ncarlson
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Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:45 pm

Hello,

Looking through Amazon and Ebay, I've found a plethora of off-the-shelf color camera modules for Raspberry Pi. However, I'm specifically looking for a camera module that uses a monochrome sensor.

My question: is there an off-the-shelf camera modules for RPi (any version) which utilizes a monochrome camera?

Ideally, the module would have a CS or C lens mount. However, the lens mount is not necessary.

Thank you

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DougieLawson
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:58 am

Getting a B&W image is possible with a regular camera (with the IR filter) using raspistill --colfx 128:128 -o b_n_w_image.jpg

That can be done with the python picamera module

Code: Select all

import picamera

with picamera.PiCamera() as camera:
    camera.color_effects(128,128)
    camera.start_preview()
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AndyD
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:02 am

I think the OP is talking about a camera module without a Bayer filter. I haven't heard of one existing.


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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:53 am

gordon77 wrote:You could experiment with removing the bayer mask.....

http://petapixel.com/2013/08/04/scratch ... bw-photos/

http://www.jtwastronomy.com/tutorials/debayer.html
Some people obviously don't mind writing off cameras!
And note that the entire imaging stack would then need to be reworked to remove the lens shading and demosaicing stages.
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ncarlson
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:31 pm

DougieLawson wrote:Getting a B&W image is possible with a regular camera
I appreciate your response, but this would defeat the point of a monochrome sensor. I'm looking for a camera module with a monochrome sensor.

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:41 pm

ncarlson wrote:
DougieLawson wrote:Getting a B&W image is possible with a regular camera
I appreciate your response, but this would defeat the point of a monochrome sensor. I'm looking for a camera module with a monochrome sensor.
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:01 pm

I don't know if anyone has tried a USB monochrome camera on a Pi...

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/imaging ... -mono.html

A lot more expensive than a Pi camera !!

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:31 pm

There is exactly one sensor that works via the Pi's dedicated MIPI CSI camera connector. That is the OmniVision OV5647 (color, bayer-filter) sensor described here: http://elinux.org/Rpi_Camera_Module#Tec ... Parameters There are two flavors of the camera board officially available, with and without the IR-cut filter, but they all have the bayer filter on the sensor. The plethora of ebay / Amazon Raspberry-compatible cameras all use this same sensor, because that is the only one supported by the Pi's closed-source GPU image pipeline. Of course you can also buy any USB-2 camera you choose, including monochrome types. However, do check if they are supported under Linux.

By the way, one of my Pi camera installations uses a no-IR-filter version of the camera with an additional 850nm bandpass filter, like this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Optical-Filter- ... 1937873602

This is a special-purpose device as it is only sensitive to near-IR, but it is also (since the bayer filter dyes are IR-transparent) so nearly monochomatic that you can't tell visually it isn't.

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:42 pm

Just a thought (it's not clear just why you need monochrome but can't just convert the PiCam's output to B&W in photo software.)

So here goes- you can get whatever monochrome camera suits you, and using some combination of VPN/ad hoc/wifi/bluetooth/ssh send the image file back to the Pi or other storage device (like the wireless USB drives they're making). The techniques exist; on nature shows like LIFE, they are mounting tiny disposable spy eye cams on some very small critters, and producing great HD imagery.

hth!

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:12 pm

CaptSunset wrote:Just a thought (it's not clear just why you need monochrome but can't just convert the PiCam's output to B&W in photo software.)
Excuse me, when I suggested that I was shot down in flames.
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:08 pm

DougieLawson wrote: ... I was shot down in flames.
OT: Doug, I've been watching the excellent Halt and Catch Fire recently, and noticed something that I thought was actors stylizing their characters as hardware/code monkeys; then I saw Steve Jobs.

What I'm finally getting is the, well, call it general curtness here is not usually intentional.
Text is missing the tone of voice as well as well, the con-text. ;)

So sorry; I was intending to draw the OP out on why he needed monochrome- higher rez or what?

