Will Whang's FourThirdsEye Puts a Sony IMX294 Sensor on Your Raspberry Pi 5 or Compute Module 4

Based on a Micro Four Thirds sensor, the open source FourThirdsEye delivers pro-grade photos and videos.

Gareth Halfacree
20 days agoPhotos & Video / HW101

Developer Will Whang is back with another custom-built camera module for the Raspberry Pi, this time based around the Sony IMX294 Micro Four Thirds sensor: the FourThirdsEye.

"FourThirdsEye [is] an open source camera board designed for Raspberry Pi 5 and Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 boards using a Micro Four Thirds format image sensor IMX294," Whang explains of his creation. "This project aims to provide a high-quality, affordable, and accessible camera module for advanced Raspberry Pi projects. The board is designed using KiCad v6, a popular open source electronics design automation (EDA) software."

Brought to our attention by CNX Software, the FourThirdsEye isn't Whang's first foray into custom camera modules. Back in October last year we covered the developer's solar photography rig, which featured the OneInchEye and StarlightEye, modules built around the Sony IMX283 and IMS585 sensors respectively. The FourThirdsEye, though, is his first to use the IMX294 — a sensor built for use in Micro Four Thirds system cameras.

"FourThirdsEye captures 10.7 [megapixel] images and 4k (4096×2160) videos with improved low-light performance and dynamic range (4.63µm pixel size)," Whang explains of the device. "It's perfect for photography enthusiasts, developers, and makers who want to level up their Raspberry Pi projects with a powerful camera."

The fact that Whang has designed his own camera module is interesting; the fact he's released it as open hardware is fascinating. Of additional note, though, is that it's technically running beyond the Raspberry Pi's officially-rated capabilities: "[The] IMX294 with CSI-2 interface mode is running at 1.78Gbps," Whang explains, "technically breaking the spec for RPI5 [Raspberry Pi 5] (1.5Gbps) and CM4 [Compute Module 4] (1Gbps? … they didn't really state it clearly) but I have tested on both platforms and are both working properly."

Hardware design files, including Gerbers for production and 3D print files for an E-mount lens adapter, are available on GitHub under the permissive MIT license; instructions on installing the kernel driver for the sensor are in a separate repository.

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