A Raspberry Pi is an extensively used, cheap portable appliance that can be used for a variety of gadgetry purposes. It is known as a single-board computer i.e. it has a processor, R.A.M, I/O and other features that a standalone computer requires. Raspberry Pi has gained extreme popularity in the recent times as a very popular gadgeting tool for the hobbyists, kids and adults alike. Although the Pi is in itself a vast topic, this article is about an add-on camera module that was launched a while ago to expand the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi.
It was noticed a while ago by the Raspberry Pi community that although the Raspberry Pi has an abundant amount of support, additional add-ons are needed to help it interface with the outside world. One key interface module is none other than a camera module. The camera module has an immense number of application usages in projects for applications ranging from remote sensing and communication to robotics projects that were previously were not easily or cost effectively implemented.
The Raspberry Pi Camera Module is a custom designed add-on for the Pi. It attaches to the Pi by way of a dedicated interface on the top of the Pi. This interface uses the dedicated high speed CSI interface, designed especially for interfacing to cameras. The camera board itself is tiny, measuring in at around 25mm x 20mm x 9mm. It also weighs just over 3g, making it perfect for portable applications or projects where space is weight are important. Its applications multi-focally revolve around sensory detection and robotics. It connects to Raspberry Pi by means of a short ribbon cable which is included in the bundle. The sensor itself has a native resolution of 5 megapixels, and has a fixed focus lens onboard. In terms of still images, the camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images, and also supports 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video. The camera is supported in the latest version of Raspbian, which is the Raspberry Pi's preferred operating system, thus ensuring compatibility and programmability.
The price of the camera board is $25 thanks in part to the decision to go with a more than adequate 5mp device onboard.
The camera module assures users unlimited possibilities for numerous projects ranging from facial recognition, video telephony or even for home automated robots. In its short existence, the Raspberry Pi has powered games, controls, musical instruments, and even pyrotechnic stage shows, but with the new camera module the Raspberry Pi has many additional applications that are just waiting to be dreamed up and implemented.