Rasberry Pi camera module finally available for about $30

It’s been about a year since the Raspberry Pi team announced plans to launch a camera module for the tiny computer, and now limited quantities are finally available for purchase.

The Raspberry Pi is a small, inexpensive, low-power computer board designed for use in educational environments — and the device has also proved very popular with DIY folks looking to build low-power computing devices.

While it’s always been possible to hook up a camera using one of the Raspberry Pi’s USB ports,  the official camera accessory is designed to interface with the CSI port on the tiny computer.

Raspberry Pi camera module

This leaves a USB port free, and allows the 5MP camera to interface directly with the Raspberry Pi computer.

You can find instructions for adding support for the camera to the Raspbian Linux software for the mini-computer and using it to shoot H.264 video or snap photos at the Raspberry Pi blog.

You can also set up the camera as a webcam and use it to stream video to a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

You can also find a more detailed guide (in PDF format) at retail partner Premier Farnell’s website.

The Raspberry Pi Camera Module sells for about $30, which isn’t a lot of money until you think about the fact that the Raspberry Pi computer sells for $25 and up. Right now the camera module only seems to be available for purchase in select regions, including the UK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MrWareWolf Ware Wolf

    Sweet!

  • dog

    “Right now the camera module only seems to be available for purchase in select regions, including the UK.”

    I think both stores mentioned in the announcement on the Raspi blog ship to anywhere in Europe, at least. I’m not in the UK and my order went through.

  • Arrdee

    Hilarious! Anxiously awaiting the article on the 5 pound plywood, plastic, and hot glue point-and-shoot camera with rucksack power supply and “take picture” button in your shoe somebody lashes together out of this stuff. Ya gotta love the Pi community’s tolerance for self-abuse.

    • blacksmith_tb

      I don’t think people are making “5lb. cameras” because they are better than commercial alternatives; they are making them to understand how to make things, which is admirable, not hilarious.

  • blacksmith_tb

    Cool, but it costs more than Model A, and almost as much a Model B…

  • blah

    This product wouldn’t need to exist if USB actually worked properly on the Raspberry Pi.

  • Aaron Smith

    Would love it if someone turned these into 5mp h.264 or even h.265 HVEC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding) web cams.. powered by PoE with an outdoor enclosure. Price them at $50 a piece and I’ll buy a hundred of them in a heart beat for our home and work security surveillance needs. Look at what Q-See has for $200 and is only 1.2mp (http://www.costco.com/Q-See-Platinum-HD-1080p-IP-Dome-Camera.product.100033842.html) .. How cool would that be?

  • Luke Dale

    The Raspberry Pi camera module is a small, inexpensive, low-power computer board designed for use in educational environments. Nice to know that its finally available …

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  • Robert

    It will appeal to a lot of people because it allows you to shoot H.264 video or snap photos. But the availability factor rules out its popularity. Check out this link on making more admirable cameras into professional tools. http://www.become.com/hub/camera-photo/camera-camcorder-accessories/turn-camera-phone-into-professional-tool

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