64mp OwlSight vs 64mp Hawkeye - How to tell the difference?

1. Where did you get the camera module(s)?

  • Amazon

2. Model number of the product(s)?

  • B0483

3. What hardware/platform were you working on?

  • Raspberry Pi 5

  • Raspberry Pi 4

4. Instructions you have followed. (link/manual/etc.)

5. Problems you were having?

  • Couldn’t connect to camera because I thought it was the Hawkeye, but it was instead the OwlSight

6. The dmesg log from your hardware?

 arducam_64mp 4-001a: chip id mismatch: 4136!=7388
[ 5.282059] rp1-cfe 1f00128000.csi: found subdevice /axi/pcie@120000/rp1/i2c@80000/arducam_64mp@1a
[ 5.282364] arducam_64mp: probe of 4-001a failed with error -5

7. Troubleshooting attempts you’ve made?

Raspberry Pi 5 using provided 22 to 15 pin cable in both Cam0, and Cam1 spots:
Cable in every combination of orientations on the latest Raspberry Pi OS
Cable in every combination of orientation on older image kernel 6.1.21
Both of these in the Raspberry pi Os Lite version

Rasberry Pi 4 using 22 pin cable:
Cable in every combination of orientations on the latest Raspberry Pi OS
Cable in every combination of orientation on older image kernel 6.1.21
Both of these in the Raspberry pi Os Lite version

Finally looked at amazon store listing and found Camera Sku in a picture. Looked up the sku and it brought me to the OwlSight (not the Hawkeye that I thought it was)

8. What help do you need?

This is a combination of a PSA and possibly a request. I spent quite a long time looking at forum posts and instructions for the wrong camera module. I bought the incorrect camera module thinking it was a different one. These are all things that I now blame on myself, but can see other people making the same mistake so…

The PSA is:

Make sure that you know which camera module you’re using!

The request is:

Can Arducam update their documentation to give some sort of warning to users stating that the Hawkeye and OwlSight are very similar, and instructions on how to identify them without a receipt? I didn’t see any sort of model number on the modules so I’m guessing you’re going to have to look for a specific component on them to differentiate.

Another request is:
What is the actual difference between these two cameras? They look very similar. I’m assuming that the OwlSight has better quality in dark enviornments. But how is that achieved? Why do they need separate drivers if they’re the same sensor etc. I’m trying to figure out if my project can work with the OwlSight instead of the Hawkeye so that I don’t have to return my purchase.

Finally: Once I got it working it was great and I’m super pumped to work with this on my project. Thanks for making such a nice camera sensor and please don’t take my criticism of how things are displayed on your site as anything but constructive. I know that maintaining manuals/how-tos is difficult.

Why do they need separate drivers if they’re the same sensor etc. I’m trying to figure out if my project can work with the OwlSight instead of the Hawkeye so that I don’t have to return my purchase.

The OwlSight and Hawkeye use completely different sensors/chips. This is why there are different drivers.

The longer version of that story is that the Owlsight chip is supported in the libcamera package by the community. That is why you can use it with a RPi without any issues. The Hawkeye is NOT supported by libcemera community because it uses an untested / unsupported image processing chip.

B0483 = OwlSight (supported)
B0399C = Hawkeye (unsupported)

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Thanks for the response. Where did you see that they were different sensors. I was going through the product pages and copied their tables so that I could compare them here’s what I’ve got. Also the Hawkeye store page says libcamera-ready: native software compatibility with a v1/v2-like form factor. This conflicts with what you said. Is there a typo on the product page?

