So I’m looking for a good camera for next year. Here are some things I really want in a camera:
Usable with a Linux host as a USB cam. Specifically, a Raspberry Pi, but really it could be any Linux platform. The Raspberry Pi isn’t the be all and end all of coprocessors.
Easy to use in the center of an LED ring. As long as retroreflective targets are present in FIRST, the easiest way to find them will be with a low sensitivity camera in the middle of an LED ring. The key element to make it easy is that off the shelf USB webcams are typically housed in nice plastic cases that don’t have any flat surfaces. The LED rings are hard to mount.
Responds to OpenCV camera adjustment methods. There’s a sort of standard API for ajusting sensitivity, resolution, and other parameters, but not every camera supports all of the methods. It’s kind of a pain.
Has generally good optics and responses.
We used this one this year: Amazon.com: ELP megapixel Super Mini 720p USB Camera Module with 100degree Lens: Office Products
It was nice and easy to mount, but it didn’t respond to sensitivity adjustment parameters in OpenCV, so I couldn’t dial down the sensitivity for use with a light ring. Also, it had some sort of autoadjustment going on, so that the first several frames taken by the camera were much, much, darker than subsequent frames. it worked will for this year, but this year I had pretty good control of the lighting.
I used the Jevois camera for a few years. It’s form factor is nice, and it’s easily adjustable., and being able to run the vision algorithms on the camera itself was a major bonus. However, some of its optics were a pain. At higher gains, there would be artifacts introduced that played havoc with vision algorithms. Also, having only a serial port as a means of exporting data was a bit of a pain.
Lifecams and any other off the shelf cameras were in inconvenient cases, and some of them supported only a small number of configuration parameters.
So, what do people use that gives all of the above? Convenient, Adjustable and responsive to commands, and easily mountable?