Raspberry Pi gets photo and video capabilities with £20 camera module

A tiny camera capable of taking five-megapixel photos and recording HD video has been launched for the Raspberry Pi.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

The Raspberry Pi now has its own stamp-sized camera.

The £20 camera module, developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation over the last year, costs roughly the same as the Raspberry Pi itself and allows the Linux mini-computer to take both still images and video. The module went on sale through Raspberry Pi distributors element14 and RS Components on Tuesday.

The five-megapixel camera can take stills with a 2592 x 1944 resolution and record HD video in 1080p (without sound) at a maximum frame rate of 30 frames per second.  

Image: Sam Shead/ZDNet

The 25mm x 20mm x 9mm device, which is compatible with both Model A and Model B Raspberry Pi devices, weighs just three grams. It comes with a ribbon cable that is plugged into a CSi port positioned between the Ethernet and HDMI ports.

The camera is supported by the latest version of Raspbian, the Debian distro optimised for the Pi. 

Image: Sam Shead/ZDNet

In order to ensure that the firmware on the Raspberry Pi is up to date and compatible with the camera, a list of commands (available on the Raspberry Pi blog) have to be entered into the Raspberry Pi's terminal first. 

Once the Raspberry Pi is configured to work, code can be typed into the terminal to take a photo or record video. There are two command line applications for the camera: raspivid for recording video, and raspistill for photos.

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