Second Generation ArduCAM USB2.0 Camera Shield

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The second generation of Arducam USB2.0 shield is designed to replace the old one released on March 2017 while keeping the same form of factor and software compatible. The highlight of the new USB2.0 camera shield is that it has onboard 8MByte hardware frame buffer, and overcome the bandwidth and dropping frames issue when using the software frame buffer scheme. In addition, with onboard frame buffer it supports synchronized multiple cameras taking images exactly at the same time. Now it well supports both PC and embedded system like Raspberry Pi, and also can provide customized support for Odroid, Beaglebone Black, Nvidia JETSON TK/TX boards.

Features

  • Support any parallel image sensors
  • Support 8/10/12 bit pixel color depth
  • Build-in IRCUT control  (optional)
  • Need extra MIPI to parallel adapter board for supporting MIPI interface sensors
  • Support x86, ARM 32/64bit hardware platforms
  • Support Windows, Linux OS
  • Fully customizable and can be ported to other hardware platform and software OS
  • Provide free binary SDK library and demo software source code

Specifications

  • Bandwidth:480Mbps USB2.0
  • I/O Voltage Standard: 3.3V
  • Connector: Micro-USB2.0
  • Onboard Frame Buffer 8MBytes
  • Size: 40 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 20g
  • Power Consumption: 5V/300mA
  • Operation Temperature: -10℃~+55℃

Documents

Arducam USB2 Camera Shield DataSheet
Arducam USB2 Camera Shield User Guide
Arducam USB Camera Shield SDK User Guide

Arducam USB3.0 Camera Shield

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Introduction

Arducam USB3 camera shield is the latest USB3.0 camera shields, it offers the improved performance and enhanced functions than the previous USB2.0 camera shield. It not only supports high resolution and high frame rate image sensors, but also supports stereoscopy camera and IRCUT control feature. With the given camera configuration files, user can switch between different cameras without any effort. It is the ideal solution for camera evaluation/testing, robot/drone, IoT, machine vision and scientific applications.

Features

  • Support any parallel image sensors (need proper register settings)
  • Support 8/10/12/14/16 bit pixel color depth
  • Support Stereoscopy mode for dual camera system
  • Build-in IRCUT control  (optional)
  • Need extra MIPI to parallel adapter board for supporting MIPI interface sensors (see Table1)
  • Provide free binary SDK library and demo software source code
  • Fully customizable and can be ported to any hardware platform and software OS (Current SDK Version Supports Windows Only)

Specifications

  • Bandwidth: 5-Gbps USB3.0 PHY
  • Camera Databus: 16bit@100MHz
  • I/O Voltage Standard: 3.3V
  • Connector: Micro-USB3.0
  • Size: 40 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 10g
  • Power Consumption: 5V/300mA
  • Operation Temperature: -10℃~+55℃

Table 1 Featured Camera Modules Supported

Resolution Frame Rate Camera Module Sensor Vendor
0.3MP 100fps OV7251 (MIPI) Omnivision
0.3MP 60fps MT9V022/MT9V034 Aptina
1.3MP 50fps AR0134/AR0135 Aptina
5MP 15fps OV5647 (MIPI) Omnivision
9MP 7fps MT9N001 Aptina
10MP 6fps MT9J001/MT9J003 Aptina
14MP 5fps MT9F002 Aptina
13MP 5fps OV13850 (MIPI) Omnivision

Documents

Arducam USB3 Camera Shield DataSheet
Arducam USB3 Camera Shield User Guide
Arducam USB Camera Shield SDK User Guide

ArduCAM NOIR Raspberry Pi camera with Motorized IR Cut Filter

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Background

Raspberry pi camera has both color version pi camera board and NoIR version pi camera board. So let’s take a look at the difference between these two types of camera. The color version pi camera has 650nm IR cut filter on top of the sensor, so it can only sensitive to visible light like human eyes. While the NoIR version pi camera also called IR filter removed pi camera which doesn’t have 650nm IR cut filter on top of the sensor, and can sensitive all spectrum of light including ultraviolet light and near infrared light which cannot be seen by humans. So people will think NoIR pi camera is better than the standard color pi camera, because it is sensitive to all spectrum rather than visible light. Yes, it is good, but it depends. The problem of this effect is that the color reproduction is drastically affected.
Unlike your eyes, camera sensors can detect “near infrared” light that just outside the range of the human eye. The image below shows the result.

