You probably heard that a Raspberry Pi OS update was released this month. Besides the usual bug fixes and security tweaks, there are additional features such as some new keyboard shortcuts, an input control for audio devices, and, just like the desktop PC world is used to, a searchable main (we will not say “Start”) menu.
Screenshot of the Raspberry Pi OS desktop
Raspberry Pi OS GUI. Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Picamera2 Built-In

One of the most exciting new updates is the inclusion of the more open Picamera2 camera interface. The original Picamera library has been serving users since release-0.1 in September, 2013. Now, as David Plowman, engineer over at Raspberry Pi, puts it, “with our recent move to more open and standard Linux APIs, the Picamera library — built on top of a proprietary Broadcom camera stack — isn’t going to be supported in the future.”

With the original Picamera having helped so many makers with their first foray into automated camera image processing, Raspberry Pi wasn’t about to leave the community without an alternative, and, in February 2022, they introduced the first alpha preview release of the Picamera2 library.

Now in beta, its inclusion in the September 2022 release of the Raspberry Pi OS update (Bullseye, kernel 5.15.16) gives new or upgrading users the opportunity to use Picamera2 without any additional installation.

It supports all of the official Raspberry Pi cameras, and adds a host of interesting new features that are sure to get the creative juices flowing when it comes to envisioning new projects. One of the most exciting is object-detection with the help of machine-learning ecosystem TensorFlow:
Dogs detected by Picamera2 and TensorFlow
We can’t tell who let the dogs out, but the dogs are out! Source: David Plowman
To download the latest Raspberry Pi OS, visit Raspberry Pi’s downloads page, and be sure to get that Raspberry Pi camera warmed up because it will be taking a fun ride into machine learning soon! (For an overview of the latest features of Picamera2’s beta release, take a look at David’s guide here: