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IMX385 & PQTools

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23 replies to this topic

#1 vicolodo

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 11:13 PM

hello,

i am interested about the possible use for EAA of the

sec camera module based onI MX385 and HI3516D ISP

The seller told me that with a software PQtools is possible to setup the allowed exposure time of the ISP

 

Screenshot 2018 09 29 05 58 07

 

 

ccs_hello, did you know PQtools sw?

do you think that with this software we can extend exposure time limit to a value that can fit with EAA?

let me know!

thank you for the help.


Edited by vicolodo, 28 September 2018 - 11:19 PM.


#2 ccs_hello

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 06:52 AM

Factory internal tuning/calibration tool. not for faint-hearted.



#3 vicolodo

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 10:22 AM

you are right smile.gif

to begin i will ask the manual to the supplier...

i think need some background in programming ISP to do this job

but i am sure you can give me the right suggestions...

 

perhaps it could be better to start trying with a cheaper sensor than imx385 (about $80 vs 30 imx291 ...)



#4 ccs_hello

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 11:59 AM

Setting aside the on-DSP stacking (usually called as 3D-NR), here we are talking about setting image sensor's exposure time...

 

Please realize that the tool cannot set the exposure time beyond what the max value image sensor can be set.

These image sensor SoC, especially designed for security cam, video cam etc. can only operate in "streaming mode".

That is, images are continuously being acquired and read out.  I.e., itself cannot support "one-shot readout mode" as what is used in

a DSLR or mirrorless.  The latter is in a different class of imaging devices.

 

In reading the full datasheet, it is clear the former can have the max. exposure time on per-frame basis of typically 0.5 second (or in some devices, 2 seconds.) 

It is the penalty to pay once you realized that the purpose of such sensors.

 

Naturally, an obvious question... how come the same image sensor used in an astroCMOS imager does not have such per-frame max. exposure time limitation?

Answer is that astroimager mfrs spent their R&D time to perform some beyond-spec (nicely worded as undocumented)  operations thru a combination of hardware/firmware tricks.

That's how they turn a niche market device with (often times) less hardware, at least, no camera DSP into a more expensive/with some niche capabilities/"less capable as a self-contained camera".

 

P.S. examples of niche capabilities: long exp time, low dark current/low power operations most of time, etc.

 

If you believe the security camera seller said "PQtools can extend the exposure time", you might just as well spend your hard earned money to buy a lotto and use the winning money to buy a right imaging device.



#5 vicolodo

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 12:37 PM

thank you,

wink.gif perhaps 2 secs could be enought, we can try...just to see what we can do...

if bad results and the sensor is still working i will turn it to its normal use of security cam...no money thrown away...

i buy with the module also a suitable lens and an ir cut adapter...

wink.gif

 

i have another question: i see that many sec cam sellers sell an ip module imx385 +hi... that allows by default a maximum exposure time of 1/12 sec , despite the fact that the it can be set to 0.5 - 2 sec maximum, as you told.

why they limit to 1/12 ?

instead, some brands like dahua, limit to 1/3s , using the same sensor...why?


Edited by vicolodo, 29 September 2018 - 01:34 PM.


#6 ccs_hello

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 04:04 PM

Security/surveillance cameras are designed to catch thief.

A long exposure camera will only record smeared face, that isn't helpful :) :).



#7 vicolodo

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 07:42 AM

yes i understand,

but why dahua allows max exposure time 1/3s (or 1s) and instead many other brands (typically, lower quality, or less famous) 1/12?

perhaps dahua engineers saw thiefts moving in slow motion? grin.gif



#8 ccs_hello

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Posted 30 September 2018 - 11:59 AM

It is the classic marketing (making money), engineering (actually works), and customer (wants everything for nothing) triad.

Some firms chose one way and the other, more longer term sustainability.

While the customer will have to make his/her own decision.

 

P.S. here I am not saying product spec says 2-sec exp max and the MENU cannot be set at 2-sec. That's false marketing.

I am simply stating that setting a value to a degree that the end-result will only provide a dis-service to a previously okayish product. E.g., seeing lots of colorful noises, looking like an impressionist's painting...


Edited by ccs_hello, 30 September 2018 - 12:35 PM.


#9 vicolodo

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 03:21 PM

thank you ccs

i have not yet bought the module from the seller because in china is holiday this week

but in the meantime i played a bit with PQTools and take a look to the user guide

you were right, it seems a professional software

for example, selecting one of the exposure tags (the file that can be read / write from the board is described in xml format) , i found a whole page of possible attribute settings.

 

1538415979386 image
here i see can draw manual exp cursor to the right and exp can reach billions of units , but i think as you told, that the real limit is inside the hardware
 
these are instead examples of other possible settings:
1538415979320 image
1538415979345 image
 
i found that are included in the sw also many extension tools and utilities.

one of these got my interest: raw utilities

with this tool is possible to read a number of raw frames and save them to a file

 

1538415879305 image
1538415979275 image
1538415935378 image
 
but this raw data is actually the data got directly from the image sensor?
let me know!
thank you!

 


Edited by vicolodo, 01 October 2018 - 03:28 PM.


#10 Adun

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 04:47 PM

Factory internal tuning/calibration tool. not for faint-hearted.

 

This is the EAA subforum. We are the dauntless who use stuff in ways it wasn't supposed to. We are the Wile E. Coyote of astronomy, and we will catch the Road Runner.

 

 

i found that are included in the sw also many extension tools and utilities.

one of these got my interest: raw utilities

with this tool is possible to read a number of raw frames and save them to a file

 

 
but this raw data is actually the data got directly from the image sensor?

 

Can you share an URL linking to this documentation?



#11 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 05:00 PM

@ vicolodo

 

No clue on what the "raw" data is. Perhaps, raw is the sensor data in raw, before deBayer process.

