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Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:28 am

Hi all

Because the Pi has a CSI camera interface, and cameras in cellphones use this interface, is it then possible to use a camera from an old cellphone (these use the CSI interface from what I've read) to take pictures on the Raspberry Pi?

Cheers! :D

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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:38 am

OOOoooOOOoo...get V4L and VLC and stream video (if it could be that easy...)

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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:08 am

Apparently the "CSI" interface is not really standardized like a USB interface or RS-232 serial interface. There is no standard connector, no standard pinout, and no standard driver, so nothing would be plug-and-play. You'd need an adaptor board to properly connect any "CSI" camera to the R-Pi, but even more significant is that you'd need to write the driver, which has to run on the GPU and would be a lot of work even if the GPU documentation was available- which it isn't.

From what we've been told, we will have to wait until a specific camera device is chosen, an interface board laid out, and a suitable driver for it written to run on the GPU.

Note: did you know, you can get a USB Webcam for less than $5 (although I don't know if it could work on the Pi):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-USB-Webcam ... 0911025206

For $15, this one claims to work with Linux, as long as you have a USB Video Class driver:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-WEBCAM-Came ... 0429028863

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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:08 pm

OK then :) A USB webcam would no doubt be easier to use (albeit not as tidy as say a tiny cellphone camera in a case with the Pi and a display panel to function as a PDA) so I'll try that, when I FINALLY get my Pi in the mail (it should arrive in 4 weeks, I can't wait! :D)

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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Hello PI-Cam-Friends,

since years I am building cameras (OES GmbH, some were in space), and
since years I wanted to integrate a uController(board) with a lot of memory.
I was more than happy as I have seen the PI.

Now I will design a simple CMOS-camera and a very good CCD for low light level imaging (astronomy, microscopy, ...)

I am missing the programers information of the CSI interface. Does anybody have the register interface description (port bits for I2C, data, strobe, dma-engine, interrupt register and so on?)

The hardware (ready in design) should be below of 20EUR, but I need to write the driver for the PI then.

Best wishes from Southern Germany


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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:44 pm

That information is not open , you'll have to directly approach Broadcom.
That said , jamesh said that he might look into it. But it is not high priority.
The foundation itself is already developing a camera module. Search for the
thread discussing this.

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Re: Cameras from old cellphones

Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:59 pm

The CSI connector is not routed to the CPU, it is routed into the GPU. Although some of the GPU drivers are open source the firmware on the GPU isn't. Ultimately this means that us as users cannot access the CSI for our own use, only the supported cameras the foundation make will work.

You can of course use a USB attached camera but I gather you want a higher transfer speed than that.

Is the camera connection on the beagleboard xM suitable? This may offer what you need although at a much higher cost.

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