Chapter 16

The Raspberry Pi Camera Module

DESIGNED BY ENGINEERS working for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Raspberry Pi Camera Module is the most compact way of adding the ability to record still images and video to your project. Designed to connect to the Camera Serial Interface (CSI) of the Raspberry Pi, the Camera Module measures just 25mm on its longest edge and weighs just three grammes (see Figure 16-1).

Since its release, the Camera Module has found a place in projects ranging from simple home security systems to more complex computer vision experiments that track a user’s face or hand gestures. The module has even reached near-space as the result of photography projects that tether a Raspberry Pi to a weather balloon and release it to gather live, high-altitude images.

The Camera Module is built around a five-megapixel sensor of a type commonly used in smartphones, located behind a fixed-focus lens. The module works in tandem with the Raspberry Pi’s graphics processor to ensure that high-resolution video and stills can be captured smoothly without overloading the Pi’s main processor or requiring too much memory.

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Figure 16-1: The Raspberry Pi Camera Module, pictured without its ribbon cable

Why Use the Camera Module?

If you have no need to capture images or video, you don’t need the Camera Module. It’s an optional extra, and the Pi works just fine without one. It’s ...

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