Multiple cameras

Has anyone used multiple cameras in their AutoPi? If I was able to get 3 cameras connected, how would I be able to recorder from the 3 channels?

I believe even the Raspberry Pi 3B+ has issues running more than 2 cameras running. I have not personally tried it but I follow Octoprint and OctoPi setups in the 3D printing communities and most people state they need multiple Pi when exceeding 2 streams.

It may change when considering the Pi 4 or an alternative board. If you have the basic AutoPi with the Pi Zero then I wouldn’t expect anything more than one camera.

I’m also not sure if the AutoPi has any built-in video management by default.

Thanks. The Pi definitely supports 2 CSI cameras. USB onea are high CPU intensive. I was more aiming at using a dev board with 2 CSI cameras. Anyone sees an issue with that? But mainly, will AutoPi see and use both of them.

Do you have personal experience running two cameras on a standard Pi? It looks like people have managed to do things either using something to split the one CSI input to allow two inputs or configured the compute modules to do this job.

I highly doubt the Pi Zero can manage two CSI streams. And you probably cannot get full resolution or refresh rates if you’re trying to use the official Pi cam.

For my project I really looked at using 2 Sony based CSI cameras (for the 8MP sensor). And for the implementation it made more sense using the Raspberry compute modules for me, so I have tested both the Raspberry foundation dev board, and recently, the Balena Fin. Both handled 2 CSI cameras. I tested with the NoIR and the regular camera (both v2). Relocating the cameras using CSI to HDMI converters, and recording at 720p, 30fps. I doubt I could do the same with 2 USB cameras.

As reference, here’s a dual camera device tree source file:

So back to the AutoPi question, would connecting my AutoPi on the GPIO connector of the Balena fin for example, allow me to use the feed of cam0 and cam1 if I can use them in Raspbian as an example?

And in terms or regular pi, since the Pi does not have 2 CSI connectors, it would have to be a mix of CSI and USB. I have not, but I could give it a try like anyone actually. The USB webcams would suck all the juice so I don’t have high hopes in that sense. Dev boards are pricy in relation to Pi3 or even Pi4. But they do allow multiple other things over the regular pi, without designing your own board, like dual monitors and dual cameras, all at the same time! Outside of the fun factor to see the desktop across 2 screens with GIMP on one and ffmpeg on the other, there are practical applications for this such as a dashboard on one, and camera preview on the other, just to name 1.

Yes that makes much more sense. When you were asking specifically about using just the AutoPi I assumed it would be the Pi Zero W version.

I don’t see any reason why you could not use your compute module’s pinout to the AutoPi. I’m just not sure what would manage the camera streams in AutoPi. I have still yet to put my DIY version together.

Thanks. If anyone else has experience with using a dash cam within AutoPi, it would be great to hear.

@Malte @Henrik maybe?