector on the PCB, then reconnect it with gentle pressure. It engages with a very slight click. Don't force it; if it doesn't engage, it's probably slightly misaligned.
sudo apt-get update,
sudo apt-get upgradebeen run?
raspi-configbeen run and the Camera Module enabled?
- Is your power supply sufficient? The Camera Module adds about 200-250mA to the power requirements of your Raspberry Pi.
If things are still not working, try the following:
Error : raspistill/raspividnot found. This probably means your update/upgrade failed in some way. Try it again.
Error : ENOMEM displayed. The Camera Module is not starting up. Check all connections again.
Error : ENOSPC displayed. The Camera Module is probably running out of GPU memory. Check
config.txtin the /boot/ folder. The gpu_mem option should be at least 128. Alternatively, use the Memory Split option in the Advanced section of
raspi-configto set this.
If you have checked all the above issues and the Camera Module is still not working, you may need to upgrade the firmware on the Raspberry Pi. Use the following command to get the very latest (but experimental) firmware.
- If even a firmware update does not fix the problem, your Camera Module may be defective, and may need to be replaced.
Common Command line Options
--preview, -p Preview window settings <'x,y,w,h'>
Allows the user to define the size and location on the screen that the preview window will be placed. Note this will be superimposed over the top of any other windows/graphics.
--fullscreen, -f Fullscreen preview mode
Forces the preview window to use the whole screen. Note that the aspect ratio of the incoming image will be retained, so there may be bars on some edges.
--nopreview, -n Do not display a preview window
Disables the preview window completely. Note that even though the preview is disabled, the camera will still be producing frames, so will be using power.
--opacity, -op Set preview window opacity
Sets the opacity of the preview windows. 0 = invisible, 255 = fully opaque.
Camera Control Options
--sharpness, -sh Set image sharpness (-100 to 100)
Sets the sharpness of the image. 0 is the default.
--contrast, -co Set image contrast (-100 to 100)
Sets the contrast of the image. 0 is the default
--brightness, -br Set image brightness (0 to 100)
Sets the brightness of the image. 50 is the default. 0 is black, 100 is white.
--saturation, -sa Set image saturation (-100 to 100)
Sets the colour saturation of the image. 0 is the default.
--ISO, -ISO Set capture ISO
Sets the ISO to be used for captures. Range is 100 to 800.
--vstab, -vs Turn on video stabilisation
In video mode only, turns on video stabilisation.
--ev, -ev Set EV compensation
Sets the EV compensation of the image. Range is -10 to +10, default is 0.
--exposure, -ex Set exposure mode
Possible options are:
- auto Use automatic exposure mode
- night Select setting for night shooting
- backlight Select setting for back lit subject
- sports Select setting for sports (fast shutter etc)
- snow Select setting optimised for snowy scenery
- beach Select setting optimised for beach
- verylong Select setting for long exposures
- fixedfps Constrain fps to a fixed value
- antishake Antishake mode
- fireworks Select settings
Note that not all of these settings may be implemented, depending on camera tuning.
--awb, -awb Set Automatic White Balance (AWB) mode
- off Turn off white balance calculation
- auto Automatic mode (default)
- sun Sunny mode
- cloud Cloudy mode
- shade Shaded mode
- tungsten Tungsten lighting mode
- fluorescent Fluorescent lighting mode
- incandescent Incandescent lighting mode
- flash Flash mode
- horizon Horizon mode
Note that not all of these settings may be implemented, depending on camera type.
--imxfx, -ifx Set image effect
Set an effect to be applied to the image
- none NO effect (default)
- negative Negate the image
- solarise Solarise the image
- posterise Posterise the image
- whiteboard Whiteboard effect
- blackboard Blackboard effect
- sketch Sketch style effect
- denoise Denoise the image
- emboss Emboss the image
- oilpaint Apply an oil paint style effect
- hatch Hatch sketch style
- pastel A pastel style effect
- watercolour A watercolour style effect
- film Film grain style effect
- blur Blur the image
- saturation Colour saturate the image
- colourswap Not fully implemented
- washedout Not fully implemented
- posterise Not fully implemented
- colourpoint Not fully implemented
- colourbalance Not fully implemented
- cartoon Not fully implemented
Note that not all of these settings may be available in all circumstances.
--colfx, -cfx Set colour effect <U:V>
The supplied U and V parameters (range 0 to 255) are applied to the U and Y channels of the image. For example, --colfx 128:128 should result in a monochrome image.
--metering, -mm Set metering mode
Specify the metering mode used for the preview and capture
- average Average the whole frame for metering.
