New Camera in Budget, What model and why

So we have in our budget this year to buy a new camera (we have been using an Axis 206 forever and want to upgrade to a Axis M1011 or M1013 ( we tried the Microsoft HD camera last year and had a fit of problems then went back to the 206).

we use Java for programming and are planning on using RoboRealms.

lets say that sourcing and price isn’t a problem.
What version of Axis camera would you go with, and why?
What are your experiences with these cameras?

The only real differences between the two is the viewing angle (67 degrees for the m1013 vs 47 degrees for the m1011.) and the m1013 has adjustable focus. There’s no real “competitive” advantage to either. (Maybe teams might actually want a smaller viewing angle to get the targets better in their sights?)

So you want to stick with IP connected cameras not USB cameras right?

I assume the Microsoft HD camera you tried was USB?
Have you considered Logitech cameras for USB?

Are you hoping for high resolution and field of view for fixed targets
Tracking of moving targets which really needs frames per second?

There are plenty of USB2 1080P webcams out there if you want resolution and are not planning on pumping that over the 7MB/s to the driver’s station. Once you decide to pump video back to the driver’s station you’ll be limited in resolution and frame rate. There are multiple ways to reduce the resolution of the video you send back to the driver’s station if you can process that video on the robot before it gets there.

the issue we had last year with the USB camera ( Microsoft HD 3000) were with capture speed. 1 FPS was as good as we were able to get(even at very low resolutions), comments, threads, and testing on the CD Java forums indicated this was an issue with the java library and (not the 7MB/s limit to the driver station) for non IP cameras.

I have for my personal use a HP webcam so we might test that at some point but I would rather go with something I know I can get results. Using vision to score goals in autonomous Inspires students, boxing webcam firmware drivers and Java libraries to get a halfway decent view of what the robot is kinda looking at , not so much.

I’m mainly asking if there are any big advantages or pitfalls with the Axis versions. or is it just the one has a slightly larger viewing angle? if this is the case I will just leave it up to the students as to what they think is better (sounds like a fun exercise)

Our webcam ran at about 24 fps without an issue last year.

However, I’ll warn you that the contrast adjustment on the 1011 and 1013 are not nearly as good as the older 206. In the past, you could hold a white sheet up in front of the camera and get it to hold the contrast so low that everything would appear dark except the really lit-up areas. The 1011 and 1013 will hold this until you repower the camera, then they reassert some low-default value. If you want the same effect on the newer cameras you’ll have to put some type of filter (like a sunglass lens) over the front of it.

What issues were you having with the MS USB?

Hey everyone thanks for the replys. we feel that we have a better idea of the choice we have and can now make an informed decision.

I think you are talking about the exposure, not the contrast right? I beleive both the M1011 and the M1013 cameras have a setting that changes the exposure to “Hold Current” which works over power cycles. However the M1013 will still adjust the exposure slitly over time. For using vision, I recommend the M1011. I would also recommend removing the code from the robot that sets the camera settings, and only use the settings on the camera’s webpage.

On a side note, how will you get the axis camera to fit in the new radio with only 2 ethernet ports? If only there was one more…

You could always add a network switch to the robot.