4K Ultra-HD Sony STARVIS IMX415 ultra-low light camera for NVIDIA Jetson Nano

Are you looking to capture high-quality images in low lighting conditions with good color reproduction?

e-con Systems Inc, a leading embedded camera solutions company, brings its new SONY STARVIS™ based 4K Ultra-HD MIPI camera module to the market for smart city, sports broadcasting, quality inspection, and factory automation applications.

e-CAM83_CUMI415_MOD camera module is based on the 4K Ultra-HD Sony STARVIS IMX415 ultra low light sensor. and it is capable of streaming uncompressed 4K @ 90 FPS. This fixed focus camera module supports MIPI CSI-2 interface for reliable streaming in uncompressed format. While connected with NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX/Jetson Nano (e-CAM80_CUNX), it provides excellent color reproduction by utilizing NVIDIA’s ISP tuning.

Other attributes like high quality and high-resolution imaging make this product a perfect fit for low light applications such as industrial inspection control, video analytics, factory automation, smart surveillance, and automated broadcasting.

Watch this video to know more about the product:

I am very sorry to say that but imx415 is not a suitable sensor for low light.

You should consider imx290, imx385 or imx462 for low light camera.

4K is a just marketing in your proposal, considering that kind of resolution can be a bit high for video real time treatment, even for Xavier NX.

Very small photosites are definitively a bad choice for real low light. You will get heavy noise and this is not very easy to manage. I noticed you did not show any “ultra” low light result with your camera in your video. I guess you get a very noisy image with your camera under “ultra” low light conditions. And 0.4 lux is not “ultra” low light conditions.

Please, try to choose more serious sensor for your next product. For now, your camera is not serious product.

Best regards.

Alain

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I would considered buying if it was IMX485 (relatively large 4K sensor designed to work in low light), especially when combined with F1.0 or F0.9 lenses (which I already have). But so far I could not find cameras with it, except astronomical cameras, which are bulky and FPS limited (these are the reason why I decided not to purchased them and wait for better alternative). Only camera intended for embedded devices based on IMX485 is at the moment made by FRAMOS but it is not in stock at Mouser and has minimum quantity of 28 for order which is not reasonable.

Do you plan a product based on IMX485 this year? If not, please consider creating it. Right now I’m using cameras with different sensors, but I plan to get IMX485-based cameras in the future.

Hi,

We already have cameras with IMX290 for both Jetson and USB versions and we have added IMX327 as well to this family of 2MP cameras for low light applications. All these sensors and the ones you have mentioned (IMX385 - an old sensor and it is not STARVIS) are 2MP sensors.

The IMX415 is developed to address the 4K segment. Computing power on edge has grown up and we have been able capture and process 4K at 90 fps with the same camera on Jetson platforms.

Large pixel size offers better low light performance. Sony’s STARVIS family is a stacked sensor new BSI pixel architecture that offers the same performance with smaller pixels. You can see Sony’s comparison of IMX415 against the IMX274 sensor here. Larger pixel size sensors will have better performance but needless to say at higher price.

The “ultra” low light is subjective term and there is no official definition for any low light. That is precisely the reason we provide the objective measured ambient light for all our images and videos so that customers can use this objective information to decide for their use case.

Thanks.

Larger pixel size sensors will have better performance but needless to say at higher price.

Higher price for a larger sensor is of course expected. But having larger sensor is not just about low light performance, larger sensor also allows to have larger viewing angle with the same lens if it has sufficiently large image circle. I have also other reasons why I am looking for IMX485-based camera, after trying different lenses and sensors, and why smaller or less sensitive sensors turned out to be not a good fit for my current project.

However, please do not misunderstand me, I think your IMX415 camera is a great product. If I did not have strong reasons why I need a sensor of IMX485 size and sensitivity, and just wanted 4K in low light, IMX415 camera could be a good choice. You sell it for $129 ($99 until Febrary 17, and offer $69 volume price), this is very good price for such a camera, capable of 4K@90 FPS. Your prices are better than similar embedded camera module from FRAMOS.

If you had IMX485-based camera, I guess it probably would be something like $300-$400 for volume price and $400-$500 for evaluation kit. And I asked if you plan IMX485 camera in the future with full understanding, that even if you do, it would cost many times more than a camera with IMX415 sensor, and it may take a long time before it becomes available, since creating a new product is a lot of effort and hard work. My point is, IMX485 and IMX415 are intended for different market segments. Somebody who really needs IMX485 (1/1.2") camera will not buy IMX415 (1/2.8") instead, and somebody who just wants 4K in low-light and does not have strong reasons to look for a larger sensor, will be happy with IMX415.

