When you think Raspberry Pi and camera you probably already know the score; a small camera board that plugs into the Pi’s CSI connector fitted with a fixed-focus wide-angle lens. This versatile setup has been the basis of all sorts of homebrew applications. The SnapPiCam takes the Pi down a different route and converts it into a 5 MP digital camera with interchangeable lens.
Gregory L Holloway is the brains behind this idea, he developed it as an entry into an Instructables competition (which he won) and the response he got encouraged him to launch it on Kickstarter. The design uses the lower spec RPi A without an Ethernet port and with 256 MB of RAM. The camera includes a LiPo battery and DC-DC converter to make it truly portable and different versions allow you to add a rear touchscreen and various interchangeable, magnetic-mount lens ranging from wide-angle to telephoto zoom.
The most basic ‘compact’ kit starts at £100 and includes:
- Raspberry Pi.
- 1200mAh LiPo Battery.
- DC DC Converter.
- Basic 500mAh LiPo Charger.
- Two body versions are available, Clear & Neutral Grey.
- Choose either Black or Silver screws.
- Pick from a selection of fluorescent colours for the front & back. Colours include Fluorescent Acid Green, Fluorescent Hellios Yellow, Fluorescent Lava Orange, Fluorescent Mars Red and Fluorescent Neptune Blue.
- 100mm x 68mm x 50mm.
You should be able to assemble the kit in an evening and no doubt you could buy a more compact and neater camera for less but as any hacker will tell you, that isn’t really the point.