- spot Spot metering
- backlit Assume a backlit image
- matrix Matrix metering
--rotation, -rot Set image rotation (0-359)
Sets the rotation of the image in viewfinder and resulting image. This can take any value from 0 upwards, but due to hardware constraints only 0, 90, 180 and 270 degree rotations are supported.
--hflip, -hf Set horizontal flip
Flips the preview and saved image horizontally.
--vflip, -vf Set vertical flip
Flips the preview and saved image vertically.
--roi, -roi Set sensor region of interest
Allows the specification of the area of the sensor to be used as the source for the preview and capture. This is defined as x,y for the top left corner, and a width and height, all values in normalised coordinates (0.0-1.0). So to set a ROI at half way across and down the sensor, and a width and height of a quarter of the sensor use:
--shutter, -ss Set shutter speed
Sets the shutter speed to the specified value (in microseconds). There is currently an upper limit of approximately 6000000us (6000ms, 6s) past which operation is undefined.
--drc, -drc Enable/Disable Dynamic Range compression
DRC changes the images by increasing the range of dark areas of the image, and decreasing the brighter areas. This can improve the image in low light areas.
By default, DRC is off.
--stats, -st Display image statistics
Displays the exposure, analogue and digital gains, and AWB settings used during camera run.
Sets blue and red gains (as floating point numbers) to be applied when -awb off is set. e.g. -awbg 1.5,1.2
Sets a specified sensor mode, disabling the automatic selection. Possible values are :
|Mode||Size||Aspect Ratio||Frame rates||FOV||Binning|
|6||640x480||4:3||42.1-60fps||Full||2x2 plus skip|
|7||640x480||4:3||60.1-90fps||Full||2x2 plus skip|
Selects which camera (on a multi camera system) to use. Use 0 or 1.
--annotate, -a Enable/Set annotate flags or text
Adds some text and/or metadata to the picture.
Metadata is indicated using a bitmask notation, so add them together to show multiple parameters. For example, 12 will show time(4) and date(8) since 4+8=12.
Text may include date/time placeholders by using '%' character as used by strftime.
|-a 12||4+8=12 Show the date(4) and time(8)||20:09:33 10/28/15|
|-a 16||Shutter Settings|
|-a 32||CAF Settings|
|-a 64||Gain Settings|
|-a 128||Lens Settings|
|-a 256||Motion Settings|
|-a 512||Frame Number|
|-a 1024||Black Background|
|-a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X"||Show some text||ABC %Y-%m-%d %X|
|-a 4 -a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X"||Show custom formatted date/time.||ABC 2015-10-28 20:09:33|
|-a 8 -a "ABC %Y-%m-%d %X"||Show custom formatted date/time.||ABC 2015-10-28 20:09:33|
--annotateex, -ae Set extra annotation parameters
Specifies annotation size, text-colour, background-colour. Colours are in hex YUV format.
Size ranges from 6 to 160, default is 32. Asking for an invalid size should give you the default.
|-ae 32,0xff,0x808000 -a "Wibble gibber gibber"||gives size 32 white text on black background|
|-ae 10,0x00,0x8080FF -a "Wibble gibber gibber"||gives size 10 black text on white background|
--width, -w Set image width <size> --height, -h Set image height <size> --quality, -q Set jpeg quality <0 to 100>
Quality 100 is almost completely uncompressed. 75 is a good all round value.
--raw, -r Add raw bayer data to jpeg metadata
This option inserts the raw Bayer data from the camera in to the JPEG metadata.
--output, -o Output filename <filename>.
Specifies the output filename. If not specified, no file is saved. If the filename is '-', then all output is sent to stdout.
--latest, -l Link latest frame to filename <filename>
Makes a file system link under this name to the latest frame.
--verbose, -v Output verbose information during run
Outputs debugging/information messages during the program run.
--timeout, -t Time before takes picture and shuts down.
The program will run for this length of time, then take the capture (if output is specified). If not specified, this is set to 5 seconds.
--timelapse, -tl time-lapse mode.
The specific value is the time between shots in milliseconds. Note you should specify %04d at the point in the filename where you want a frame count number to appear. So, for example, the code below will produce a capture every 2 seconds, over a total period of 30s, named image0001.jpg, image0002.jpg..image0015.jpg.
-t 30000 -tl 2000 -o image%04d.jpg
Note that the %04d indicates a 4 digit number with leading zero's added to pad to the required number of digits. So, for example, %08d would result in an 8 digit number.
If a time-lapse value of 0 is entered, the application will take pictures as fast as possible. Note there is an minimum enforced pause of 30ms between captures to ensure that exposure calculations can be made.
--thumb, -th Set thumbnail parameters (x:y:quality)
Allows specification of the thumbnail image inserted in to the JPEG file. If not specified, defaults are a size of 64x48 at quality 35.
--thumb none is specified, no thumbnail information will be placed in the file. This reduces the file size slightly.
--demo, -d Run a demo mode <milliseconds>
This options cycles through range of camera options. No capture is taken, and the demo will end at the end of the timeout period, irrespective of whether all the options have been cycled. The time between cycles should be specified as a millisecond value.
--encoding, -e Encoding to use for output file
Valid options are jpg, bmp, gif, and png. Note that unaccelerated image types (gif, png, bmp) will take much longer to save than jpg which is hardware accelerated. Also note that the filename suffix is completely ignored when deciding the encoding of a file.
--exif, -x EXIF tag to apply to captures (format as 'key=value')
Allows the insertion of specific exif tags in to the JPEG image. You can have up to 32 exif tag entries. This is useful for things like adding GPS metadata. For example, to set the Longitude
would set the Longitude to 5degs, 10 minutes, 15 seconds. See exif documentation for more details on the range of tags available; the supported tags are as follows.
IFD0.< or IFD1.< ImageWidth, ImageLength, BitsPerSample, Compression, PhotometricInterpretation, ImageDescription, Make, Model, StripOffsets, Orientation, SamplesPerPixel, RowsPerString, StripByteCounts, Xresolution, Yresolution, PlanarConfiguration, ResolutionUnit, TransferFunction, Software, DateTime, Artist, WhitePoint, PrimaryChromaticities, JPEGInterchangeFormat, JPEGInterchangeFormatLength, YcbCrCoefficients, YcbCrSubSampling, YcbCrPositioning, ReferenceBlackWhite, Copyright> EXIF.< ExposureTime, FNumber, ExposureProgram, SpectralSensitivity, ISOSpeedRatings, OECF, ExifVersion, DateTimeOriginal, DateTimeDigitized, ComponentsConfiguration, CompressedBitsPerPixel, ShutterSpeedValue, ApertureValue, BrightnessValue, ExposureBiasValue, MaxApertureValue, SubjectDistance, MeteringMode, LightSource, Flash, FocalLength, SubjectArea, MakerNote, UserComment, SubSecTime, SubSecTimeOriginal, SubSecTimeDigitized, FlashpixVersion, ColorSpace, PixelXDimension, PixelYDimension, RelatedSoundFile, FlashEnergy, SpacialFrequencyResponse, FocalPlaneXResolution, FocalPlaneYResolution, FocalPlaneResolutionUnit, SubjectLocation, ExposureIndex, SensingMethod, FileSource, SceneType, CFAPattern, CustomRendered, ExposureMode, WhiteBalance, DigitalZoomRatio, FocalLengthIn35mmFilm, SceneCaptureType, GainControl, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, DeviceSettingDescription, SubjectDistanceRange, ImageUniqueID> GPS.< GPSVersionID, GPSLatitudeRef, GPSLatitude, GPSLongitudeRef, GPSLongitude, GPSAltitudeRef, GPSAltitude, GPSTimeStamp, GPSSatellites, GPSStatus, GPSMeasureMode, GPSDOP, GPSSpeedRef, GPSSpeed, GPSTrackRef, GPSTrack, GPSImgDirectionRef, GPSImgDirection, GPSMapDatum, GPSDestLatitudeRef, GPSDestLatitude, GPSDestLongitudeRef, GPSDestLongitude, GPSDestBearingRef, GPSDestBearing, GPSDestDistanceRef, GPSDestDistance, GPSProcessingMethod, GPSAreaInformation, GPSDateStamp, GPSDifferential> EINT.< InteroperabilityIndex, InteroperabilityVersion, RelatedImageFileFormat, RelatedImageWidth, RelatedImageLength>
Note that a small subset of these tags will be set automatically by the camera system, but will be overridden by any exif options on the command line.
Setting '--exif none' will prevent any EXIF information being stored in the file. This reduces the file size slightly.
--fullpreview, -fp Full Preview mode
This runs the preview windows using the full resolution capture mode. Maximum frames per second in this mode is 15fps and the preview will have the same field of view as the capture. Captures should happen more quickly as no mode change should be required. This feature is currently under development.
--keypress, -k Keypress mode
The camera is run for the requested time (-t), and a captures can be initiated throughout that by pressing the Enter key. Press X then Enter will exit the application before the timeout is reached. If the timeout is set to 0, the camera will run indefinitely until X then Enter is typed. Using the verbose option (-v) will display a prompt asking for user input, otherwise no prompt is displayed.
