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Basically USB cameras are too rubbish for what I'm trying to do, and I'm trying to develop for the RPi but the RPi is just too underpowered to develop image processing stuff on.

Is there any way I can plug the RPi camera into a normal computer?

  • By 'desktop computer', what OS would it be running, and how would you want it to work (in place of the webcam, recording video/images to a file, etc). The raspberry pi could probably be used to send the data from the camera anyway. – Wilf Aug 15 '14 at 13:02
  • Linux. Really I want to see the full output of the camera on my computer, so I can process it using the full power of a desktop + GPU. Using V4L on the Pi was pretty useless. – cjm2671 Aug 16 '14 at 17:32
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There's no way I'm aware of to plug the camera into a normal computer; the interface is quite specialized, and as I understand it the vast majority of the camera's functionality is implemented in the Pi's GPU rather than on the camera's ISP. That said, shipping data from the Pi's camera to another machine for processing is quite easy.

  • That's a good tip. Would that network stream handle full res & full frame rate? My previous attempts to stream it using V4L were pretty underwhelming, due to the Pi's lack of CPU power and closed source GPU. – cjm2671 Aug 16 '14 at 17:29
  • Depends what you mean by full res and full frame rate. The camera can manage 90fps at 640x480, and the Pi's capable of shipping that over Ethernet in H.264 format quite happily. It can capture at full res (2592x1944) at 15fps, but not in H.264 format (GPU can't keep up with the encoding), and other formats are nothing like as efficient so I doubt you could get much data over the LAN at that res. – Dave Jones Aug 19 '14 at 22:53
  • I was looking for higher res; low frame rate is not a problem. Is there any documentation on what does work in terms of H264? – cjm2671 Aug 21 '14 at 5:27
  • Most of what I know is based on comments from the firmware devs in the Pi camera forum. On H.264 I believe 1080p@30fps is the maximum resolution that the GPU can manage for encoding. Also, bear in mind that the 1920x1080 camera mode has partial FoV – Dave Jones Aug 21 '14 at 11:44
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    Just seen there's some interesting info on H.264 limits buried in 6by9's post here; he's talking about stereoscopic mode on the compute module, but the limits will be the same on the regular Pi. Looks like 1920 is max width, and 1344 max height (but don't expect to reliably exceed 1920x1080 with H.264) – Dave Jones Aug 21 '14 at 11:52

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