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Raspberry Pi’s New $50 Camera Supports Interchangeable Lenses

A Rasbperry Pi High Quality Camera with a telephoto lens
Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation wants to make your DIY projects take better pictures. To that end, it built a new $50 camera board around a 12.3-megapixel backside-illuminated Sony IMX477 sensor with 1.55-micron pixels. Dubbed the High Quality Camera, you can customize it by swapping out the camera’s lenses.

While Raspberry Pi already had official cameras, they have always been low-resolution fixed-focus cameras. The new High Quality camera is… well higher quality. That’s in part thanks to supporting interchangeable C- and CS-mount lenses and adjustable back focus. Depending on your lens, you may be able to use something you already have.

A Raspberry Pi with an extremly large lens attached to it.
Raspberry Pi

And if not, to start official Raspberry Pi resellers are offering compatible lenses you can buy. They’ll cost about $25 each, and there are two options to start.

But if you would rather use your own lens, the board supports CS mounts and includes a C adapter. So it should work with a wide variety of lenses, as seen in the ridiculous photo above.

To go along with the camera, the Rasberry Pi put out a guide to using the High Quality camera today, and you can download it as a free PDF. That should help you build a DIY drone camera in short order.

The High Quality Camera module without a lens attached.
Raspberry Pi

Best of all, the High Quality camera works with a wide variety of Raspberry Pi models, including the original Raspberry Pi 1 Model B. Raspberry Pi Zero is the tricky entry, as some early 2016 models lack the necessary connector. Other Zero models need the same adapter FPC used for the Camera Module v2.

Speaking of the Camera Module v2, it’s not going away. Not everyone will need the High Quality camera, so the Raspberry Pi foundation will continue to offer the Camera Module V2 as an alternative for a lower cost (and lower quality) entry.

The High Quality Camera goes on sale today for $50.

Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation via The Verge

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »