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Raspberry Pi Foundation Shows Off a New Interface for Pi Camera Modules

A Raspberry Pi 4 with a Pi Camera.
Raspberry Pi Foundation

For years, Raspberry Pi enthusiasts have relied on the Picamera interface to build and test new applications. But Picamera isn’t long for this world. That’s why the Raspberry Pi Foundation is opening a public preview for Picamera2, a more open and standardized app for Pi camera modules.

The original Picamera was developed by Dave Jones, not the Pi Foundation. It’s a third-party app, and despite its popularity, it’s slowly depreciated due to Raspberry Pi’s transition to standard Linux APIs and the libcamera driver. Therefore, it’s only natural that the Pi Foundation build its own replacement—Picamera2.

Face detection with Picamera2.
Face detection with Picamera2. Raspberry Pi Foundation

By preview release, we mean something that’s very much a work in progress. It has quite a lot of functionality already that you can try, but there are still some important things missing, and in some cases things that are not quite working as well as we might like.

Anyone can install Picamera2 on their Raspberry Pi SoC. But fair warning; this is a very early public preview. It’s difficult to get set up (there’s no package installer), it’s buggy, and it could change dramatically over the coming months. The Picamera2 preview is for testing, not for real-world use.

Additionally, the commands and functions of Picamera2 are quite different from the original Picamera. As Gordon Hollingworth explains, “there are significant amounts of functionality that just isn’t available in the libcamera interface that was previously available in the [original Picamera’s] closed source firmware.”

The Picamera2 preview’s release notes and installation instructions are available on GitHub. Again, Picamera2 is still in its infancy, so don’t expect too much from it.

Source: The Raspberry Pi Foundation

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »