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I thought I could use a powered usb hub, connect the 6 cameras to it, connect the hub to the raspberry pi and capture the images one after the other quickly using the motion package. But I can't find cheap, tiny (hopefully under 20 x 20 x 30mm) usb cameras with at least 3 mega pixel resolution. Is it a good idea to open a few usb webcams and see if they fit my size requirements?

If I can't find small, cheap, good usb cameras, I'll try using CMOS sensors, but I can't find out how to actually use more than one camera sensor with a development board. I'll appreciate any pointers on that. For example, how can I go about using six of these cameras - https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8667 - on one board?

The actual project is to take multiple pictures covering 360 degrees and upload them to a web server. All cameras will have to fit in as small an enclosure as possible (budget is $300 including the development board). I apologize if these are real noob questions - I'm new to electronics and have only done basic projects on raspberrypi and arduino till now.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You say 3 megapixel, but the camera you link to is only 300 kilo pixel? \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Wolf Jun 29 '13 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry, that's a mistake. But I think I can learn how to use a camera with a better resolution if I could learn to use this camera, no? \$\endgroup\$ – user968903 Jun 29 '13 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, no. As resolution increases, so does required data processing speed requirement. Unfortunately, present day microcontroller development boards cannot handle 6 x 3 million pixels x 24 bits per frame of data in any reasonable time. Though the question does not specify microcontroller boards, this is worth noting. Better options with a high-end digital signal processing or FPGA board, e.g. evaluation boards from Analog Devices, Texas Instruments etc. Price and complexity of such boards are orders of magnitude higher than for microcontroller development boards. \$\endgroup\$ – Anindo Ghosh Jun 30 '13 at 8:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah got it, thanks. I read a bit on FPGA and it sounds enormous and scary. I'm willing to try it if there's no other way. Someone suggested that I connect the six cameras through CSI interface and try multiplexing the output using chip select. I was going to try it - what do you think about it? Also I saw this board - hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/… - it has 6 usb ports and costs $135. Do you think that would work? Thanks so much! \$\endgroup\$ – user968903 Jun 30 '13 at 11:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user968903: Sounds interesting. Did you make any progress? \$\endgroup\$ – smartmeta Sep 15 '13 at 9:18

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