Cameras and Accessories

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You can order software and hardware as one package from CamVFX, our official US Reseller.

Alternatively, you can select and order items you need separately.


Sony PlayStation Eye for PS3

Recommended camera for use with iPi Motion Capture is Sony PlayStation Eye for PS3.

Playstation eye small2.jpg

The following properties make it a preferred camera for motion capture:

  • High frame rate — up to 60 frames per second (important for reducing motion blur and capturing fast motions like dancing, boxing or running).
  • Fully automatic configuration with excellent auto-exposure and auto-gain.
  • Good-enough low-light sensitivity.
  • Low-distortion middle-angle fixed optics (75 degrees of diagonal field of view).
  • Efficient protocol for image transfer.
  • Extremely low cost (under $10).

The only major downside of PlayStation Eye is its lack of tripod mounting screw. Possible solutions:

Note: Sony PlayStation 4 Camera cannot be used with iPi Motion Capture because it has proprietary cable connection and there is no adapter for PC on market. The same is true for Sony Camera V2 for PlayStation 4.

Logitech C922

You can use other web cameras with iPi Motion Capture. But there are just a couple of models that can reliably capture video at 60 frames per second. Logitech C922 is one of such models:

Logitech C922 small.png

It has the following helpful properties:

  • 60 FPS for 720p resolution.
  • Good optics with reasonable field of view (78 degrees in diagonal) and relatively low distortion.
  • Auto-focus can be turned off.
  • Acceptable colors in low light conditions (better than Sony PS Eye has).
  • USB 2.0 interface (USB repeaters can be used).
  • Tripod mounting screw.

Cameras Comparison

Which camera to choose?

Specification Sony PS Eye Logitech C922 Winner Comments
practical frame rate(s) 50 FPS, 60 FPS 60 FPS PS Eye In some cases it is more practical to record at 50 FPS instead of 60 FPS, but C922 doesn't support 50 FPS. Also, PlayStation Eye has more stable frame rate: exactly 60 frames per second, while C922 could drop separate frames time after time and a result actual FPS is slightly smaller than 60.
practical resolution(s) 640x480 1280x720 it depends For iPi Motion Capture it is not so important to have high resolution. Higher resolution just allows to stand farther from camera, which potentially increases maximum capture area. But from the other side, higher resolution means slower processing in iPi Mocap Studio. Thus if your top priority is the biggest capture area, then Logitech C922 wins. In other case - PS Eye wins.
field of view diagonal: 75°
horizontal: 63°
vertical: 49.5°
diagonal: 78°
horizontal: 70°
vertical: 43°
PS Eye PS Eye has slightly bigger vertical field of view. Therefore an actor can stand closer to camera and still be visible in full length.
optic distorsion low low draw Both cameras have good-enough optics for iPi Motion Capture needs.
image quality good-enough
(but poor in low light conditions)
(good-enough in low light conditions)
C922 But image quality is not so critical for iPi Motion Capture.
connection USB 2.0
(up to 2-4 cameras per USB-controller)
USB 2.0
(up to 2-4 cameras per USB-controller)
draw Not more than two cameras should be connected to each USB controller to capture at 50 or 60 FPS. But some USB 3.0 controllers can handle up to four cameras at 50 and 60 FPS. This is true for both camera models.
disk usage
(for six cameras)
25 MB/sec
(background subtraction)
35 MB/sec
(raw JPEG frames obtained from cameras)
PS Eye CPU load is higher as well when recording with Logitech C922.
tripod mounting screw no yes C922
price under 10 USD about 90 USD PS Eye Prices may differ for different regions. But in any case PS Eye is significantly cheaper.

Action Cameras

Stand-alone cameras that meet requirements below can be used instead of web cameras.

Note: Stand-alone cameras support in available starting from v4 of iPi Motion Capture.

Requirements for stand-alone cameras:

  • Fixed optics (if camera has auto-focus and zoom features, they must be turned off before recording)
  • High FPS (at least 60 FPS at 720p resolution)
  • Wide field-of-view (at least 90° in diagonal)

You can even mix cameras of different models. But all cameras must support one and the same pair of FPS and resolution.

Tip: The most practical resolution for full body motion capture is 720p that is 1280 x 720. Using higher resolutions adds technical complications but does not give substantial advantages.