By the way, when looking at the description of your product, I think I found a typo here: 4K@90fps Sony STARVIS IMX415 Low light Camera Module - “PC Solution Launching soon! e-CAM82_USB - Sony 4K Ultra-HD USB 2.0 camera” but then in its description you mention USB 3.0: “Customers who own platforms that support USB 3.0”. My guess, you meant USB 3.0 in the title too instead of USB 2.0.

IMX385 is a very good sensor under low light conditions. Many astronomers have tested it and this sensor is a must have, even if it is FSI sensor. STARVIS is just a marketing name and you should try to study sensor specifications instead of commercial argument.

STARVIS or BSI sensor does not mean smaller pixel can give the same result as bigger pixel. It is just about the sensor technology and you will have to study specifications to know the sensor capabilities. Unfortunately for us, you just bring marketing view and this is not the truth.

If ultra low light is subjective, you should avoid that kind of term.

One more time, your advertising does not bring serious message. If you want to be more trustable, you should bring some real and useful informations.

You should also know that 4K resolution is not a wise choice for the Nano because the Nano will be to weak to make serious treatments with such resolution sensor. FullHD is more suitable for the Nano.

I am sure you can bring better informations and products to Jetson Nano users. Just stop with wrong marketing message, try to understand the real specifications of the sensors, just keep in mind Nano is good but not godd enough for high resolution sensors and everything will be ok.

Have a nice day.

Alain

You should also know that 4K resolution is not a wise choice for the Nano because the Nano will be to weak to make serious treatments with such resolution sensor. FullHD is more suitable for the Nano.

I strongly disagree. Even back in 2019 there were projects where Jetson Nano was useful to process 4K resolution video, for example: FPV in 4K | befinitiv . These days Jetson Nano 2G is even better choice for relatively simple projects which need high resolution but do not need 4G RAM.

Of course, 4K can be used with AI too, for example, process low resolution frames at relatively high FPS, and when necessary to get more details, crop area(s) of interest from 4K (for example, if a movement was identified in low resolution stream, but the object is too small to recognize, then using its bounding box, take a crop from 4K frame to get more details). Or process 4K frames at low FPS - if it is sufficient, then Jetson Nano is very good choice considering its relatively low price. There are many other possibilities as well.

It is of course obvious that Jetson Nano cannot process 4K@90FPS even with overclocking. But not every project needs to process full 4K frames at high FPS. There is definitely a need for high resolution sensors capable of 30 or more FPS for Jetson Nano. If you personally have no use of high resolution cameras in your Jetson Nano projects, just buy a camera module you need, but please do not claim that others do not need high resolution sensors.

IMX385 is a very good sensor under low light conditions. Many astronomers have tested it and this sensor is a must have, even if it is FSI sensor. STARVIS is just a marketing name and you should try to study sensor specifications instead of commercial argument.

This is true. Even though IMX385 is not STARVIS sensor, its light sensitivity is better than most STARVIS sensors. Here is a useful table where SNR1s values are shown for many Sony sensors (the website is non-English, but the table itself should be clear to anyone who can understand numbers). Also, the table contains sensor size and year of release. For example, IMX415 (1/2.8") has SNR1s 0.79@4K and IMX385 (1/2") has SNR1s 0.13@FullHD; IMX415 with digital 2x binning (in other words, FullHD resolution) will have SNR1s 0.395. In other words, IMX385 has 3 times better light sensitivity than IMX415 at the same resolution.

But this is not as simple as that. IMX415 may use smaller and lighter lenses, and with sufficient lighting will provide 4 times better resolution. So I do not think it is fair to compare IMX385 and IMX415. They are too different. Another example: the most sensitive FullHD sensor is IMX482 (0.07 SNR1s), but it would not be fair to compare it with IMX385 for the same reason - IMX385 can use smaller and lighter lenses, and it is cheaper. Example of fair comparison, is to compare IMX290 and IMX327 - they have the same size and the same resolution, but IMX327 has 1.28x better light sensitivity. But many applications do not need the best light sensitivity, so this is why IMX307 exists, which is slightly worse in therms of light sensitivity than deprecated IMX290 but it is cheaper and newer.

If choosing a particular sensor is an easy task for you because you know exactly what you want for your usecase(s), this is great. But please keep in mind that others may have different priorities and needs for their projects.

@Lissanro , are you still looking for IMX485 modules? Not sure if you reached out via FRAMOS website…you can contact us here: https://www.framos.com/en/modules-inquiry-1?eContact=25

We do have these modules in stock.

do you have IMX485 use for xavier-nx

@earl0054 , yes FRAMOS does offer IMX485 for Xavier NX, you can find more info here: Jetson Partner Supported Cameras | NVIDIA Developer

IMX485 will be a much better choice.

Could you consider to send me an IMX415 MIPI module for test with my EAA software ? Is it possible to plug a C mount lens on the MIPI module ?

Maybe i will be able to test IMX485 module in a few months.

Alain