The things people can do with Raspberry Pis, especially when it comes to photography and video related projects, always fascinates me. And Adafruit has recently posted a very interesting project. It’s a camera that actually knows what it’s looking at. It’s based around Adafruit’s own BrainCraft HAT system, which is an AI Machine Learning addon for the Raspberry Pi 4. This project shows it in practical use in an actual project.
While the name Eric Paré might be very familiar on here for those who do light painting, many readers of this site might not know about his other activities with Xangle, often involving many cameras for shooting full 360° bullet-time sequences and capturing light paintings from every angle all at once. He’s even developed his own software for it, which you can buy.
Eric likes to experiment with his kit, and as he had a stack of Raspberry Pi 3B+ with cameras lying around, he decided to see how far he could push them to shoot bullet time, and the results are pretty awesome.
This is the story of how I created one of the strangest cameras you may ever hear about. I’ve been working on the design for over a year and I’m finally ready to share it with the world. It’s a long story, but first I want to jump to the end. Here’s what the final camera looks like as well as what a photo take with it:
The newest camera module for the Raspberry Pi has caused quite the stir. It’s fairly respectable 12.3-megapixels, it offers access to interchangeable C Mount lenses (or just about anything with lens adapters) and you finally get full manual exposure control.
Well, Becca Farsace over at The Verge decided she wanted to put one inside an old 35mm toy camera to turn it into a Linux powered digital camera. So, she got a Raspberry Pi 4, the new HQ Camera Mod, a 10,000mAh power bank, 3.5″ touchscreen LCD and a few other bits and attempted to stuff them inside her Ninoka NK-700 35mm camera.
The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful little device. It’s a single-board computer capable of running Linux with more speed than most desktops had a couple of decades ago. One of the great features about the Raspberry Pi is that it features a dedicated socket for connecting a camera module. And that ability has popped up a lot here on DIYP.
Until now, the camera modules available for the Pi have been fairly basic and not really that great quality. Now, though, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new 12.3-megapixel camera module, based around a Sony IMX477 sensor that accepts CS & C mount lenses. Which means that it can take just about everything else, through the use of lens adapters.
We’ve seen our fair share of unique DIY cameras powered by Raspberry Pi, with the latest one coming from a self-taught programmer Martin Fitzpatrick. He has created a camera that’s basically a hacked Etch A Sketch. He named it Etch-a-Snap, and it will turn your photos into quite precise Etch A Sketch drawings.
With cameras getting more and more advanced, we constantly aim to capture more details and higher resolutions. Even instant cameras are getting some new features, such as interchangeable lenses. But a Melbourne-based engineer and visual artist Dan Macnish has turned things the other way around. He has designed an instant camera that lets you shoot and print images – but instead of real-life scenes, you’ll get simple, crude carton doodles.
Building an instant camera that prints images on thermal paper isn’t exactly a new concept. Just a couple of years, ago, we even encountered a Gameboy pocket camera from 1998 that uses the same principle. But hacking a Polaroid camera so it could use receipt paper instead of film? That’s definitely something we haven’t seen before, and Tim Alex Jones shows you exactly how he did it in this Youtube video.
It’s almost like you can’t go to an event these days without seeing a photo booth. Whether it’s a wedding, an office party, or just a weekend barbecue with family and friends, there seems to be a photo booth.
There are a million different ways to make photo booths, from super expensive RED powered slow-mo booths to 3D photo booths and a vintage selfie booth, and in this weekend project from Make, we’re shown how to make our own touch screen photo booth for very little cost based around a Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi is amazing. Instant cameras are also amazing. So, it makes sense that somebody would eventually combine them, creating a Raspberry Pi powered instant camera, which is exactly what Adafruit have done.
Ok, so you’re not going to be getting lab quality prints from this, and the Impossible Project might be more your style these days, but this is still a fun and interesting little project.