ArduCam has just released a 16MP autofocus camera for Raspberry Pi systems that could be used to build anything from a smart camera to a magic mirror. The Chinese manufacturer designs and makes open-source hardware and software for Raspberry Pi and Arduino and this latest product promises it will be an improvement on existing cameras.
The camera will boast a 16MP Sony IMX519 1/2.53-inch sensor, have a resolution of 4656 x 4946 and a maximum aperture of f/1.75. It also features a focal length of 4.28mm and an 80-degree effective field of view. Given the camera is so small, it can also shoot 1080p Full HD at up to 30fps or 720p HD at up to 60fps which makes it perfect for use as a video streaming camera.
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While this might not be the first camera designed specifically to be used with Raspberry Pi hardware, ArduCam promises the new and improved camera will be better in every way. Images will be sharper, have more dynamic range and colors will be more accurately represented, we're told. It also offers 40% more pixels than the previous 12MP Raspberry Pi HQ but it’s the same size as the 8MP version – the Raspberry Pi V2.
As it's compatible with V4L2 drivers, it should just be a simple case of plug and play which means you can spend more time on designing what you want your Raspberry Pi system to be and there are lots of suggestions out there.
Despite the improved specs in the new camera, it’s actually going to cost half the amount of the previous version at just $25. ArduCam launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project which has already reached over $20,000. Pledges start at $15 which includes a single camera and flexible cable at 40% off and go up to $151 where you will receive 50% off 12 cameras and cables.
Whether or not you use a Raspberry Pi system, you can't deny that a 16MP camera for just $25 is worth getting a little bit excited about. For a thumb-sized camera, the image quality sounds super impressive and the possibilities endless. You might have to wait until the new year to get your hands on one but until then, you can plan your next project.