--signal, -s Signal mode
The camera is run for the requested time (-t), and a captures can be initiated throughout that time by sending a USR1 signal to the camera process. This can be done using the kill command. You can find the camera process ID using the
pgrep raspistill command.
kill -USR1 <process id of raspistill>
Many of the options for
raspistillyuv are the same as those for
raspistill. This section shows the differences.
--exif, --encoding, --thumb, --raw, --quality
Extra Options :
--rgb, -rgb Save uncompressed data as RGB888
This option forces the image to be saved as RGB data with 8 bits per channel, rather than YUV420.
Note that the image buffers saved in
raspistillyuv are padded to a horizontal size divisible by 32 (so there may be unused bytes at the end of each line to make the width divisible by 32). Buffers are also padded vertically to be divisible by 16, and in the YUV mode, each plane of Y,U,V is padded in this way.
--width, -w Set image width <size>
Width of resulting video. This should be between 64 and 1920.
--height, -h Set image height <size>
Height of resulting video. This should be between 64 and 1080.
--bitrate, -b Set bitrate.
Use bits per second, so 10Mbits/s would be -b 10000000. For H264, 1080p30 a high quality bitrate would be 15Mbits/s or more. Maximum bitrate is 25Mbits/s (-b 25000000), but much over 17Mbits/s will not show noticeable improvement at 1080p30.
--output, -o Output filename <filename>.
Specify the output filename. If not specified, no file is saved. If the filename is '-', then all output is sent to stdout.
--verbose, -v Output verbose information during run
Outputs debugging/information messages during the program run.
--timeout, -t Time before takes picture and shuts down.
The program will run for this length of time, then take the capture (if output is specified). If not specified, this is set to 5seconds. Setting 0 will mean the application will run continuously until stopped with Ctrl-C.
--demo, -d Run a demo mode <milliseconds>
This options cycles through range of camera options, no capture is done, the demo will end at the end of the timeout period, irrespective of whether all the options have been cycled. The time between cycles should be specified as a millisecond value.
--framerate, -fps Specify the frames per second to record
At present, the minimum frame rate allowed is 2fps, the maximum is 30fps. This is likely to change in the future.
--penc, -e Display preview image *after- encoding
Switch on an option to display the preview after compression. This will show any compression artefacts in the preview window. In normal operation, the preview will show the camera output prior to being compressed. This option is not guaranteed to work in future releases.
--intra, -g Specify the intra refresh period (key frame rate/GoP)
Sets the intra refresh period (GoP) rate for the recorded video. H264 video uses a complete frame (I-frame) every intra refresh period from which subsequent frames are based. This options specifies the numbers of frames between each I-frame. Larger numbers here will reduce the size of the resulting video, smaller numbers make the stream more robust to error.
--qp, -qp Set quantisation parameter
Sets the initial quantisation parameter for the stream. Varies from approximately 10 to 40, and will greatly affect the quality of the recording. Higher values reduce quality and decrease file size. Combine this setting with bitrate of 0 to set a completely variable bitrate.
--profile, -pf Specify H264 profile to use for encoding
Sets the H264 profile to be used for the encoding. Options are :
--inline, -ih Insert PPS, SPS headers
Forces the stream to include PPS and SPS headers on every I-frame. Needed for certain streaming cases. e.g. Apple HLS. These headers are small, so do not greatly increase file size.
--timed, -td Do timed switches between capture and pause
This options allows the video capture to be paused and restarted at particular time intervals. Two values are required, the On time and the Off time. On time is the amount of time the video is captured, off time is the amount it is paused. The total time of the recording is defined by the timeout option. Note the recording may take slightly over the timeout setting depending on the On and Off times.
raspivid -o test.h264 -t 25000 -timed 2500,5000
will record for a period of 25 seconds. The recording will be over a timeframe consisting of 2500ms (2.5s) segments with 5000ms (5s) gaps, repeating over the 20s. So the entire recording will actually be only 10s long, since 4 segments of 2.5s = 10s separated by 5s gaps.
2.5 record – 5 pause - 2.5 record – 5 pause - 2.5 record – 5 pause – 2.5 record
gives a total recording period of 25s, but only 10s of actual recorded footage
--keypress, -k Toggle between record and pause on ENTER key pressed
On each press of the ENTER key the recording will be paused or restarted. Pressing X then ENTER will stop recording and close the application. Note that the timeout value will be used to signal end of recording, but is only checked after each ENTER keypress, so if the system is waiting for a keypress, even if the timeout has expired, it will still wait for the keypress before exiting.
