Thursday, 28 July 2011

FOV - camera options

So continuing looking at cameras, firstly let me be clear I have a VERY limited budget for this project having already pushed out the boat to buy an Optoma PK301 (I'll cover pico-projectors at a later date) hence commercial options such as this HQ lens and pre-modded IR cameras are just out of my price bracket. Hence the PS3 camera is looking very tempting given they can be picked up on ebay for less than £15 and a large range of hacks have already been done for them.

I wanted to document my comparison of the various options I have considered though :

NameFOV (degrees)fps320fps640fps1280Cost
PS3 Eye75/5612060NA£15
C91083H 1606030£70
Kinect58H (IR)/63H (RGB) 3030NA£100
Xtion58H£120
Samsung SII75???????30NA

The above table is incomplete obviously ~ I've thrown in the SII since I have one available but I can't find any specifications on the camera, even from the datasheet hence the numbers are a guestimate based on a comparison with the C910.

Doing the above research confirmed that I will have to rule out depth based systems such as Kinect and Asus's Xtion since the minimal operating distance for the IR camera is 0.5m in the case of the Kinect and 0.8m for the Xtion. I believe the kinects FOV can be improved to 90 deg via an add on lens but that obviously increases the expense. Pity but a conscious design decision that I am now making is to focus on the "natural gesture position" that I illustrated earlier based on the advantages of it being eyes-free. I am aiming to incorporate a forward aiming camera as well though so, yes, we're talking about a 2 camera system now (possibly with very simple homebrew IR modifications).

I think the main modification that is going to be needed is to increase the FOV of the camera and do so cheaply - some interesting ideas I uncovered for this:

Commercial camera wide angle lens
CCTV wide angle lens
Adapt a lens from a door peep hole

I like the idea of the door peep hole - a nice hack and within my budget.

[1] http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Webcams/Question-on-HD-Pro-c910/td-p/568268

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