Hawkeye Specs:

Hawkeye Model# B0399C
Optical Size Type 1/1.7" 9.25 mm Diagonal (7.4x5.55 mm)
Focus Type Manual/Auto
Sensor Resolution 9152x6944
Video Mode (on Raspberry Pi) 1080p30, 720p60, 640x480p60/90
Video Mode (Camera Module) 1280x720@120fps, 1920x1080@60fps, 2312x1136@30fps, 3840x2160@20fps, 4624x3472@10fps [email protected]
Color Filter Quad Bayer coding (QBC)
Supported Platforms (Full Resolution) Pi 4B/CM4
Supported Platforms (Superpixel) Pi 2/3/CM3/Zero W/Zero 2 W
Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye (32-bit/64-bit) or later releases
Focus 8mc~∞
Focal ratio (F-Stop) F1.8
Focal length 5.1mm
View Angle 84 Degrees (Diagonal)
Dimensions 25mm x 24mm
Shutter Type Rolling

OwlSight Specs:

OwlSight Model# B0483
Image Sensor
Image Sensor OV64A40
Still Resolution 64 Megapixels
Color Filter Type Color
Shutter Type Rolling
Optical Size 1/1.32’
Pixel Size 1.008 µm x 1.008 pm
Sensor Active Area 9248(H)x6944(V)
Output Format JPEG/YUV/RGB/RAW1O
Video Modes (on Raspberry Pi) 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90
Video Modes (Camera Module) 9152×6944@2fps, 4624×[email protected], 3840×[email protected], 2312×[email protected], 1920×1080@45fps
IR Sensit- Integral IR-cut Filter visible light on
Focus Type Manual/Auto
Focal Length 6.65mm
F.NO F1.9
Field of View (FOV) 84°(D)×68°(H)×56°(V)
Lens Mount Stock Lens
Default Focus Ran 12cm~∞
Electrical and Mechanical
Power Requirements 3.3V/300mA
Camera Board Size 25*24 mm
Functionality and Compatibility
Supported OS Raspberry Pi OS
Supported Platforms* Raspberry Pi 5/4B/3B+/3/2/CM3/CM4/Zero W/Zero 2 W


From what I can tell the minimum focus range is different, focal length and the f-stop is different. There’s no these are generally properties of the lens not the image sensor.

I understand that the company doesn’t use English as a first language, and I was able to get the OwlSight working. I guess my point is that the materials on these two camera sensors is very similar and they could do better to differentiate them. Also maybe make it more clear which one has native support for libcamera.

I still don’t really know based off of this if one would be better than the other because f-stop, focal length and minimum focus distances are very similar. I’m probably going to keep the OwlSight for two reasons.

  1. I currently have it
  2. It is working
  3. It seems to have better native support

They are very similar on the surface.

The Owlsight uses an OV64A40 sensor (which is in the document you copied). This is support inside the libcamera official repository. Omnivision makes this sensor.

The Hawkeye uses an IMXnnn (Sony) sensor. ArduCam never officially announced which one it is. But it is certainly a Sony sensor.

The documentation, in my opinion, is incorrect for the Hawkeye and has always been incorrect. It says “supported by libcamera” what it should say is “supported by OUR libcamera”. Arducam compiled their own copy of libcamera’s stack and that is what is on the website.

I made the same mistake when I first bought the Hawkeye. However, I didn’t have a choice back then because the Owlsight was not released (only released Mar 2024).

At a software level, if you configured arducam_64mp in your raspberry pi’s config.txt, then you are very likely using the Hawkeye (since that is the driver/firmware that will be loaded).
Likewise, if you put OV64A40 in config.txt, then you are using the Owlsight.

I would not recommend the Hawkeye for Raspberry Pi users since the release of the Owlsight.

Also - for reference, everyone normally refers to them by the sensor in them - so if I have made mistakes above it’s because I call the Owlsight (B0483) by the sensor OV64A40 all the time to avoid confusion.

I’ve been using Hawkeye and OwlSight as a way to refer to them because I didn’t really know there was a difference. Also, they don’t give a sensor name for the Hawkeye. But in the future I’ll try to be more specific by stating OV64A40.

That is really frustrating for someone trying to purchase a product. You’d assume by that language that you’re going to get full native support on libcamera.

There also isn’t any obvious information that shows when each sensor was released. I think I’m happy to stay with my OwlSight as it has better native support.

I’m hoping that anyone who is looking for a similar camera sensor is able to find this conversation so that they don’t have to learn the way we both did.

I’m also hoping that Arducam updates the information on these sensors to make it more clear for prospective buyers.

Thanks again!

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No problem at all! Glad to have helped out :slight_smile: