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Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Raspberry pi digital camera for raw video

Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:00 pm

Hello there (new here, sorry if i'm posting in the wrong place)

I want to make a digital camera for shooting raw video(1080p) with a raspberry pi and a camera module(not the pi camera, sensor will have a rediculous crop factor).

I am familiar with the software side of things but I know little about the hardware.
If anybody could please help me with these questions or send a link to similar projects that would be much appreciated.

Questions I have:
  • Is it even possible to output 24 fps 1080p raw video from a board camera?
  • Will a raspberry pi have the performance to handle it?
  • What file format do board cameras output?
  • Where would be the best place online to but the electronic parts i need?
  • Could you please share any links to similar projects
The only constraints are that It needs to be portable, have a sensor no smaller than 1/2.3" and support c mount lenses

Thanks in advance

Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: Raspberry pi digital camera for raw video

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:37 pm

Yes, you can attach other sensors to the CSI2 interface. There are two interfaces to using it - V4L2 (recommended) or MMAL.
There are a couple of suppliers I'm aware of, ... a-modules/ and ... ra-module/. You will need to speak to them about support as Raspberry Pi can not provide any support for them.
All AE/AGC/AWB algorithms will need to be provided by the supplier - the sensors just read out data.

Almost all CMOS sensors have a Bayer filter on the front, so you don't have a full RGB or YUV image for the sensor.
At 10bit/pixel 1080p you're looking at 2.5MB per image, or 62MB/second (~500Mbit/s) for 24fps. Few storage devices can cope with saving data at that rate.

More normally you would pass the images through an ISP (Image Sensor Pipeline) to produce YUV images, and then H264 encode those. That brings the data rate down to a more sensible level (typically around 15-20Mbit/s for 1080p).

So whilst it is possible, it is not a trivial task.
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