nicolasweninger
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:59 pm

Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:37 pm

Hi there,

Although we are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the official camera module, we are participating in an international project with the deadline looming over us (three weeks and that's it!). Does anyone know of any alternatives that can interface with the Pi (either through the CSI or USB), able to take long exposures? Any help would be much appreciated!

Nicolas.


nicolasweninger
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:59 pm

Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:04 pm

The problem is that we have a weight limit of 150g!

ghans
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:40 pm

The list of working webcams is short , the list
with ones which are adjustable is even shorter.
I would start researching on the wiki , and then PM'ing people
who had success ... good luck !

ghans
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PS1981
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:07 pm

Some cheap digital cameras (I have a cheap one of the make Aiptek, it was a christmas present from my gran a few years ago) will also work as a USB webcam. Mine does, and the quality of still pictures taken is a world better than any I can make with any one of 3 other real webcams I have available. It does not have a higher resolution, I would say that it simply has a better lens compared to a webcam. It weighs slightly more than you wish, at 179g with batteries (according to my scales). That particular model I'm quite sure is obsolete, but you may find something similar.

nicolasweninger
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:42 pm

Many thanks for your reply!

Considering that we are attaching a comparatively heavy scintillator to the experiment as well, I would imagine that a small webcam or another camera module would be the only alternative. With that in mind, what criteria must a webcam/camera module support in order to take 60s exposures?

jamesh
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:09 pm

60s is a long time for a simple sensor - the Foundation camera module won't do that, so you are limited to webcams. There's going to be a lot of noise...
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aTao
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:53 pm

nicolasweninger wrote:Many thanks for your reply!

Considering that we are attaching a comparatively heavy scintillator to the experiment as well, I would imagine that a small webcam or another camera module would be the only alternative. With that in mind, what criteria must a webcam/camera module support in order to take 60s exposures?
150g limit, not going to happen. why 60s exposure? if it is an intensity thing you really should add a photo multiplier or a bigger lens (lens might be lighter) but still you are going to need a bigger weight budget. If there are any other reasons for a long exposure then take many images and use software to merge them.
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pgman
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:08 am

Search the web for QCUIAG - QuickCam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group.
They've been around for about 15 years and have been modifying webcams and other cameras to take long exposure pictures for astomony use. They've also got info on using unmodified cameras and video cameras to create long exposures by summing multiple still images or video frames together.

pseudosphere
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Is there any chance of the very favourably reviewed sensor from the Nokia N808 (41 Mp 1/1.2" format) being offered as a future option? Apparently it uses the Broadcom 2763 GPU according to this source:

http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.co. ... ensor.html
http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.co. ... ensor.html

This sensor is currently being sold new on ebay (no connection to seller), presumably including the rather nice Carl Zeiss 8.02mm F2.4 but the price would have to be considerably lower than this in order to make this a really attractive option.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-Nokia ... 43b9a123c5

The potential to use multiple pixel-binning for noise reduction in HD video and/or digital zoom make this an interesting prospect but am I asking for the moon on a stick/ is it technically possible?

jamesh
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Re: Alternatives to the RasPi camera module

Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:37 pm

Crivens, I've got a box of those on my desk.....worth more than I thought...

I doubt Toshiba make them any more, so only going to get more expensive, and rare!

You are right, they use the VC4 ISP and it would work on a Raspi (with GPU code mods - making it work required some code changes than may not be in the standard build), but I have a feeling that the tuning may be copyright Nokia, so that a years work to do...
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