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Most hackable camera recommendation for ~$50

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  • Most hackable camera recommendation for ~$50

    Hi all great site!

    I'm building a photogrammetry rig and looking at alternatives to DSLRs for a smaller version of our main rig.

    I'm only concerned with image quality/resolution and raw format support, vanilla firmware or otherwise. I'll also be looking into replacing the lenses. Would have to beat having a Sony IMX219 8MP Raspberry Pi cam v2 + RasPi for about $60.

    Is there anything that can do +8MP, raw, and over USB/wifi for about $50 or less?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hi,

    "Is there anything that can do +8MP, raw, and over USB/wifi for about $50 or less?"
    Xiaomi Yi looks to be the best candidate for your needs. It is highly hackable, has a 16MP sensor, can be controlled with wifi, can shoot raw via scripts and costs ~$50 on aliexpress. Please note that the Yi cam has several hw revisions and probably you'll have to match it for all cams in your rig.
    Donate here if you want to support this site.

    Email me if you have any offers, requests or ideas.

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    • #3
      Can you provide more details for the lens replacement requirements? Should it be rectilinear? Desired FOV? Price range?
      Donate here if you want to support this site.

      Email me if you have any offers, requests or ideas.

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      • #4
        Thanks nutsey! Yeah from what I was reading here and elsewhere the Yi cam seems to be the best candidate for hackability. I mainly wanted to make sure the origional Yi cam was still "better" than the Lite and Discovery. As far as lenses go I'd want to do some experiments. I've got a good collection of M12 and CS mount lenes + adapters to play with. Might even try an EOS on there :P Typically we'd aim for 50mm equivalent FOV but for this build I'll be trying to push min focus distance. Probably want it 20-50cm. Also something that has as a wide DOF so nothing needs refocusing.

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        • nutsey
          nutsey commented
          Editing a comment
          Yi Lite can't shoot RAWs and that hw platform in not that promising as well.
          Yi Discovery is also not an option here until its price gets low to the $20-30 level.
          Actually I don't mind to take part in your project if you choose the original Yi cam as I really got tons of customizing ideas for it.

      • #5
        To confirm it's this model right?
        https://www.amazon.com/YI-Action-Cam.../dp/B016EIGEGU
        https://www.aliexpress.com/item/xiao...5-bd0f2cdff3a4

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        • nutsey
          nutsey commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, this is it. Again make sure you're getting same hardware revisions for your test batch as there are 2 different versions.

      • #6
        I've ordered one off Amazon and found one on ebay. I'll make a new thread when I start testing stuff and looking forward to your ideas

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