Raspberry Pi's New Global Shutter Camera Aims to Fix Rolling Shutter Artifacts for Computer Vision

Designed with computer vision projects firmly in mind, this 1.6-megapixel camera module captures the whole image in one go.

Raspberry Pi has announced another new camera module, a variant on its High Quality Camera Module but swapping the rolling shutter out for a global shutter — and it's called, unsurprisingly, the Raspberry Pi Global Shutter Camera.

"Built around Sony’s 1.6-megapixel IMX296 sensor, the Global Shutter Camera is able to capture rapid motion without introducing rolling shutter artifacts," Raspberry Pi co-founder Eben Upton explains. "This makes it a great fit for sports photography, and for machine vision applications, where even small amounts of distortion can seriously degrade inference performance."

All previous Raspberry Pi Camera Modules, going back to the very first, have been based on rolling shutters — which capture an image line-by-line. For most use-cases they work perfectly well, but if you're trying to capture rapid motion things can smear across the image. A global shutter, by contrast, captures the whole image at once — preserving even fast motion without introducing shearing or smearing.

The new Raspberry Pi Global Shutter Camera is based on the same design as the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera Module, including the same C/CS lens mounting system — though with a smart new backplate to protect the PCB, a feature the company is not planning to bring to other models in the range. There's also no word, yet, on an M12-mount version.

The camera aims to avoid artifacts caused by rolling shutter sensors and rapid motion. (📹: Raspberry Pi)

The launch comes just two months after the company launched the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 and an M12-mount variant of its High Quality Camera Module. Designed for those who require more features than the Camera Module 2, the third-generation camera uses a near 12-megapixel Sony IMX708 sensor with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) and the family's first motorized auto-focus lens — plus options of standard or wide-angle models to boot.

The Raspberry Pi Global Shutter Camera is now available through all resellers at $50, with more information available on the company's documentation site.

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