Raspberry Pi has introduced the third model of its Raspberry Pi Camera Module, which is available in 4 variants that begin at $25 and options HDR imaging and autofocus for the primary time.
It’s additionally launching a mounted model of the Pi High Quality Camera.
Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 succeeds the 2016 Camera Module 2, however now comes with a 11.9 megapixel (MP) Sony sensor slightly than the previous mannequin’s 8.1 MP Sony sensor. The Camera Module 3 additionally is available in 4 variants: the usual Field of View (FoV); broad FoV; NoIR (infrared delicate), and NoIR Wide FoV.
The customary FoV variants preserve the $25 entry degree worth however affords a wider 66° horizontal FoV versus to the Module 2’s 62° horizontal FoV. The two wide-FOV choices price $35 and provide a 102° (horizontal) FoV. Raspberry Pi chief Eben Upton notes the wide-FoV variants have a barely decrease angular decision than the Module 2, however customers acquire new purposes like digital panning.
But the 2 big new options of the Camera Module 3 are powered autofocus — slightly than the fastened focus of its predecessors — and excessive dynamic vary (HDR) imaging that almost all of us are used to in smartphone cameras.
Thanks to autofocus, the Module 3 can take crisp photos of objects from round 5mm away — a big enchancment from “average” photos the Module 1 and a pair of might take from a meter away with their fastened focus lenses, in accordance with Upton.
HDR is enabled by the Camera Module 3’s Sony back-illuminated IMX708 sensor, permitting it to seize mild and shadows extra just like the human eye.
Upton says HDR is the “most exciting feature” of the Module 3 and goes into element about why it is necessary for the brand new Pi digital camera accent. As with many smartphones, the Module 3 takes a number of photos in various exposures — regular, underneath, and over — to create a superior picture.
“For a scene with both bright and dark regions (one with high dynamic range), there isn’t necessarily a single good choice of exposure time: you’re faced with an invidious choice between blowing out the bright regions or underexposing the dark ones. High-dynamic-range (HDR) sensors like IMX708 tackle this problem by taking multiple simultaneous exposures with different exposure times. We can then select the exposure which best captures the detail in each region of the image, and apply a tone mapping process to compress the dynamic range of the result for display or storage,” explains Upton.
The autofocus performance depends on the IMX708’s Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) capabilities however makes use of Raspberry Pi’s Contrast Detection Autofocus (CDAF) algorithm if a high-confidence PDAF end result isn’t accessible, in accordance with Upton.
Raspberry Pi has additionally launched a brand new variant of the 2020 $50 High Quality Camera, which featured interchangeable telephoto and wide-angle lenses for C- and CS-mount requirements. Raspberry Pi’s new variant has a local M12 mount, reducing out the necessity for adapters that some clients have been utilizing to attach fisheye lenses. It additionally prices $50.
Only the Raspberry Pi 400 and the 2016 launch model of Zero are incompatible with the Camera Module 3 as a result of they lack CSI connectors. It additionally shares the Module 2’s board dimensions and mounting-hole positions. But it’s not mechanically suitable with the digital camera lid for the Raspberry Pi Zero Case.
On the software program aspect, the Module 3 is simply supported by the libcamera software program and the libcamera-based Picamera2 beta underneath Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye.
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