We’re currently using the 6mm Wide Angle Lens with the HQ Camera, but just wondering: are there any recommendations on a high quality camera / lens with auto-focus? For example, what sort of cameras do they use on roving robots etc.?
Well, for machine vision applications you generally don’t need the quality of lens available in a C/CS mount or the resolution. A smaller, more robust camera with fixed focus is usually better for those applications, like the Pi Camera V2:
They can get away with fixed focus on tiny cameras because with tiny apertures and very short focal lengths the effective depth of field is very large. See:
The other challenge is the mechanical complexity and manufacturing cost. Checkout this disassembly/repair video for a DLSR lens - look at all those gears! There’s a stepper motor in there too!:
Compare that to the mechanical complexity of a small phone camera with autofocus:
And the HQ camera has only been out about 6 months - ArduCam will probably come up with something (looks like they’ve been doing some experimentation judging by that page) but for now it’s manual only. The commercial viability will be key - I suspect it’d be more cost effective and viable to design a lens adapter to a DSLR mounting standard - though it’s certainly a bit of an edge case scenario because for the money, by the time you get lenses you’re probably better off getting a used DSLR with video out.
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