--signal, -s Toggle between record and pause according to SIGUSR1
Sending a USR1 signal to the
raspivid process will toggle between recording and paused. This can be done using the kill command. You can find the
raspivid process ID using
kill -USR1 <process id of raspivid>
Note that the timeout value will be used to indicate the end of recording, but is only checked after each receipt of the SIGUSR1 signal, so if the system is waiting for a signal, even if the timeout has expired, it will still wait for the signal before exiting.
--initial, -i Define initial state on startup.
Define whether the camera will start paused or will immediately start recording. Options are 'record' or 'pause'. Note that if you are using a simple timeout, and initial is set to 'pause', no output will be recorded.
--segment, -sg Segment the stream in to multiple files
Rather than creating a single file, the file is split up in to segments of approximately the numer of milliseconds specified. In order to provide different filenames, you should add %04d or similar at the point in the filename where you want a segment count number to appear. e.g:
--segment 3000 -o video%04d.h264
will produce video clips of approximately 3000ms (3s) long, named video0001.h264, video0002.h264 etc. The clips should be seamless (no frame drops between clips), but the accuracy of each clip length will depend on the intraframe period, as the segments will always start on an I-frame. They will therefore always be equal or longer to the specified period.
--wrap, -wr Set the maximum value for segment number.
When outputting segments, this is the maximum the segment number can reach before it is reset to 1, giving the ability to keep recording segments, but overwriting the oldest one. So if set to four, in the segment example above, the files produced will be video0001.h264, video0002.h264, video0003.h264, video0004.h264. Once video0004.h264 is recorded, the count will reset to 1, and the video0001.h264 will be overwritten.
--start, -sn Set the initial segment number
When outputting segments, this is the initial segment number, giving the ability to resume previous recording from a given segment. The default value is 1.
By default, captures are done at the highest resolution supported by the sensor. This can be changed using the -w and -h command line options.
Taking a default capture after 2s (note times are specified in milliseconds) on viewfinder, saving in image.jpg:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg
Take a capture at a different resolution:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -w 640 -h 480
Now reduce the quality considerably to reduce file size:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -q 5
Force the preview to appear at coordinate 100,100, with width 300 and height 200 pixels:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -p 100,100,300,200
Disable preview entirely:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -n
Save the image as a png file (lossless compression, but slower than JPEG). Note that the filename suffix is ignored when choosing the image encoding:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.png –e png
Add some EXIF information to the JPEG. This sets the Artist tag name to Boris, and the GPS altitude to 123.5m. Note that if setting GPS tags you should set as a minimum GPSLatitude, GPSLatitudeRef, GPSLongitude, GPSLongitudeRef, GPSAltitude and GPSAltitudeRef:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -x IFD0.Artist=Boris -x GPS.GPSAltitude=1235/10
Set an emboss style image effect:
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -ifx emboss
Set the U and V channels of the YUV image to specific values (128:128 produces a greyscale image):
raspistill -t 2000 -o image.jpg -cfx 128:128
Run preview ONLY for 2s, no saved image:
raspistill -t 2000
Take time-lapse picture, one every 10 seconds for 10 minutes (10 minutes = 600000ms), named image_num_001_today.jpg, image_num_002_today.jpg onwards, with the latest picture also available under the name latest.jpg:
raspistill -t 600000 -tl 10000 -o image_num_%03d_today.jpg -l latest.jpg
Take a picture and send image data to stdout:
raspistill -t 2000 -o -
Take a picture and send image data to file:
raspistill -t 2000 -o - > my_file.jpg
Run camera forever, taking a picture when Enter is pressed:
raspistill -t 0 -k -o my_pics%02d.jpg
Image size and preview settings are the same as for stills capture. Default size for video recording is 1080p (1920x1080)
Record a 5s clip with default settings (1080p30):
raspivid -t 5000 -o video.h264
Record a 5s clip at a specified bitrate (3.5Mbits/s):
raspivid -t 5000 -o video.h264 -b 3500000
Record a 5s clip at a specified framerate (5fps):
raspivid -t 5000 -o video.h264 -f 5
Encode a 5s camera stream and send image data to stdout:
raspivid -t 5000 -o -
Encode a 5s camera stream and send image data to file:
raspivid -t 5000 -o - > my_file.h264
Shell Error Codes
The applications described here will return a standard error code to the shell on completion. Possible error codes are:
|EX_OK||0||Application ran successfully|
|EX_USAGE||64||Bad command line parameter|
|EX_SOFTWARE||70||Software or camera error|
|130||Application terminated by ctrl-C|