Best Raspberry Pi Camera Android Central 2020
Adding a camera to your Raspberry Pi is simple and can turn the board into a great surveillance camera or a personal computer used for video chatting. Luckily, it's also a pretty inexpensive endeavor, like with most Raspberry Pi accessories. Here are our top picks if you want to add an eye to your Pi.
- HD and simple: Logitech C525 HD Webcam
- From the source: Raspberry Pi V2 Camera Module
- For version 4: Arducam Video module for Raspberry Pi
- So Tiny: Arducam 1/4-inch Camera Module for Raspberry Pi
- Night Vision: Arducam Day-Night Vision for Raspberry Pi Camera
- Its Finally Useful: PlayStation Eye
- Ultra-wide lens: MakerFocus 8MP Wide-Angle Module
- Adjustable focus: Dorhea Automatic IR-Cut Sensor
- External casing: Jun-Electron Night Vision Video Camera
This USB webcam from Logitech is plug and play for the Raspberry Pi and can take record videos in 720p at 30FPS. The "fold-and-go" design makes it easy to pack up and roll whenever you need to move the camera elsewhere. Plus, the C525 features fast autofocus, so the subject is never blurry, even it's close to the camera or moving around.
The second-generation Raspberry Pi Camera Module works great with the Raspberry Pi 3 or 3 B+ and connects directly to the MIPI connector on the board itself. It can take still images at 3280x2464 (8MP) or record 4K video at 30FPS. However, Raspberry Pi recommends using a 2A Power Supply, so you'll need to double-check that before installing this module.
This 5-megapixel camera board works exactly like the official version but also works with the Raspberry Pi 4. This fixed focus lens can record video at 1080p while offering still picture resolution of 2592x1944. Plus, this is natively compatible with your Raspberry Pi, so you can just plug and record.
Don't let the tiny size fool you — this camera module takes great HD video and will fit anywhere. It's perfect for surveillance thanks to its 1080p video resolution and built-in IR filter. However, owners of the Raspberry Pi Zero will have to look elsewhere as this module is not compatible.
With a normal lens and an IR lens, plus IR flood LEDs, this camera module can pull 24-hour duty when it comes to video. It also works with just about every model of Raspberry Pi, including Pi Zero and going up to the new Pi 4. Arducam also includes two heat sinks to help ensure the module itself doesn't overheat.
The PlayStation Eye camera is for, you know, the PlayStation but it works great with the Raspberry Pi — just plug it into a USB port and go! You can record video in either 56 degrees or 75 degrees, along with shooting 60FPS at 640x480.
This module from MakerFocus features a 160-degree, wide-angle lens, capable of taking 8MP pictures. But the fun doesn't stop there, as you can record up to 1080p video at 30FPS, or 720p video at 60FPS. Before getting this up and running, you will need to get the V2 PCB to work with your Raspberry Pi.
The Dorhea Automatic IR-cut sensor will automatically switch between day mode and night mode, so you don't have to manually do it. It's capable of taking a 5MP (2592x1944) picture and recording video at 1080p or 720p and up to 60FPS. The included CSI interface provides a higher bandwidth so that your pictures and videos are crystal clear.
One frustration when trying to get the right camera module is how it will be mounted to your Raspberry Pi setup. With the Jun-Electron Night Vision Camera, those concerns are put to bed as the company includes an acrylic holder, including a hole for a heat-sink. The camera itself can take 5MP (2592x1944) images, and shoot up to 1080p video at 30FPS.
Video capture is very well supported on the Raspberry Pi and with two USB ports, it's simple to plug something like the Logitech C525 Webcam in and be up and running. You'll also find plenty of software that lets you grab video or stills as well as use the camera for video conferencing through Skype or Google Hangouts.
We like the Logitech because it's universal. With a USB connection, it will work with almost any computer and there's no need for external power or software scripting to get it going. If you need a camera for any project or just to round out your Raspberry PI PC build it's a perfect choice.
However, it's always a safe bet to go straight from the source, which is why we also recommend the Raspberry Pi V2 Camera Module. It just so happens to also be a little cheaper than the Logitech option if you want to save a few bucks.
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