Also not sure how such data is transferred, thru serial RS232 debug port?  That's too ugly.   It is thru IP network.

 

P.S. any question on that should go directly to HiSilicon (now a subsidery of HuaWei.)  It's their factory tool.


Edited by ccs_hello, 01 October 2018 - 09:40 PM.


#12 vicolodo

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 08:56 PM

hello ccs,

the pc must be connected to the board through rj45 cable, via cross wire or normal lan networkt (the module is an ip camera)

i sent you a pm with link to documentation, because i am not sure seller intended that i could share this stuff with everyone ( i would not like to violate some copyright or intended use of the document), please keep it for your personal information...

let me know!



#13 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 09:16 PM

Hehe, factory tool certainly can be very powerful. Just be careful, don't brick it.

On the other hand, it has to work hand-in-hand with the specific image sensor and internal registers (SONY secret.)

 

For low quantity and non-commercial, it's not worth the effort.



#14 vicolodo

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 10:01 AM

Hello CCS,

the seller where i would like to buy the sensor module is testing the PQTools raw utilities (and raw analyzer),

on OS05a10 + 3516A but he tell me that an error is  raised when he try to capture the raw frame.

This is the error message:

 
^44EA25C3B00DA6187AFE23CBB981ECAD848C05ADA4A708DD1A^pimgpsh fullsize distr
 
and this is the error message when he try the online raw frame analysis:
 
^D28509DF967CA21B2721CA4188EE99704C3E13054EBB9077A2^pimgpsh fullsize distr

 

Perhaps the sensor OS05a10 does not support raw data reading?

Do you have a suggestion?

 

Thank you!



#15 vicolodo

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:32 PM

...the seller told me that there is a problem in the config of the sensor drivers for raw data...

and they don't have the drivers for raw data for imx291, imx290, imx385 etc because Hisilicon does not provide them to their company...frown.gif

but tomorrow he let me know ... so hopefully they can get the drivers ...smile.gif



#16 vicolodo

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:33 AM

no answer yet...frown.gif


Edited by vicolodo, 11 October 2018 - 11:04 AM.

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#17 vicolodo

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:16 PM

hello, the seller told me that tested the long exposure setting on the OS05a10, and the results was bad because when he tried to set 2 second exposure, the video was lost.

now i asked him to try imx291 and let me know the results.

ccs_hello, i an sorry, i still dont understand where is the hardware limit...in the sensor or in the dsp?

thank you!



#18 ccs_hello

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:00 PM

Sensor.


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#19 vicolodo

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 03:47 AM

ok thank you,

so considering for example this zwo camera based on imx291

https://astronomy-im...roduct/asi290mm

i read exposure max 2000s

but the sensor model seems the same used here:

http://www.cctvcamer...cctv-ip-camera/

 

so what does change in the sensor used in the two modules?

there are hardware changes on imx291, or only firmware changes? they are two different versions of same sensor?

you told me that in the datasheet you saw that in the sensor used in security camera module, the max allowed exposure time is 0.5/2seconds...can you post this datasheet where is reported this information?

thank you!



#20 ccs_hello

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 09:54 AM

AstroCMOSimagers' mfg spent their R&D time and money to break the image sensor SoC's limitation.

I believe "vendor one" did/found it first (but not marketing the product first, it still has its bread-n-butter CCD line to take care of) then "vendor two" soon followed (but offered CMOS line in a massive push.)

( <-- try in alphabetical order )

 

These are trade secrets, but here are the hints (using a combination of them):

method 1: finding undocumented features thru config registers

method 2: timing modulation  (think: suspense animation)

method 3: voltage modulation (not really for extending the exposure time but reducing the so-called "Amp Glow")

method 4-infinity: other crazy deep hacking ideas

 

re: full data sheet

Ask elsewhere, SONY prohibit release these documents except direct thru factory via NDA.

On the other hand, search other image sensors (e.g., '225, they are extremely similar) thru Google..

 

P.S. do not mix these designed for video/streaming CMOS image sensor SoC with the ones designed for DSLR/mirrorless.  The latter has built-in still capture capability with lots more features.


Edited by ccs_hello, 13 October 2018 - 09:56 AM.

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#21 Ubuntu

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 05:26 PM

hello ccs,

the pc must be connected to the board through rj45 cable, via cross wire or normal lan networkt (the module is an ip camera)

i sent you a pm with link to documentation, because i am not sure seller intended that i could share this stuff with everyone ( i would not like to violate some copyright or intended use of the document), please keep it for your personal information...

let me know!

Hi vicolodo... any news of your project... looks very interesting :D


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#22 vicolodo

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 09:57 AM

hello,

no, i am sorry, the seller told me that setting 1sec exposure through PQTools, the sensor i would like to buy for the project was unstable...

perhaps the best way is to buy and try, but i have not yet bought, to save money smile.gif



#23 Rickster

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 08:29 PM

CCS Hello,

I am currently using an ASI290MM mini in a 50mm finder scope with Sharpcap as an E-finder and for polar alignment.  My typical exposure setting is 1 sec and I just let it stream.  It works great, but I am wondering if I could do the same thing with one of these el cheapo security cameras.  Can any of these be made to work with Sharpcap for streaming?  I only need streaming.



#24 ccs_hello

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:17 PM

Sorry I do not have high hope on them.

There are selected CMOS security cameras that might be usable, say 1/4 sec per frame, then

capture thru some means, then stack by software.

I do not like the idea of camera's output already in streaming form already, especially IP based steaming security cameras.

 

There are many reasons behind my own (fairly self-serving, 100% IMHO) opinion/statement.  I just do not wish to go over them again (described the issues in the past...)

(For non-believers), users should try and report the result.  Just be forewarned that the result usually isn't that good.




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