Saturday, 11 January 2014

Birdcam / Raspberry Pi camera arrives.

OK - so my model A duly arrived with the Pi camera.  A little playing with this, and it's clear there are a few pluses and minuses with the camera.  The quality seems something like about the same as a lower end mobile phone camera in general.  This is what I see as the drawbacks / bonuses of the RPi camera over using a USB camera.

 - When bought with the model A, the price including delivery is just over £31. - This seems pretty reasonable to me compared with a cheap webcam and a model A Pi.

- Camera quality is OK - not brilliant, but not too bad.

- Data transfer doesn't impact on anything else you might be doing on the USB bus which seems to be a pretty major limitation otherwise - esp given I'm running a wireless dongle already on the USB.

- Using raspivid / raspistill doesn't seem to use very much CPU at all. - Same is not necessarily true using a USB camera.

- Try as I might, I cannot shift the barrel holding the lens.  The lens / barrel are really, really small and I cannot apply more force without danger of breaking the camera off the board. - This means I cannot adjust the native focus of the camera which is fixed.  It seems to be rather long sighted, focusing best from about a metre to infinity.  Not a major issue, but I need focal distance of about 25cm, so need to use a corrective lens.

- Ribbon cable isn't very long, and isn't very flexible - It would be nicer to have a flexible cable.

- IR ability with the standard camera is nil. - Generally, even cheap webcams have some built in IR ability for night / low light ability.  I know there is the model available with the IR filter removed, but it means I can't use the standard version in the birdcam at night.  Further, a cheap USB camera generally has built in IR leds for low light use. - There is no illumination with the Pi Camera module.

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