StereoPi

by virt2real

An open source stereoscopic camera based on Raspberry Pi

View all updates Mar 07, 2019

Last Three Days, and How to Catch a V2 Wide-angle Unicorn

Our campaign will end in three days, so there’s still time for you to grab a StereoPi from the first batch.

Brand-new CM3+ Lite Availability

Thanks to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we were able to get some of the newest CM3+ Lite modules! This module has quickly become so popular, that almost everyone is already sold out. But we were able to find 150 pieces and will include them in the first 150 Deluxe Kits, which are now known as StereoPi Deluxe Kit (CM3+ Lite). If you have already ordered a Deluxe Kit, you have automatically upgraded to the CM3+ Lite version. If you haven’t yet ordered a Deluxe Kit, there are still a few units available that will come with the CM3+ Lite.

Catching a Unicorn

Example wide-angle cameras for the Raspberry Pi

If you search for wide-angle cameras for Raspberry Pi, you find that almost all of them are based on the previous generation V1 camera with an OV5647 sensor. But it is very difficult to find a wide angle V2 camera. Why?

Well, the V1 camera became so popular after it came out that a lot of manufacturers cloned it. Some of these clones were just a replica of the original, while others were fully redesigned modules with more advanced optics. This gave DIY fans some great choices, since the original camera has pinhole optics and a basic field of view (FOV).

Raspberry Pi V2 camera

Then the V2 camera appeared, with a new Sony IMX219 sensor, higher resolution, and some advanced features. And the same stock pinhole optics. Afterward, a lot of DIY recipes appeared in the Internet, explaining how you can cut off and replace the original optics, or how you can you use Olloclip-like fisheye lenses for phones to increase your FOV. But V2 also has some minor, but important difference from V1. In particular, it has an onboard crypto chip that hides the I2C data. Though this crypto chip has yet to be hacked or replaced, inspired engineers are unstoppable and one elegant solution has been found – instead of hacking the existing hardware, upgrade it!

The V2 camera consists of a carrier board and tiny sensor board connected with a ribbon cable:

Raspberry Pi V2 camera with no sensor

And here is the solution:

Raspberry Pi wide-angle V2 camera

You just replace sensor module and ribbon cable of the original V2 camera, and you have reliable, durable solution. The bottom side of the new sensor is held down with double-sided tape, which fixes it in place quite well. We found this solution on Odseven site. Note that this is just a replacement kit, and does not include the V2 camera itself.

Does the StereoPi support simultaneous use of V1 and V2 cameras?

In short, yes, you can, but we do not recommend it. :-)

In this scenario, cameras become unstable. For example, you should use raspistill or raspivid for each camera individually before using 3D mode, otherwise you’ll get an MMAL error. Also, you may get errors while saving captured images (not enough buffer), and so on. These are predictable problems, as sensors have different resolutions and specifications. So, if you plan to do such an experiment, don’t waste your time – we already did it for you. The only use case we found for using different cameras is to compare the V1 and V2 under different lighting conditions or with different optics. We’d like to compare the FOV of V1 and V2 wide-angle versions, thus we did this proof-of-concept setup:

V1 and V2 cameras mounted on the same plate

and took this photo:

The V2 camera image is on the left, and the V1 camera image is on the right. The camera axes are not parallel, since their PCBs are constructed very differently and require different approaches for affixing them to the plate, but you can still make out the difference in the optics: V2 has a bit wider FOV, better white balance, and better light saturation management.

Waveshare 160° cameras are still our favorites, but modded V2 cameras look like a potential competitor! The modded V2s pass a lot of tests in a dozens of use cases, just as its predecessor successfully did over the last few years. Time will tell which is better!


$85,387 raised

of $35,000 goal

243% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$69

StereoPi Slim Edition

Perfect for DIY ninjas and those wanting to embed StereoPi in a tight space. This board is the same as the standard edition, but without all the bulky connectors - the Ethernet RJ45 jack, GPIO header, and dual USB Type-A connector have not been populated. To use this board, you will need your own Raspberry Pi Compute Module, cameras, camera ribbon cables, and power cable.


$89

StereoPi Standard Edition

The world of stereoscopic video awaits! This board is the ultimate interface between two cameras and a Raspberry Pi Compute Module. It comes with all the bells and whistles, including Ethernet, dual USB ports, GPIO header, microSD slot, HDMI output, and more. To use this board, you will need your own Raspberry Pi Compute Module, cameras, camera ribbon cables, and power cable.


$125

StereoPi Starter Kit

This kit has everything you need to get started right away. The kit includes one StereoPi Standard Edition board, two V1 cameras (w/ ~20 cm ribbon cables), one Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Lite, and everything in the StereoPi Accessories Kit (two short ribbon cables, one USB power cable, two power cables, one V1/V2 dual-camera mounting plate, and one wide-angle dual-camera mounting plate). We've also included a microSD card pre-imaged with Raspbian and all the stereoscopic video and image demos you see on this project page.


$199

StereoPi Deluxe Kit

This kit includes everything in the StereoPi Starter Kit and adds two wide-angle (160°) cameras (w/ ~20 cm ribbon cables). With this kit, you'll be able to run all of the demos shown on this project page and start experimenting on your own. You will reign supreme over your stereoscopic domain.


$25

StereoPi Accessories Kit

This bundle will help you mount and connect your two cameras, and supply power to the whole setup. Included are two short (5 cm) ribbon cables to connect your cameras to your StereoPi (most cameras come with cumbersome 10-20 cm cables), one USB power cable for powering your setup from a standard USB Type-A power source, two power cables with bare leads for using in screw terminals or soldering to a non-USB power source, a laser-cut acrylic plate for mounting two V1/V2 cameras, and a laser-cut acrylic plate for mounting two wide-angle cameras. Both camera mounting plates are compatible with the freely available plans for our 3D-printed enclosure. StereoPi and cameras not included.

Credits

virt2real

We are a small team of geeks who have been making remote-controlled things with livestreaming video since 2010. We've done everything from boats and planes, to robots, copters, and VR helmets. If we can't find the right tools for our projects, we build them ourselves.


Eugene Pomazov

Sergey Serov

Kirill Shiryaev


NexPCB

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