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I would like to use the raspberry pi camera to record a certain object with 5 or 6 fps. The object is about 60cm wide, therefore to take full frame images the RPi camera has to be at a distance of ~ 60cm. However, when filming 1080p the image is cropped and to still have the object in view the camera needs to be at ~85/90cm.

I read here that the raspberry pi should be able to record in 2592×1944 up to 15fps, however trying this on the RPi gives an error and I have to reboot before I can use the camera again. It seems .h264 cannot cope with the very large size.

I don't need the full height, just the full width so I can place the camera near; a distance of 85/90cm is too much. The quality of the video itself doesn't have to be that good. How will I be possible to record in 2592x1944? Is it possible to do this in Python? I read some very relevant information here, but I couldn't find an explanation how to actually make it work.

I also tried creating a timelapse of 5fps and take photos that use the full size but that also doesn't seem possible. Is there a way to take photos 5fps of that size? For example using something else than raspistill?

Update 14nov: With the helpful comment from Dave Jones I was indeed able to get the full frame video, but in the lower resolution binned mode of 1296x972 pixels. For your information, the python script I used is:

import picamera
with picamera.PiCamera() as camera:
    camera.resolution = (1296, 972)
    camera.framerate = 6
    camera.start_recording('fullframevid.h264')
    camera.wait_recording(60)
    camera.stop_recording()
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There's a few bits I need to add to the documentation for picamera 1.9 - the first is that while the camera can output frames at full resolution (2592x1944) at 15fps, it can't do so with the H.264 encoder which tops out somewhere around 1920x1080. It might be possible in MJPEG but there's other issues which currently prevent that (although it's looking likely there'll be a workaround in picamera 1.9 for that).

If the video quality doesn't have to be that good, then I'd recommend using a mode like 1280x720 (720p in HD terms). Despite being a lower resolution, this will actually wind up using the full width of the sensor; specifically at 30fps it'll use the 1296x730 mode which uses 2592x1460 pixels of the sensor with 2x2 binning to produce the image (this is something else I ought to add to the documentation!)

  • Thanks again Dave! Yes, using the binned mode indeed works and the quality is good enough. It would be great to hear when the full 2592x1944 filming would be possible, even with a low fps (e.g. 4ps). – crazjo Nov 14 '14 at 18:58
  • Just to be clear: I'm reasonably sure that it'll never be possible to use 2592x1944 with H.264; as I understand it the framerate isn't the issue - it's that the GPU doesn't have enough grunt to perform H.264 compression at that resolution. However, it may be possible with MJPEG at some point in the future although the bandwidth required will obviously be substantial. – Dave Jones Nov 14 '14 at 19:39

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