Hopefully we can all realize people are trying to help each other here, and you are definitely more helpful than most... OK, are the flames out yet? :D

Dang, now I've gone & offended everybody else! :o

hmspanda
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:47 am

I posted some stuff about monochrome cameras in May 2015, but the Pi V2.1 and some recent advances in commercial scientific monochrome cameras offer (perhaps paradoxically) a "broader spectrum" of opportunities for monochrome imaging.
The V2.1 cameras use the same interface circuitry and pretty much the same software as the original. It is not possible to trigger the camera or to set single frame exposure precisely; both the old and the new cameras are designed to take good to excellent snapshots and video, but the V2.1 has much better low light sensitivity. The V2.1 NoIR version used with an IR LED light source and an IR long pass filter would make an excellent surveillance camera.
A color camera chip is a monochrome chip with a Bayer mask in front of it. The mask places alternating red and green filters in front of the pixels in one row and alternating green and blue filters in front of the pixels in the next row. Taking a picture at half maximum resolution gives you 2x2 pixels which each contain information from two green, one red, and one blue pixel. If you know the spectral response of the filters in the Bayer mask, you can calculate the spectral response of these pixels and create a monochrome image from raw Bayer data.
The Bayer filter spectra are available for the 5 MP Omnivision OV5647 color chip used in the original Pi camera, so you could use either the standard version or the NoIR version as a 1.3 MP monochrome camera. I have not seen filter spectra for the 8 MP Sony IMX219 color chip used in the v2.1 cameras, but I would expect the spectral data to become available soon, allowing the same trick to be done.
While that might allow the V2.1 camera to be used for really low light level video and still image capture, it is difficult to do serious scientific photometry with either the original or V2.1 Pi cameras using their original lenses. Third parties have been supplying Pi-compatible OV5647 camera boards with CS or M12 standard interchangeable lens mounts for some time, and ArduCAM has just announced Pi-compatible IMX219 boards that can use interchangeable lenses. The compatible boards are typically priced only slightly higher (< US$50) than the official Pi boards.
If you're looking for a monochrome camera with maximum light sensitivity, triggering, precise exposure control and/or a global shutter, several manufacturers offer USB-interfaced models which, even though restricted to USB2 speed by the Pi's hardware, can transfer tens of frames of video per second. The suppliers provide acquisition software and software development kits. The USB cameras typically cost at least US$150, but there are now quite a few good megapixel-range monochrome USB cameras out there for US$400 or less. More important, the cameras' manufacturers are now making an effort to make them work with Raspberry Pis. I have had some experience with cameras and software from Basler and Point Grey.
The standard Pi camera interface hasn't got the connections that would allow it to be used, for example, to trigger the camera, but I expect that there are enough Pi users interested in serious cameras to bring the prices of USB-interfaced camera boards down substantially in a year or two.

lduarte
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Fri May 12, 2017 5:48 am

I wanted to ask you if you found a monochrome camera for raspberry? Or, what camera did you use? :D

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Fri May 12, 2017 11:29 am

lduarte wrote:I wanted to ask you if you found a monochrome camera for raspberry? Or, what camera did you use? :D
No, there are only two cameras available for the Raspberry pi that connect to the camera interface (rather than USB cams), both full colour.
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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:57 am

I presume that it ispossible to get a mono camera working with Raspberry Pi on the CSI bus, but it isn't easy.
There are some interesting findings over at:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 3&t=109137
No definitive answer maybe, but towards the right direction

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Re: Does a monochrome camera module exist?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:35 am

jamesh wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 11:29 am
No, there are only two cameras available for the Raspberry pi that connect to the camera interface (rather than USB cams), both full colour.
There are only two cameras from RPF that can be connected.
There are several cameras from Arducam that can be connected to CSI-2 interface.

Three of them are monochrome (global shutter) cameras (0.3/1.0/2.0MP):
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 2#p1523259

0.3/1.0/2.0MP cameras are available for $25.99/$29.99/$99.99:
https://www.uctronics.com/index.php/ard ... amera.html
https://www.uctronics.com/index.php/ard ... amera.html
https://www.uctronics.com/index.php/htt ... -html.html

You can use those cameras alone, or with Stereo hat.
This is stereo image of two 2MP monochrome global shutter cameras (2 x 1280x800 = 2560x800, right click for full size):
Image


P.S:
DougieLawson wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:58 am
Getting a B&W image is possible with a regular camera (with the IR filter) using raspistill --colfx 128:128 -o b_n_w_image.jpg
--colfx is common option and can be used with raspivid as well -- cheapest option if you have a Raspberry camera already:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /camera.md

With raspividyuv you can use "--luma" option, that just drops U and V planes and only outputs Y plane, which is basically a stream of GRAY8 frames.

If you need to process b&w information while capturing, just processing Y plane of frames allows to do that while keeping the color information:
https://github.com/Hermann-SW2/userland ... g-airplane

So if you do not need the "global shutter" aspect of above cameras, Raspberry v1/v2 cameras are sufficient.
⇨https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/en/Raspberry_camera.html

https://github.com/Hermann-SW/Raspberry_v1_camera_global_external_shutter
https://stamm-wilbrandt.de/github_repo_i420toh264
https://github.com/Hermann-SW/fork-raspiraw
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