Arducam 64MP Autofocus Camera Module review

By Phil King. Posted

As its ‘Hawk-eye’ nickname implies, the 64MP Autofocus Camera Module can capture stills with unprecedented detail: up to 64 megapixels (9152×6944) on Raspberry Pi 4 or CM4 (other models are limited to 16MP). That’s right up there with the top camera phones. It’s not as intuitive to use as a smartphone camera, though.

The 1/1.7-inch sensor is attached to a PCB of the same dimensions as a standard Raspberry Pi Camera Module. It comes in a neat little case with mounting holes and a tripod screw mount on the rear. A 15 cm CSI camera cable is supplied.

Rather than being fixed focus, the lens is motorised; you can hear it clicking in and out. This means the camera focus can be adjusted in the software – it uses a forked version of the standard libcamera library, installed along with custom drivers via a few Terminal commands.

Staying in focus

The autofocus (AF) option is a welcome feature, although it doesn’t always work quite as expected. For instance, it’ll typically focus on a busy background, so it’s best to shoot subjects on a plain backdrop. Alternatively, you can use a simple utility to focus manually. Another smart option is continuous autofocus, which re-triggers AF whenever a change is detected in the scene. There’s also a digital zoom (up to 10×) option that enables you to move the preview around the live scene and zoom in and out.

Indoor shots under artificial lighting came out rather dark, but this can be corrected with parameter tweaks such as extra exposure. 64MP stills also suffered from tiny horizontal banding streaks in places and tended to be a little soft-focus, due to lens diffraction, but this can be fixed by sharpening in an image editor.

Verdict

8/10

With a single lens, it's not as versatile as the HQ Camera, but the motorised focusing is neat and it can shoot stills at an incredibly high resolution.

Price £60/$60

Specs

Sensor: 1/1.7" stacked CMOS image sensor, 0.8 μm pixel size Lens: f/1.8 aperture, 84° view angle, 8 cm–∞ focal range, motorised focusing Max Resolution: 9152×6944 stills; 1080p 30 fps video


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