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: AUKEY PC-LM1 1080p Webcam

Staff pick

This USB webcam from AUKEY is plug and play for the Raspberry Pi and can take record videos in 1080p 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 PC-LM1 features fast autofocus, so the subject is never blurry, even it's close to the camera or moving around.

From the source: Raspberry Pi V2 Camera Module

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.

$28 at Amazon

For version 4: Arducam Video module for Raspberry Pi

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.

$10 at Amazon

So Tiny: Arducam 1/4-inch Camera Module for Raspberry Pi

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.

$27 at Amazon

Night Vision: Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Module V2

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. This official Night Vision camera can also record at up to 90fps, provided that you're okay with 480p video.

Its Finally Useful: PlayStation Eye

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.

$20 at Amazon

Ultra-wide lens: MakerFocus 8MP Wide-Angle Module

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.

$20 at Amazon

Adjustable focus: Dorhea Automatic IR-Cut Sensor

The Dorhea Automatic IR-cut sensor will automatically switch between day mode and night mode, so you don't have to do it manually. 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.

External casing: Jun-Electron Night Vision Video Camera

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.

$19 at Amazon

Well-supported

Video capture is very well supported on the Raspberry Pi, and with two USB ports, it's simple to plug something like the AUKEY PC-LM1 1080p 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.

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 AUKEY option if you want to save a few bucks.

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