Raspberry Pi upgrades its camera boards with a new 8MP Sony Sensor in regular and infrared flavours

Apr 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Raspberry Pi upgrades its camera boards with a new 8MP Sony Sensor in regular and infrared flavours

Apr 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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raspberry_pi_8mp_camera

The Raspberry Pi Foundation have today announced that they are introducing a new 8MP camera board to replace their popular 5MP OmniVision based camera board.

The new camera, based around a Sony IMX219 8MP sensor, is available at the same low price of $25 in both regular colour as well as infrared versions.

With the previous OmniVision OV5647 sensor being end-of-lifed at the end of 2014, the Raspberry Pi Foundation acquired a large stockpile of sensors, allowing them to keep producing camera boards, while a new source was found.  Those supplies are now rapidly dwindling,

Some videos from Sony show the capabilities of the IMX219 sensor itself, such as this 720p footage recorded at 180 frames per second for some slow motion.

YouTube video
YouTube video

This sensor also includes some simple HDR processing for scenes that contain a high dynamic range.

imx219_hdr

Sony also state that this sensor can shoot 1080p footage at up to 60 frames per second, but exactly which features and capabilities of the sensor we’ll be able to access via the Raspberry Pi has not yet been announced, but time will tell.

Naush Patuck, formerly of Broadcom’s imaging team, has been brought on to help tune the image sensor pipeline to work for the Raspberry Pi, and to perfect the colour accuracy and white balancing system of the cameras.

You can see from the images below that quite some progress has been made in this area.  On the left is the default input, and on the right is with Naush’s software.

raspberry_pi_8mp_camera_white_balance

Alex Eames from Raspi.tv got his hands on a couple and put together a quick video introducing the new pair of cameras, and comparing it with its predecessor.

YouTube video

No word yet as to whether or not they’ll finally allow us manual control over the duration of the exposure or sensitivity of the sensor, but here’s hoping.

It’s certainly nice to see an update, either way, and I’m looking forward to having a play with these.

[via Raspberry Pi]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Raspberry Pi upgrades its camera boards with a new 8MP Sony Sensor in regular and infrared flavours”

  1. Chew Yeong Huei Avatar
    Chew Yeong Huei
  2. Dan K Avatar
    Dan K

    @groupgetscom how does this compare to yours?