Raspberry Pi Gets A $25 Camera
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Sunday, 10 February 2013

Raspberry Pi seems to be developing into a complete system for DIY. Now we have a video camera to add to the list of goodies - and it's only $25.

The Raspberry Pi, the low-cost ARM-based computer, seems to be used for just about every type of computing you care to think of. If $35 is too much for your budget, then there is the $25 model A, with a reduced specification - mainly no network interface.

 

picamerafront

 

The Pi is used for everything from multimedia players, through programming platforms, to embedded controllers But until recently it lacked a simple way to get video data. Now we have a simple camera module almost ready to ship.

The good news is that it is expected to cost as little as $25. The slightly bad news is that it is only 5 mega pixels, but this is reasonable for such a low-cost module and for the computing powers of the Pi - it's still more than 1080p Hi-Def video for example.

It is small and attaches to the Pi via a 15cm ribbon cable. This allows it to be directly interfaced to the GPU via a special connector on the board, i.e. not the GPIO, with a bandwidth good enough for video. The lens isn't removable and it is fixed focus - again reasonable for the price and resolution.

 

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People are already working out what to do with the new module and ideas range from snapping wildlife, robotics, baby monitors, night vision and balloon payloads. After all at $60 (for the Pi plus camera) this is one video payload you can probably afford to lose!

The module is expected to be available in about a month - there is some work to do on the drivers.

 

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