Public Lab Research note

OV5647 (raspberry pi camera) spectral response / quantum efficiency

by khufkens | November 02, 2015 14:05 02 Nov 14:05 | #12354 | #12354

In order to use the raspberry pi cameras within a more rigorous framework I needed the full spectral response of the chipset used in these cameras, the OV5647 by OmniVision. I set out to do acquire the response curves using a DIY diffraction grating approach, as described in previous blog posts and notes.

During this process I was contacted by Howard Shapiro who volunteered his old spectrofluorometer to accomplish this task faster and more precisely. Although, initial tests together with Howard showed promise, it would remain an arduous task to quantify the whole spectral response. Recently, Howard managed to dig up some documentation on the chipset which displayed the spectral response (quantum efficiency, QE) in a graph. This has made things considerably easier. I used these slides to digitize the quantum efficiency of the OV5647 between 400 and 700 nm. A physical measurement will still be needed to quantify the remaining near infrared spectrum (> 700 nm, data can be found on the OV5647 spectral response page).

Sadly, the original graph only covers wavelenghts between 400 and 700 nm, leaving out the near infrared (NIR) part of the spectrum. The red edge, located at 680-730nm, is a key part of the spectrum key in vegetation remote sensing applications. At the red edge vegetation reflectance changes from low to higher values. The magnitude of this differences is an indication of plant health.

Although I got most of the picture, due to good detecitve work by Howard, I still don't have the complete picture. Some physical measurements will still be necessary to get the complete spectral response / QE of the chip but I'm at least halfway there.


Side note: the above assumes that the OmniBSI chipset as displayed in the documentation is the one residing in the OV5647, which is highly likely but not 100% certain.

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Further, note that these values are scaled between 0-100% while the true QE peaks at an efficiency of 53.6% in the blue channels respectively. Relative amplitudes should be preserved.

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Huh, this is great -- do you think these measurements will be fairly similar across different cameras, if they're all OV5647s? Do you have any extras to test?

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I assume the optical properties of the chip should be relatively consistent, however optics might interfere a bit (create wavelength dependent losses, but I assume these will be minor).

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