The plants in this view reflect more infrared than green light so they appear pink in daylight.
To make the image more akin to what humans can see, most cameras are fitted with an infrared-cut filter which only allows visible light to pass through, reflecting unwanted infrared. This is where standard color version pi camera used for.

Motorized (Switchable) infrared-cut filters

There are some instances where capturing infrared light is an advantage. In low-light conditions, cameras capture as much light as possible to produce brighter images, regardless of color. For this reason, some entry-level night-vision cameras don’t feature a cut filter, instead capturing infrared light from on-board LEDs at night at the expense of true color reproduction during the daytime.
The optimum solution is to use a switchable infrared-cut filter. In daylight, the filter covers the sensor to provide color footage, while at night the filter opens for a brighter image. In industry terms, these cameras are known as day/night or true day/night cameras.
These cameras can be combined with infrared lamps which are much more discreet than conventional white-light lighting, since the light produced can’t be seen by the human eye.

Solution

Sometimes you need the camera to work on both daylight and dark (night time) conditions, like the IP-based security camera. ArduCAM pi cameras now feature a motorized IR-cut filter on NoIR pi camera board, the IR-cut can be switched on in the daylight and can be switched off at night, and cooperated with IR light source for night vision. The highlight of this motorized IR-cut mechanism is no additional cable needed between the Raspberry Pi board and camera board.

ArduCAM pi camera with motorized IR cut filter

First we have to edit the config.txt file

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Add this line at the end of the config.txt file, save and reboot.

disable_camera_led=1

Then use our provide python script to take normal image with IR-cut on and night vision image with IR-cut off. Using the following commands there are two pictures captured.

cd piCamLed
sudo python ./RPI_camera_IR_CUT_NOIR.py
sudo python ./RPI_camera_IR_CUT_IR.py

Software Download

Demo software can be downloaded from here.

ArduCAM USB Camera Shield Released

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The ArduCAM USB camera shield is a universal camera control board designed for both PCs and embedded systems like the Raspberry Pi, TI Beaglebone, and similar products. It supports most parallel interface image sensors ranging from 0.3MP to 14MP, including both global and rolling shutter sensors. The camera is packaged with the software you need to put it to work on Windows and Linux systems and  a comprehensive SDK library is provided to support this.  This SDK is fully integrated with Python, which allows for direct integration of our cameras with your OpenCV based applications.

The plug and play USB control interface simplifies integrating the camera with a wide range of computer hardware. The ready to use SDK library and demo source code makes the software integration process straightforward and efficient. Users can make it work in minutes without writing a line of code. The broad range of modules ArduCAM supports, combined with support for formats like RAW, RGB, YUV, JPEG assures our users a successful outcome.

The ArduCAM USB camera shield joins our product line of shields that offer SPI/IC2 interfaces. The USB camera shield offers significant speed gains over the SPI camera shield, running at as high a frame rate as the USB2.0 480Mbps bandwidth allows which can deliver  640_480(VGA at 60 FPS, through  4384_3228(14MP) at 2 FPS. By using a global shutter camera headboard such as the MT9V034/AR0134 together with USB camera shield, the user can achieve industrial level machine vision with our camera on a Raspberry pi without effort.

The ArduCAM is straightforward enough that it can be easily used with PCs and single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi and the Beaglebone. In short, the ArduCAM brings a plug and play solution to digital cameras at the hardware level.

Please visit our github to find more information and examples, and check the user guide here. Continue reading “ArduCAM USB Camera Shield Released” »

The GotchaCAM Portable DIY Wifi Camera Based Travel and Home Security and Surveillance System

Introduction

The GotchaCAM Portable Travel and Home Security and Surveillance System consists of the ArduCAM CC3200 Uno and the software from the book “Home Security System DIY PRO using Android and TI CC3200 SimpleLink” by Robert Chin. Both are available
for purchase on major sites like Amazon in US.

The recommended way to purchase the hardware for this system is by buying the “ArduCAM CC3200 UNO DIY Wifi Portable Security Spy Ghost Hunter Camera Starter Kit” that is available on Amazon. This provides you with all the hardware you will need. Continue reading “The GotchaCAM Portable DIY Wifi Camera Based Travel and Home Security and Surveillance System” »