Action cameras fully meet the requirements. The most popular models here are:

GoPro HERO5 Black

But you can use other (more affordable) models: [1]. Or even smartphones.

Note: If you select action cameras specially for iPi Motion Capture, you can use almost any cheap action camera model which supports 720p (1280 x 720) resolution at 60 or 90 FPS. At least, there is no need to choose cameras that support 4K video because such high resolution is not practical for iPi Motion Capture.

Web Cameras vs. Action Cameras

The overall workflow with action cameras is more complicated compared to web cameras. See Quick Start Guide for Multiple Action Cameras Configuration for details. But you can get certain advantages if you use action cameras:

Configration Pros Cons
Web Cameras
  • Requires rather powerful PC(s) for recording:
    • many USB ports
    • several USB controllers
    • fast storage system
    • fast CPU
  • A lot of USB cables on the floor
  • View angle (FOV) is not wide enough to be used in small rooms
Action Cameras
  • No need in PC and external power supply for recording (high mobility)
  • No USB cables on the floor
  • Wider view angle (FOV) results in bigger capture volume
  • Wider view angle allows to record in smaller rooms
  • 90 and even 120 FPS (depends on the model of action camera and lighting conditions)
  • Intrinsic parameters of each camera must be determined in advance (camera optics calibration)
  • A few manual and time consuming steps are required to get multi-camera synchronized video:
  • Right now there is no simple way to use Motion Controllers with action cameras


Note: In case of using of action cameras there is no need in these USB cables.

For distances over 3m, you should use active USB 2.0 extension cables (aka USB repeaters). You can daisy-chain multiple active USB 2.0 extension cables for distances longer than 10m.

Active USB cable.jpg

When combining active and passive cables, make sure that connection order is correct (computer->active cable->passive cable->camera).

Tip: Microsoft Kinect v2 is an USB 3.0 device, thus it would require USB 3.0 extension cables. However, because each Kinect v2 requires a separate computer for operation, there is usually no need in extension cables, because computers can be placed appropriately.


Inexpensive 40- or 50-inch tripods like [2] should be fine for use with iPi Desktop Motion Capture. It is recommended to place at least one of the cameras reasonably high (2 or 3 meters high) so you may need a high (72 inch or higher) tripod like [3] or some kind of ad hoc wall mounting solution.


Mini Maglite (or other flashlight) for calibration

You will need a small bright object for calibration. It is recommended to get Mini Maglite for that purpose:


If you cannot get a Mini Maglite, you can use some other similar flashlight:

Noname flashlight.jpg

Alternatively, you can use Sony Move motion controller with white light turned on.


Video Card

iPi Mocap Studio heavily relies on GPU for calculations. Therefore, it is recommended to use a fast GPU for processing recorded videos. The support for DirectX 11 is required (most of the video cards released since 2010 meet this requirement).

Please be aware that desktop GPUs are dramatically faster than laptop GPUs (due to apparent thermal constraints in laptop PCs). Laptops with Switchable Graphics should be configured to run iPi Mocap Studio on a discrete (high-performance) GPU.

You can check expected tracking speed for various GPU model here.

You can Compare and Order recommended GPU from Amazon.

Note: Professional GPUs like NVIDIA Quadro or AMD FirePro are not recommended due to high price and lack of performance advantage. You should understand that Quadro/FirePro video cards are designed for very specific professional OpenGL-based workloads. Their main advantage is high image quality in OpenGL rendering. iPi Motion Capture needs raw 32-bit floating point performance and does not benefit from image quality features of Quadro/FirePro video cards. For best performance, use top gaming-class video cards from NVIDIA or AMD.
Tip: Ensure that you are getting maximum of GPU's performance in iPi Mocap Studio.

USB controllers

Note: In case of using action cameras there are no special requirements for USB controllers.

All modern computers based on Intel and AMD chipsets have at least one combined USB 3.1 (or 3.0) / USB 2.0 controller on board. It is usually capable of handling either of:

  • 2 USB 2.0 depth sensors (e.g. Microsoft Kinect v1)
  • 2 or 3 USB 3.0 depth sensors (e.g. Microsoft Azure Kinect), depending on a specific sensor model and whether an RGB stream is recorded
  • 4 USB 2.0 RGB cameras at 640x480 at 60 FPS (e.g. PS Eye)
  • 6 USB 2.0 RGB cameras at 640x480 at 40 FPS (e.g. PS Eye)

Some PCs may have additional USB controllers built-in. You can check how many USB controllers you have in the Universal Serial Bus controllers section in the Device Manager. USB controllers.png

Depending on how many cameras or depth sensors you want to use and how many controllers your PC has, you may need to install additional USB controllers or use multiple PCs for recording.

