Public Lab Research note


Infragram webcam conversion test with I Zone cameras

by warren | August 20, 2013 18:07 | 152 views | 4 comments | #9040 | 152 views | 4 comments | #9040 20 Aug 18:07

Read more: publiclab.org/n/9040


Ongoing tests of candidates for the Infragram Webcam have gone relatively poorly to date, but over the weekend I received a number of samples from I Zone Technologies and while I was initially a bit intimidated at the prospect of converting them, I Zone staff helpfully recommended that the best way to remove the filters was to unscrew the lenses, even though they were inside auto-focus mechanisms (see above). The models I dealt with were the UMBMU and the UM2CU, 5 and 2 megapixels, respectively. They are TINY.

I used a VERY fine pair of tweezers with an angle, held the indentations in the plastic surrounding the lens, and rotated the circuit board around it, holding the lens still.

IMG_0219.JPG

Amazinglly this worked for both cameras, and I didn't have to resort to melting the glue and removing the whole autofocus assembly. Instead the lenses came out without too much trouble, although I occasionally squeezed the tweezers too much and sent it flying across the desk.

IMG_0224.JPG

The harder part was removing the filter, which was recessed on both models. I ended up cracking it carefully with a knife and picking out the parts, blowing it clean. They won't have to do this at the factory :-)

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The converted camera with an external infrablue (Rosco #2007) filter:

IMG_0228.JPG

Here's the higher-resolution UMBMU:

IMG_0229.JPG

Imaging test results

Whoops! I almost forgot to post the results of the images. I really need a better test setup but the UMBMU seemed to do quite well (click to see full results):

Screen_Shot_2013-08-20_at_2.08.19_PM.png

Screen_Shot_2013-08-20_at_2.08.33_PM.png

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And I think we can improve these, but here are the UM2CU 2 megapixel results:

Screen_Shot_2013-08-20_at_2.11.21_PM.png

That last one clearly has poor white balance, and is detecting a lot of blue light. I'm going to try messing with it in Infragram Sandbox to see if I can draw out some better results.

Long story short, not 100% but MUCH better than any of the previous cameras I'd tested. I now feel much more confident about the webcam edition!

Update: Infragram Sandbox results

Actually this worked pretty well; I used the Infragrammar equation (R-B/2)/(R+B/2)*3 which just halved the blue channel and generated NDVI, then tripled the results. It's a bit garbled but does seem to clearly differentiate vegetation from the background. This may necessitate more testing but seems promising.

Screen_Shot_2013-08-20_at_2.17.16_PM.png


4 Comments

Love the idea of autofocus! can't wait to see infragram pix from them!

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Just updated with pix!

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Looking pretty good.

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It seems the default link is to: http://www.cgtzone.com ( Note: REALLY slow website )

But that doesn't seem like its for the iZone cameras... These seem more like the thing: https://izone.en.alibaba.com

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