Here’s How You Can Build Your Own Camera With A Raspberry Pi 4

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: July 6, 2020

Do you ever want to put your vintage camera lens to use again? Well, you can make this dream come true because the Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a camera that supports C- and CS-mount lenses!

Now you must be wondering how you’d be able to do anything if you lack understanding of the coding system. Well, here’s the thing: any amateur can do this!

You should know that the Raspberry Pi is an extremely tiny computer and is efficiently programmable. Hence, you can use these to program everything from portable arcades to smart mirrors, and even COVID-19 case counters. You can literally do anything with these small boxes if you’re well versed with programming.

But don’t feel left out because I’ll tell you how to build your own camera with a Raspberry Pi 4!

To begin with, you need to have the following things: A $50 HQ Camera Mod, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a USB-C portable 10,000mAh charger, jumper wires, a tiny switch button switch, two vintage C-mount lenses, body of a Ninoka NK-700 35mm camera, and a Raspberry Pi 4 computer!

Here’s the plan: you plug in your HQ camera board to your Raspberry Pi computer and then easily program the system in order to take pictures with a button. Next, you place all of these components into the body of a toy camera. Remember that the plan is simple but only in theory – practically it’s not as simple as it may seem.

So, you can take the official Raspberry Pi Camera guide which is free online and full of codes for programming various functions like stop-motion photography etc. You need to keep at it because many times you will insert codes and they will return error messages, so for a novice, it’s truly a matter of luck. However, you can get yourself an easy to learn CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter Kit or get the help of the Vilros Raspberry Pi 4 Basic Starter Kit to be successful in your first go. 

Thus, make sure you read the HQ Camera’s user manual at least 50 times! Once you are able to program the camera to take pictures using that tiny button, you can begin collecting the hardware to venture into the world to take photographs. You may need to add an additional battery pack to power the system along with a 3.5-inch touchscreen to preview and operate the software of the camera.

But be prepared as there’s a 99% chance that things might not go as planned. Since there are countless possibilities with tiny computers, you can try to follow the things that people come up with on Reddit rather than experimenting on your own.

Updated July 6, 2020
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