Raspberry Pi, maker of low-cost miniature computers frequently used in DIY projects, has upgraded its camera board accessory, replacing the previous 5MP OmniVision OV5647 sensor with an 8MP Sony IMX219 sensor. The new sensor is used for both the regular camera board and an infrared-sensitive version, and according to Raspberry Pi, it offers better low-light performance, image quality and color fidelity.

The camera accessory is a simple, small board with a ribbon cable that can be connected to one of the Raspberry Pi mini-computers. Creators have used the camera modules to record images through a telescope and equip drones with lightweight camera functionality, among many other applications. The previously used OmniVision sensor was discontinued in 2014, but a large stockpile allowed Raspberry Pi to continue offering the model until just recently. 

Speaking about tuning the image sensor pipeline, Naush Patuck said:

Regarding the tuning process, I guess you could say the bulk of the effort went into the lens shading and AWB tuning. Apart from the fixed shading correction, our auto lens shading algorithm takes care of module to module manufacturing variations. AWB is tricky because we must ensure correct results over a large section of the colour temperature curve; in the case of the IMX219, we used images illuminated by light sources from 1800K [very reddish light] all the way up to 16000K [very bluish light].

The Sony-based camera board costs $25 like the previous version, and is available through RS Components and element14.

Via: Raspberry Pi