A $25 16MP camera with autofocus for Raspberry Pi boards (Crowdfunding)

ArduCam has launched a $25 16MP camera with autofocus for Raspberry Pi boards with 40% higher resolution than the 12MP Raspberry Pi HQ camera, while keeping the compact form factor of the 8MP Raspberry Pi Camera V2.

The camera is equipped with a 16MP Sony IMX519 sensor, works with any Raspberry Pi board with a MIPI CSI interface, and the company claims that with the existing camera tuning algorithms from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the camera module beats the Raspberry Pi HQ camera’s quality in every aspect including sharpness, saturation, exposure, and more. The downside is that it lacks supports for interchangeable lenses.

Raspberry Pi 16MP camera autofocus

Arducam 16MP camera specifications:

  • Sensor – Sony IMX519 sensor with 4656 x 3496 pixels resolution
  • Still resolution – 16MP
  • Video modes – 1080p30, 720p60
  • Optical size – Type 1/2.53″
  • Focal ratio – 1.75
  • Focal length – 4.28 mm
  • Autofocus – Yes with range 10cm to ∞. As a comparison, the official Raspberry Pi Camera V2 is fixed focus, while the HQ camera has manually adjustable focus
  • FoV – 80° viewing angle
ArduCam 16MP camera vs Raspberry Pi Camera V2 and V1.3
ArduCam 16 MP vs Raspberry Pi Camera v2.1 and v1.3

The ArduCam 16MP autofocus camera comes with a plastic enclosure (strangely not shown in any photos) and it’s compatible with other Raspberry Pi camera enclosures. The camera supports V4L2 drivers and the open-source libcamera library meaning it should just be plug and play like an official Raspberry Pi camera. The camera also supports up to 200 seconds of exposure time, and stretch goals include a NoIR camera version ($20000 funding), as well as support for the stereo camera HAT and multiplexers ($30,000 goal). You can watch the video below for an overview of the camera capabilities and some samples.

The $25 price tag is the retail price, and it’s the same as the Raspberry Pi Camera v2, and half the price of the HQ camera. But there’s a 40% discount in a Kickstarter campaign where ArduCam offers the 16MP autofocus camera, the enclosure, and a 15 cm Flex cable for just $16. There are also bundle with multiple cameras, a pan-and-tilt kit, and a CSI to HDMI adapter for people needing longer cables. Shipping and Taxes are not included, and there’s no estimation for the former. The rewards will ship right after the campaign is complete in January 2022.

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