Raspberry Pi Upgrades Camera Module to Sony IMX219 8MP Sensor, On Sale at $25
Since its launch back in 2012, the Raspberry Pi has seen multiple refreshes; however, one feature that remain unchanged is its 5-megapixel OmniVision camera module. The reason why the camera accessory has not been updated was because it was always meant to be affordable. Part of that cause, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and its partners both bought up large stockpiles to ensure the prices are kept low.
But those are now almost completely depleted, according to CEO Eben Upton, which means an upgrade is in line. So the Raspberry Pi Foundation has now announced the immediate availability of two new visible-light and infrared cameras based on the Sony IMX219 8-megapixel sensor, at the same low price of $25.
According to the organization, the IMX219 sensor is “more than just a resolution upgrade: it’s a leap forward in image quality, colour fidelity and low-light performance.” It is designed to output photos with resolutions up to 3,280 x 2,464 pixels and 1080p video at 30fps.
Additionally, the Sony sensor is paired with the VideoCore IV multimedia processor architecture, which includes a sophisticated image sensor pipeline (ISP).
The ISP has to be turned to work with the sensor as to correct for sensor and module artifacts; however, a lot of effort goes into the lens shading and auto white balance tuning. The Raspberry Pi Foundation states on their Blog:
The goal of auto white balance (AWB) is to recover the “true” colours in a scene regardless of the colour temperature of the light illuminating it: filming a white object should result in white pixels in sunlight, or under LED, fluorescent or incandescent lights.