I want to start off by extending my gratitude to the Element14 Team for sending me such a lovely gift!

Mounting the Camera

 

With the camera having the ubiquitous ¼”-20 thread mount that has been in use on film and digital cameras for a very long time, there are consequently a vast number of camera fixturing devices readily available (like a tripod).

 

For this project, I am going to use some bits and bobs from a 50-in-1 Action Camera Accessory Kit. Partly because I already have the kit and partly because I feel some of the accessories will work very well with the RPI HQ camera. A little sticky mount as seen on a helmet below should work very well in this project (minus the helmet of course!).

 

These sticky mounts would be an easy way to add vision to a number of projects, just stick and go. They are easy to adjust and the camera can easily be transferred to another project.

 

I have added a few other mounts that I think will be handy in future projects just for inspiration:

 

Setting up the Camera

I started by downloading the Rasperry Pi OS version:

Raspberry Pi OS with desktop and recommended software (May 7th 2021)

 

After imaging a 32 GB uSD card with dd (Disk Destroyer, I always get nervous using this tool), I put the uSD card into the PI4 and it booted up with no issues.

 

After enabling the DSI camera interface in the raspi-config menu and reboot later, I had a fully functional 12 MP digital camera. Taking your first image is accomplished by running the following in a command terminal:

raspistill -t 10000 -o photo.jpg

 

Wireless Access Point

Since this project is centered around using the HQ camera in the wild (where there is no WIFI or power outlets available) I proceeded to configure the PI4 as a self managed wireless access point following the guide published by the RPI Team:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/access-point-routed.md

 

I omitted the section on routing and IP masquerading as I won't be using the ethernet interface.

 

Just like that I had a new wireless SSID available named Nemo.

 

Web Interface - Motioneye

I followed the installation guide for motioneye verbatim and had no issues getting the server up and running on the PI4. The installation guide is available at:

https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneye/wiki/Install-On-Raspbian

 

Full credit goes to the developers working on motioneye project, and you can find sample screen shots at: https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneye/wiki/Screenshots

 

To make use of the HQ Camera in motioneye I had to add a 'Local MMAL Camera' with the following settings:

I was also able to get the following resolution to work 2592 × 1944 (WxH), but not the full sensor resolution of 4056 x 3040 (WxH).

 

Field Testing the HQ Camera

I ventured over to my local community garden to try out the RPI HQ camera in the wild. I lashed up a basic camera rig mounting the HQ camera to a tripod and zip-tied the PI4 just below. With a few faston spade crimps, a DCDC converter module, and a power tool battery, I had a 30 W capable portable power source for the PI4. A photo of the camera setup is shown below:

I was able to maintain a WIFI connection with the PI at any of the distances I needed to be away from the camera. In hindsight I should have oriented the PI4 such that there isn't a metal plate between me and the PI4's antenna. In general I had over 10 FPS on my phone's live preview which made composing a shot easy.

 

Trying to focus the camera on a small compressed jpeg preview on my phone wasn't that easy, I wish I could have had a x5 or x10 live view like I can on my digital cameras. That would have made focusing the camera much easier. At home with the camera preview on a 24'' monitor it is fairly easy to focus the camera.

 

The HQ Camera with its Sony IMX477 CMOS sensor is definitely impressive and has endless opportunities for creative or analytical photography.

 

The 16mm telephoto lens is very much a telephoto lens. Trying to capture a scene or landscape is very difficult with the field of view provided by this lens. The lens is extremely versatile for photographing objects of interest. You can capture a sharp images of objects ranging from sizes of less than 1 cm (they won't fill the entire frame, but large enough to be useful) to several meters, provided you are far enough away.

 

Sample Photos

Here are some sample photos I captured trying out the HQ camera in the wild:

{gallery} Raspberry PI HQ Camera Samples

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IMAGE TITLE: I found a fish petrified into stone!

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The resolution of the images was limited by motioneye, not the camera module or the PI.

 

All for now.