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12MP Raspberry Pi based AI camera supports 300fps video

Oct 5, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,589 views

Charmed Labs has launched a $229-and-up “Vizy” AI camera built around the Raspberry Pi 4 and a 12MP, up to 300fps Sony iMX477 sensor. You also get a switchable IR filter and support for M12 and C/CS lenses.

Charmed Labs, which has previously developed an MCU-based Pixy camera, has returned with a Vizy AI camera that runs Linux on a Raspberry Pi 4. The Vizy features a 12.3-megapixel Sony iMX477 (PDF) — the same sensor used on the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera.

Vizy and its Motionscope app
(click images to enlarge)

Charmed Labs has added video modes and drivers beyond what is available with the High Quality Camera that enable features such as support up to 300fps video “at high quality.” The camera offers a switchable IR filter for switching between day and night modes. A high-resolution, wide-angle, 3.25mm M12 lens is standard and a zoom lens is optional. Mounts are available for both M12 and C/CS lenses.

The camera ships with a 32GB microSD card with Python AI libraries including Tensorflow, OpenCV, and PyTorch. There is also a web browser UI.


Available Python apps that make use of an optional outdoor enclosure include a bird identification app that can also send a signal through the GPIO to activates a water sprinkler if a squirrel steals the birdfood. An app that makes use of an optional telescope mount lets you identify and tracking celestial objects. There is also a Motionscope app for studying the physics of motion, among others.

Vizy detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Vizy, which we saw on CNXSoft, has already blown past its Kickstarter goals and is available in $229 early bird (or $249 standard) packages with 2GB RAM. There are also $249 early bird or $269 standard packages with 4GB. Add an 8-50mm, CS-mount zoom lens to the 4GB package for $299 or $329 and add an outdoor enclosure with IR light to the 4GB Zoom lens package for $359 or $389.

A 4GB zoom lens package with a telescope adapter rather than an enclosure goes for $369 or $399. This “scientific” package also ships with an LED lighting accessory. A $429 or $469 package provides 4GB, zoom lens, and enclosure plus a USB-connected 4G cellular modem. Finally, $499 and $539 “everything” packages provide all the options listed above.

More Vizy detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Vizy exposes the ports of the Raspberry Pi 4 and offers access to the GPIO via a terminal block connector with 8x connections for digital I/O, analog I/O, PWM, UART serial, and high-current output up to 1000 mA per channel. The IP66-protected camera also includes a real-time clock with battery backup, a tripod mount, a fan, and a buzzer.

The Vizy ships with a power switch and 25W AC adapter for the 12V DC supply. A PMIC offers safe shutdown, hibernation, and alarm wake-up modes.

If the feature mix in the KS packages is not to your liking you can add the options as individual accessories. You can also upgrade to the Raspberry Pi 8GB RAM model for $25.

Further information

The Vizy is available on Kickstarter through Oct. 30 starting at $229, with shipments due in January. More information may be found on the Vizy Kickstarter page and the Charmed Labs Vizy announcement.

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