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Black and white camera


Has anyone installed or knows of a good spec black and white IP camera module for the BR2. I have been looking on AliExpress but can’t seem to find what I want.


Hi @Davie260563,

To clarify,

  1. What do you mean by “good spec”?
  2. Why does it need to be B&W?

As a note, BR2 doesn’t directly support IP cameras, so you’d need to either use a USB camera that can be plugged in to the raspberry pi, or set up the relevant hardware (e.g. network switch or router to send your IP camera signal through the tether, or converter electronics to emulate a USB camera).

If you haven’t already looked into it, there are plenty of posts about IP cameras on the forum, and from the viewing/recording side you might want to use OBS or VLC, or I believe @etienne sells relevant some software if you’re interested in that kind of thing.


I am already running with a network upgrade switcher.

And I want to run with both HD camera and B&W.
Black and white cameras are fantastic for inspection work and to have the option of both if conditions are not great. A lot of the time it’s a client requirement to have both specially if the client knows what he’s talking about.

Alright, good to know :slight_smile:

Is there any chance you’re talking about infrared (IR) cameras? They’re commonly used for security, but are rarely used in underwater applications because water strongly absorbs IR light. I suppose if you’re inspecting in the dark above the surface then having an IR camera could be helpful, or if you’re very close to the things you’re trying to inspect, but that works because IR cameras almost always provide a strong IR light source, so that would be effectively equivalent to just using lights on your ROV so your normal camera could see.

If you’re not talking about IR cameras then I’m a bit lost unfortunately. I had a look to see if I can find anything for B&W cameras but couldn’t find anything relevant. Is the idea that it detects the full visible light spectrum just to get some kind of image? If so you could possibly just use a colour camera and manually set a long exposure time and/or high contrast+brightness (you can do this from the Camera page of the companion web interface). If you particularly wanted a grey-scaled feed of that you could combine the different channels together by processing the video stream with opencv, in which case you could also normalise the image to go as dark and bright as possible, which might help with seeing edges and such.


No, please see the link attached, giving that these cameras cost a lot of money and I’m not expecting the same quality but these are the cameras I use on a daily basis at work.

You can see by my pictures ( I’ve blurred out the clients name for legal/obvious reasons) the difference and the advantages of a B&W camera.

I see, this appears to be a single-channel camera with a sensor that’s most sensitive to the blue-green spectrum, which is the light that travels furthest underwater.

Unfortunately I’m not aware of anything like this that’s consumer grade, and it definitely does seem difficult to find anything relevant other than the Kongsberg you mentioned. When searching for “Underwater B&W Camera” I came across this, but it has a minimum illumination of 0.01lux in B&W mode, which is the same as what the Blue Robotics low-light camera offers with colour.

Not sure how much luck you’ll have with this, since it’s a specific enough device that it’s unlikely to have many low-cost versions, but I’ll ask internally and get back to you if any of the Blue Robotics team have come across them before or have experience with one :slight_smile:

Yeah I struggled finding good match that would suit the BR2. I’m not looking for cheap solution we have a decent budget but i just wanted to see if anyone had integrated a B&W cam.

I appreciate the feedback :+1:

Had a bit more of a look and ended up with the following options

Link Type Minimum Illumination Sensor Top Streaming Output Notes
[1] BW 0.01 lux ON Semi AR0130 1280x960@15fps (MJPEG) / 1280x720@30fps (MJPEG)
[2] colour 0.01 lux Sony IMX322 1920x1080@30fps (H264) This is the BR Low-Light camera
[3] colour 0.001 lux Sony IMX291 1920x1080@30fps (H264)
[4] colour 0.001 lux HiMax HM2131 1920x1080@30fps (MJPG) found by @rjehangir

Note that you’ll probably need to drop to lower framerates or resolutions to get optimal low-light performance.

Hopefully those are helpful options, or at least provide a useful start to a deeper search. If you manage to find one that works well it’d be cool if you could share the results you get :slight_smile:

If you end up with a colour camera, it may be worth running it through a processing pipeline that notices when it gets too dark and adds together the pixel values into a greyscale image.