Arducam's Pi Hawk-eye Camera Module Captures a Whopping 64 Megapixels, with Full Autofocus

Designed around the same footprint as the official Raspberry Pi Camera Module, this high-resolution sensor is surprisingly affordable.

Gareth Halfacree
8 months agoSensors / HW101 / Photos & Video

Computer vision specialist Arducam has opened pre-orders for its latest Raspberry Pi-compatible camera module, and it's a beast: an autofocus device boasting an incredible 64 megapixel resolution.

"Just like [the] flagship phones, your Raspberry Pi now has an ultra-high-res camera too," the company says of its latest design. "And just like them, your Pi can take still images at a breathtaking resolution (9,152×6,944) as well! Pi Hawk-eye is ready to make millions proud."

The compact Pi Hawk-eye camera offers, Arducam claims, a 64-megapixel resolution — though this comes with a caveat: Only the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) can access its full capabilities, while those using the camera module on older devices will be limited to 16 megapixels.

The full resolution is also available only for still images, with video capture limited to 1080p30, 720p60, or VGA at up to 90 frames per second. Oddly, the camera module itself is capable of more — up to 9,152×6,944 at 2.7 frames per second, Arducam says — but accessing that capability isn't made easy.

The camera module is, effectively, a more powerful sibling to the 16-megapixel version the company launched late last year. Like its predecessor, it offers autofocus capabilities and a PCB footprint designed for compatibility with mounts and cases built for the official Raspberry Pi Camera Module. It is, however, more expensive — though at $35.99 for pre-order customers, down from a planned $59.99, it doesn't exactly break the bank.

The built-in lens offers an f1.8 focal ratio and 5.1mm focal length, with an 84-degree view angle. The sensor is based on a rolling shutter, while the autofocus system — which can be overridden for manual focus — can reach from 8cm to infinity. For those who aren't capturing at the full resolution, meanwhile, the additional megapixels can be used to provide a 10x digital zoom function.

The Pi Hawk-eye is available to order now on the Arducam website at $34.99 for pre-orders, with shipping to begin in May; a quad-camera kit, which includes a Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) accessory and four of the Pi Hawk-eye camera modules, is also available at $194.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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