Tip: Kinect 2 for Windows, Kinect for Xbox One requires a separate USB 3.0 controller per device. However, the standard driver (Kinect SDK 2.0) supports only single sensor per PC (this is a software limitation). An alternative Libfreenect2 driver supports multiple Kinect 2 sensors on one PC.

For desktop PCs, additional USB controllers usually come in the form of PCIe extension cards. There are PCIe cards which have 2 or even 4 separate USB 3.0 chips onboard. So with a single card you can cover all your needs in additional USB controllers. Look for references to such cards on our website.

Modern laptops usually lack options to add more USB controllers. So if you're going to use a laptop for recording with many cameras look for gaming-class products. They often include an additional USB controller and more USB ports than conventional "work-horse" laptops. Besides, due to having a high-performance discrete GPU they can be used for occasional tracking, although employing a desktop GPU for that purpose is a preferred option.

Important! Some USB chips have compatibility issues with specific cameras which may result in not detecting cameras, low frame rate, etc. See the next section on known issues. When getting a PCIe USB card we strongly recommend to look for one based on a NEC/Renesas USB 3.0 chip. It has the best compatibility we've seen so far across various models of cameras and depth sensors.

Sometimes an USB controllers provides less USB ports than the number of cameras it can handle. For instance, when using RGB cameras with a laptop or a multi-chip PCIe USB card. In this case you can use an USB hub to increase the number of USB ports and use the full bandwidth of an USB controller. Note that a hub is not an USB controller, therefore it doesn't increase the number of cameras which can be handled by a controller.

Important! You can use USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 hubs to connect USB 2.0 cameras. Use only USB 3.0 hubs to connect USB 3.0 cameras. For USB 3.0, prefer active hubs which use an external power supply.

Known compatibility issues

Combinations of camera & USB chip listed below have known compatibility issues. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that other combinations will work for sure, but most will. If you need an additional USB controller for connecting specific camera, be sure not to get the one based on an incompatible USB chip.

Camera USB chip Symptoms Comments / possible solution
ASUS Xtion (Live) NEC µPD720200 (USB 3.0) Camera is not properly recognized by the system. This firmware update makes device behave the same as PrimeSense Carmine 1.08 with this controller.
ASUS Xtion (Live) VIA VT6212L (USB 2.0) Frame drops of color picture in 640x480@30 (depth + color).
Microsoft Kinect v1 Intel 8x/9x chipset series (built-in, USB 3.0/2.0) Multiple Kinects do not work. Discussion of the issue
Additional USB controllers needed for multiple Kinects.
One user reports that uninstalling Intel USB 3.0 driver resolves the issue.
Microsoft Kinect v2 Etron EJ168 No data coming from device.
Microsoft Kinect v2 VIA VL800 No data coming from device.
PrimeSense Carmine 1.08 NEC µPD720200 (USB 3.0) Frame drops in 640x480@30 (depth + color). Stable work in 640x480@30 (depth only) and 320x240 (depth + color).
PrimeSense Carmine 1.08 VIA VT6212L (USB 2.0) Frame drops in 640x480@30 (depth + color). Stable work in 640x480@30 (depth only) and 320x240 (depth + color).
PrimeSense Carmine 1.08 VIA VL800(USB 3.0) Frame drops, reduced frame rate, freezes in depth + color modes. Stable work in depth only modes.
Sony Playstation Eye VIA VL800 (USB 3.0) Great number of bad frames and frame drops. Camera is invisible to iPi Recorder.
Sony Playstation Eye VIA VT6212L (USB 2.0) Great number of frame drop in 640x480@60 mode. 2 cameras can work smoothly at lower FPS (up to 640x480@50).
Sony PlayStation Eye NEC µPD720101 (USB 2.0) Great number of frame drops. Camera stops producing frames. Not recommended to use. Replace with other controllers.