Raspberry Pi’s Digicam Module 3 arrives with these large updates

by Icecream
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Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi has introduced the third model of its Raspberry Pi Digicam Module, which is available in 4 variants that begin at $25 and options HDR imaging and autofocus for the primary time. 

It is also launching a mounted model of the Pi Excessive High quality Digicam. 

Raspberry Pi Digicam Module 3 succeeds the 2016 Digicam Module 2, however now comes with a 11.9 megapixel (MP) Sony sensor relatively than the previous mannequin’s 8.1 MP Sony sensor. The Digicam Module 3 additionally is available in 4 variants: the usual Area of View (FoV); large FoV; NoIR (infrared delicate), and NoIR Extensive FoV. 

The usual FoV variants preserve the $25 entry stage worth however presents a wider 66° horizontal FoV versus to the Module 2’s 62° horizontal FoV. The 2 wide-FOV choices value $35 and supply 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 achieve new purposes like digital panning. 

However the two large new options of the Digicam Module 3 are powered autofocus — relatively than the fastened focus of its predecessors — and excessive dynamic vary (HDR) imaging that almost all of us are used to in smartphone cameras. 

Because of autofocus, the Module 3 can take crisp photos of objects from round 5mm away — a giant enchancment from “common” photos the Module 1 and a pair of may take from a meter away with their fastened focus lenses, in line with Upton

HDR is enabled by the Digicam 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 fun characteristic” of the Module 3 and goes into element about why it is essential for the brand new Pi digicam accent. As with many smartphones, the Module 3 takes a number of photos in various exposures — regular, beneath, and over — to create a superior picture.

“For a scene with each vivid and darkish areas (one with excessive dynamic vary), there is not essentially a single sensible choice of publicity time: you are confronted with an invidious alternative between blowing out the brilliant areas or underexposing the darkish ones. Excessive-dynamic-range (HDR) sensors like IMX708 sort out this downside by taking a number of simultaneous exposures with totally different publicity occasions. We will then choose the publicity which greatest captures the element in every area of the picture, and apply a tone mapping course of to compress the dynamic vary of the end result for show or storage,” explains Upton.

The autofocus performance depends on the IMX708’s Part Detection Autofocus (PDAF) capabilities however makes use of Raspberry Pi’s Distinction Detection Autofocus (CDAF) algorithm if a high-confidence PDAF end result just isn’t accessible, in line with Upton.

Raspberry Pi has additionally launched a brand new variant of the 2020 $50 Excessive High quality Digicam, 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. 

Solely the Raspberry Pi 400 and the 2016 launch model of Zero are incompatible with the Digicam Module 3 as a result of they lack CSI connectors. It additionally shares the Module 2’s board dimensions and mounting-hole positions. However it isn’t mechanically suitable with the digicam lid for the Raspberry Pi Zero Case. 

On the software program facet, the Module 3 is simply supported by the libcamera software program and the libcamera-based Picamera2 beta beneath Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye. 

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