It feels like we’re having a big rush of Raspberry Pi based cameras recently. Lately, we’ve had the Paparazzo interchangeable C/CS mount camera, the accessible-anywhere Pi Cam, the Pi HQ Camera module-based Pikon, the instant animation printing Kinecam, and even seen a 65-year-old 8mm movie camera converted to digital completely non-destructively. Well now, it’s the turn of the Pieca.
This one’s pretty special. While most others have made use of the Raspberry Pi HQ Camera Module to provide it with a native C/CS mount, this one created by Tom Schucker at Tea and Tech Time comes with a Leica M mount. It still uses the Pi HQ camera module with the Raspberry Pi 4, but being Leica M mount, you can adapt pretty much any DSLR lens ever made to work with it.
Despite being a digital camera and not an instant one, it does have kind of a retro Polaroid feel about the whole thing. The design, though, seems to be one of function over form. It’s been laid out inside to give you easy access to everything and that sloping back houses a great big touchscreen display at a very convenient angle for shooting. It also features lugs for attaching a strap as well as a 1/4-20″ socket underneath for mounting it to a tripod.
There are some technical issues you need to deal with. The Raspberry Pi HQ camera sensor is pretty small. This means you get a pretty significant crop factor when using the full-frame Leica M mount lenses we’d normally attach to a camera. Even more so than APS-C or Micro Four Thirds. You’re basically looking at about a 5.5x crop. So, a 50mm lens gives you about the same field of view you’d get with a 275mm focal length on full frame.
The crop factor can be mitigated to some degree, though, using a humble magnifying glass. It’s essentially a focal length reducer, like speed booster adapters from companies like Metabones, Viltrox and others. Tom is using a 0.5x reducer here – which is just a magnifying glass lens – bringing the crop factor down to a somewhat more manageable 2.25x – which isn’t really much different to the crop factor you get when shooting 4K video on the apparently-discontinued Canon EOS M50 Mark II.
The sample images Tom shows towards the end of the video are very cool. They have a nice old-school look to them, particularly the ones converted in black and white. The other Pi cameras we’ve featured here on DIYP have looked like a lot of fun but not fun enough to really tempt me to have a go at building one myself. This one, though… Well, this one might have to go on the list!
You can see Tom’s complete write up on his website. He’s also made both the code and the STL files available for download on GitHub.
[via Leica Rumors]
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