5 Best Raspberry Pi Camera Modules for 2016

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There are many cameras available for the Raspberry Pi. You can use many older USB webcams on your Raspberry Pi if you have any laying around. There is an official list of what USB webcams are supported here, but your best bet is to simply hook up your USB webcam to your Raspberry Pi and see if it will work.

I will be listing my favorite cameras dedicated to the Raspberry Pi and I know they will work with no issues. I made the list depending on the popularity of the camera as well as the price. There are many dedicated cameras that have a lot of write ups about them and have a ton of documentation on how to set them up as well as code libraries to get them working fast.

5. Raspberry Pi Camera Module Board 5MP 160° Wide Angle Fish Eye Lenses

This is basically the original Raspberry Pi camera module with an attached wide angle lens. The lens will give you a 160° viewing angle. It uses a fixed focus Omnivision 5647 sensor for the camera. The camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images, and also supports 1080 p @ 30 fps, 720 p @ 60 fps and 640 x480 p 60/90 video recording.

This camera is a little more expensive then the official 5 megapixel Raspberry Pi camera but this includes the wide angle lens which is great if it’s something you are looking for.

4. Official Raspberry Pi 5MP Night-Vision Camera

This is the official 5 megapixel Raspberry Pi night vision camera. The Raspberry Pi NoIR (No IR filter) Camera Module is a custom designed add-on for Raspberry Pi that does not have an ‘IR cut filter’ installed. It attaches to Raspberry Pi by way of one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface. It features a 5 megapixel camera sensor, and has a fixed focus lens on board. The camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images, and also supports 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video.

This is basically like the cheaper original 5 megapixel camera made for the Raspberry Pi except it can work in a low light environment a lot easier without the infrared filter. You’ll have to flood the area you’re shooting with infrared light from a seperate module or led’s. A small piece of blue filter plastic is included in case you want to re-add the cut filter.

3. 5MP Waveshare Night-vision Raspberry Pi Camera

The Waveshare Raspberry Pi camera is a 5 megapixel night-vision camera. It features a 5MP OV5647 sensor for the camera and supports 2 infrared LED’s used for the night-vision. Make sure to run raspi-config and enable your camera if you are having issues installing this camera. It should be easy to setup and the image quality is decent.

When running the camera and the infrared led’s it can get a little power hungry. It is suggested to run your Raspberry Pi with 5 volts and at least 2.5 amps or more for your power supply. This should help with any issues of the raspberry pi shutting down. The infrared led’s also get warm to the touch after running the camera. If you require a camera that has night vision this is the camera to pick. The price is not too bad and the image quality is very good for a 5 megapixel camera. Definitely don’t over look this camera.

2. Official Raspberry PI 5MP Camera Board Module

This is the official Raspberry Pi camera module. It is supported in the latest Raspbian OS and is very easy to install and setup. It features a 5 megapixel sensor-capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images. It can support 1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p60/90 video. It uses very low power which is great if your project is running off a battery. It is also small and very easy to hide or mount in your projects.

The 5MP camera is not the best quality in low light situations but it works great for the price. There are also many cases that support this camera module so mounting it on your project should be easy. If you are looking for a cheap option in adding a camera to your project look no further as you will not find a cheaper option that works painlessly.

1. Pixy Smart Vision Camera Sensor

This camera module has been getting very popular lately and there has been many write-ups about it. It has a button you can push to “teach” it objects which you can program your projects to either follow the object or identify it. It includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The Pixy camera includes mounting hardware to attach Pixy to your robot creation. The firmware, software and hardware are open source and constantly updated.

There are many mounting options. One of them is this which has a servo for pan/tilt. I think this camera is very neat and the resolution is okay for a basic robot. I would use this camera module for more advanced projects which include project tracking or avoidance especially since it includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Definitely check this camera out if you are making any type of robot project.

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