A Raspberry Pi Hi Speed Camera For $6
Written by David Conrad   
Saturday, 10 August 2019

Taking high frame rate video is both fun and often useful, but a video camera that can do the job is very expensive. A small project involving a Raspberry Pi and its $6 camera has produced reasonably good quality video at 660fps. Take a look.


No hardware changes or additions are required. It is all done in software. The strange image format is due to the need to read the sensor very fast  Using a block read mode it is possible to read half the data in half the time, so increasing the frame rate. On the V1 sensor you can read a 64-pixel band at a frame rate of 660 frame per second. However there isn't enough processing power to move the data elsewhere and so the recording time is limited to the amount of memory available.

The biggest problem in using the camera is that it needs high light levels. This would have been a big problem, but with today's high output LEDs you can probably manage to construct something that works and runs fairly cool.

It also has to be admitted that the software could do with some polishing - given it is open source, what are you waiting for? At the moment you have to go through the steps - capture headerless raw files, add headers, convert to TIFF and finally convert TIFF frames to a video. Just pressing a button would be nice.

There is also scope for thinking deeper about the capture software. Could we use DMA to increase the amount of memory available? Are there other tricks involving using more than one camera and more than one Pi to create bigger images? Does the Pi 4 offer any new possibilities?

The field seems wide open.



More Information

A Guide to Recording 660FPS Video On A $6 Raspberry Pi Camera





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Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 August 2019 )