Raspberry Pi unveils $50 interchangeable-lens camera board
Raspberry Pi's new high quality camera doesn't sport a fancy name—it's actually called "High Quality Camera"—but it packs some new features do-it-yourselfers are sure to enjoy, and it's being offered at Raspberry's typical bargain-basement prices.
The camera includes a 12.3 megapixel Sony back-illuminated sensor, back-focus adjustment ring, lens and tripod mounts as well as adaptors for higher end C- and CS-mount lenses. The camera is available immediately for $50 from Raspberry Pi distributors such as Cana Kit and PiShop.us.
This is the first Raspberry camera to offer interchangeable lenses. Two lenses will be offered initially. A 10-megapixel resolution telephoto C-mount lens is available for $50. With a 16mm focal length and f 1.4-16 aperture, it provides better resolution and performs in lower-light scenarios than its predecessor. The $25 Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 launched in 2016 offered a fixed-focus 3.04 mm lens and captured images up to 8 megapixel resolution.
The other lens available for use with the new camera board is a 6mm CS-mount CCTV lens for $15.
A Raspberry engineer explained that the company felt it was time to address a key drawback of earlier camera models.
"Versatile though they are, there are limitations to mobile phone-type fixed-focus modules," said Raspberry Pi Foundation senior principal engineer Simon Martin. "The sensors themselves are relatively small, which translates into a lower signal-to-noise ratio and poorer low-light performance; and of course there is no option to replace the lens assembly with a more expensive one, or one with different optical properties."
The High Quality Camera is compatible with almost all Raspberry Pi models. Camera adaptors are available.
Raspberry Pi has also published a 132-page guide for the HQ Camera offering detailed instructions on how to create variety of projects. A hard copy of the book is $12.50 but a free PDF version is available from The MagPi magazine website.
Low-cost Raspberry Pi camera systems have allowed programmers to explore creative avenues that would have been difficult or impossible with costlier higher-end cameras.
Users can construct video-streaming cameras, smart doorbells, webcams, security cameras, face-recognition smart locks, a time-lapse photo setup and an irrigation system for vegetation. And, of course, someone came up with the idea of a low coffee-bean jar supply alert system because if there is one thing worse than being cooped up in your home for what may be an eternity, it's running out of coffee.
More information: www.raspberrypi.org/blog/new-p … a-on-sale-now-at-50/
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