12 Best Raspberry Pi Cameras for 2023 – Reviews and Buying Guides

The Raspberry Pi is known for its versatility and ability to power countless DIY projects. One of the most popular uses of the Raspberry Pi is as a camera hub. With the addition of a camera module, the Raspberry Pi can be transformed into a powerful imaging tool. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best camera for your project. That’s why we have put together a list of the top 12 best Raspberry Pi cameras, complete with reviews and a comprehensive buying guide, to help you make the right choice. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer, this article will guide you to the best Raspberry Pi cameras on the market.

Editor’s Pick

Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Raspberry Pi Cameras: A Simplified Overview

Raspberry Pi cameras are small cameras that can be attached to a Raspberry Pi board, a low-cost single-board computer. They are designed to provide an easy way to capture images and video, and they can be used for a variety of applications, from home automation to robotics and security systems. The Raspberry Pi camera module is available in two versions: the standard camera module and the NoIR infrared camera module, which can capture images in low-light conditions.

Both camera modules feature a 5-megapixel sensor capable of capturing 1080p video at 30 frames per second. They can be connected to the Raspberry Pi board using a ribbon cable and controlled using the Raspberry Pi camera software. The camera software provides a simple interface for taking pictures and recording videos, and it can be easily integrated into Python code for more advanced applications. Overall, Raspberry Pi cameras are a low-cost, versatile, and easy-to-use solution for capturing images and video with a Raspberry Pi board.

Best Raspberry Pi Cameras by Editors Choice

SaleRANK 1
Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2-8 Megapixel,1080p (RPI-CAM-V2)
  • Second Generation Raspberry Pi Camera Module with Fixed Focus Lens
  • Sony Exmor IMX219 Sensor Capable of 4K30 1080P60 720P180 8MP Still
  • 3280 (H) x 2464 (V) Active Pixel Count
  • Maximum of 1080P30 and 8MP Stills in Raspberry Pi Board
  • 2A Power Supply Highly Recommended
RANK 2
Arducam 5MP Camera for Raspberry Pi, 1080P HD OV5647 Camera Module V1 for Pi 4,...
  • High-Definition video camera for Raspberry Pi Model A or B, B+, model 2, Raspberry Pi 3,3 B+, Pi 4(NOT for Pi Zero)
  • 5MPixel sensor with Omnivision OV5647 sensor in a fixed-focus lens. Software auto focus lens: B07SN8GYGD
  • Integral IR filter
  • Still picture resolution: 2592 x 1944; Max video resolution: 1080p
  • Check ASIN: B07RWCGX5K for OV5647 with acrylic case. Other optional accessories: ABS case (B09TNG4V55); Mini tripod case kit (B09TKYXZFG).
RANK 3
InnoMaker Raspberry Pi Camera Module 5MP 1080P OV5647 Sensor with M12 FOV90 IR...
  • This is a low-cost and wider angle camera module that designed for fully compatible with Raspberry Pi official camera.Support Libcamera and Raspicam.
  • Plug and play deivce, Comes with two kinds camera cables for all raspberry pi boards
  • Sensor type: On-board OmniVision OV5647[6] Color CMOS QSXGA (5-megapixel); Video: 1080p at 30 fps with codec H.264 (AVC).
  • Len Feature: 2.8 Focal Length. F/NO: 2.2. Field Of view: D=90° H=72°. Element: 4G+IR. CRA: 10°. Relative Illumination: 52%. Focal distance is adjustable.
  • CE/FCC/ICES verification from SGS-CSTC, Reliable quality.
RANK 4
DORHEA Raspberry Pi Mini Camera Video Module 5 Megapixels 1080p Sensor OV5647...
  • High Quality -- Good condition, with high quality, great performance, solid construction.
  • Camera Specifications -- 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...
  • Fixed Focus -- The sensor has a native resolution of 5 megapixel with OV5647 sensor in a fixed-focus lens.
  • Compatible With -- High-Definition video camera for Raspberry Pi Model A, B, B+, Raspberry Pi 2 B, Raspberry Pi 3,3 B+ ,Pi 4 B.
  • CSI Interface -- This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, via the CSI bus, a higher bandwidth link which carries pixel data from the camera back to the...
RANK 5
5MP 1080P Video Camera Module for Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Pi 3 b+, Pi Zero W...
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 5, Pi 4 Model B, Pi 3 Model b+, Pi 3b, Pi Zero, Pi Zero Wireless
  • 5 Megapixels sensor with OV5647 webcam sensor in a fixed-focus lens
  • The camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static images,and also supports 1080p/30 fps, 720p/ 60fps and 640 x480p 60/90 video recording
  • Specially design clear acrylic case to protect camera module. Easy to install with detail assembly instruction
  • High Quality Service -- Using the high quality and sturdy package to ship the product. Get more technique support? The professional customer service team is...
RANK 6
Aokin for Raspberry Pi Camera Module, 5MP 1080p with OV5647 Sensor Video Camera...
  • Compatible: camera module fit for Raspberry Pi Model A/B/B+, Pi 2B and Raspberry Pi 3B 3B+, Pi 4B, Pi Zero, Pi Zero W.
  • Ribbon flex cable: 11.81in/30cm golden camera cable specially designed for Raspberry Pi zero/zero w; 5.90in/15cm and 19.68in/50cm white camera cable for...
  • Specification: 5 Megapixels sensor with OV5647 webcam sensor in a fixed-focus lens; the high-definition video camera is capable of 2592 x 1944 pixel static...
  • Endless creativity: 15-pin MIPI camera serial interface - plugs directly into for the Raspberry Pi board; The camera module size: 25mm×24mm×9mm and weight...
  • If you have any issues for raspberry pi version 1.3 camera module, please contact us by Amazon message, we will do our best for you.
RANK 7
MakerFocus Raspberry Pi 4B Camera IR Camera Module 75 Degree 5MP OV5647 Webcam...
  • Video tutorial available in the product guide and documentation.Night Vision Camera - Link to see what is happening even in the dark. Video Tutorial: Please get...
  • Built-in IR-CUT Automatic Switching Filter - In day or night, the dual filter automatically switches the filter for optimal imaging. Manual settings are not...
  • HD Video Infrared Camera - Enjoy sharp 1080p video. It features two high intensity Infrared LED spotlights for night time recording and surveillance; 5MP OV5647...
  • Comes with Hight Quality Acrylic Holder - Customized designed for this IR-CUT camera board and IR LEDs, make the camera stand or be mounted somewhere you like
  • Comes with Two Adapter Cables - Compatible with Raspberry Pi Model 4B / 3B+ / 3B / 2B+ / 2B / B / Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Zero W
RANK 8
Dorhea for Raspberry Pi 4 B 3 B+ Camera Module Automatic IR-Cut Switching...
  • High Quality -- 100% brand new and in good condition,with high quality ,great performance, solid construction.
  • Camera Specifications -- 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...
  • IR-CUT Camera -- It's built-in IR-CUT camera,automatically switch day and night mode for better and clearer image during the day and night.
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi camera module kit compatible with Raspberry Pi model B/B+/A+/4/3/2/1
  • CSI Interface -- This interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, via the CSI bus, a higher bandwidth link which carries pixel data from the camera back to the...
RANK 9
BBTO 2 Pieces 5 Megapixels 1080p Sensor OV5647 Mini Camera Module with 6 Inch 15...
  • Wide compatibility: our high definition 1.3 camera modules are compatible with raspberry pi model A or B, B+, model 2, raspberry pi 3, 3 B+, pi 4
  • Focus lens: our 5 megapixels OV5647 sensor has equipped with fixed focus lens, can help you to grasp clear and beautiful pictures
  • Still picture resolution: 2592 x 1944, its max video resolution is 1080p, clear enough for you to use, a practical part for you to take some exquisite photos...
  • CSI interface: this interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, via the CSI bus, a higher bandwidth ink which carries pixel data from the camera back to the...
  • Package content: you will receive 2 pieces of 5 megapixels 1080p sensor OV5647 mini camera and 2 pieces of 6 inches 15 pin ribbon cable, each one can serve you...
SaleRANK 10
Arducam Day-Night Vision for Raspberry Pi Camera, Automatic IR-Cut Switching...
  • Day/Night Camera - IR Cut filter switched in and out automatically. A NoIR camera that keeps videos and images from washed out or looking pink yet still offers...
  • Raspberry Pi Compatible - Work on Raspicam commands and Python scripts. Support Raspberry Pi Zero, Pi 4, 3 b+, Pi 3, Pi B/2B/B/B+/A
  • Better Low Light Performance - IR corrected lens to reduce focus shift at night, and IR LED illuminator to improve the lighting condition
  • Typical Usage Scenarios - Home security and surveillance, motion detection, time-lapse photography and other Raspberry Pi camera projects
  • Accessories - 2 heat sinks for IR LED boards and 1 ribbon cable for Pi Zero included. Contact Arducam for more lens options, technical support and customer...
RANK 11
Arducam IMX519 Autofocus Camera Module for Raspberry Pi, 16MP AF Raspberry Pi...
  • 16 Megapixel: 2 times higher resolution than the Raspberry Pi camera V2. Unlike the native Pi camera, this camera requires some simple script configuration...
  • Autofocus: most versatile AF (Manual/Continuous/etc.) experience on a Pi camera.
  • Sharper Images/videos: Higher quality than the HQ camera.
  • V1/V2 Size: hassle-free upgrades to your existing projects.
  • Package Contents: The package includes an IMX519 CMOS camera board with an autofocus lens and a 15cm FPC cable. Please search ASIN: B09TSDZ48F for the camera...
SaleRANK 12
Arducam Pi Camera for Octoprint Octopi Webcam with Motorized Lens, Adjustable...
  • Hassle Free: Works as a native Raspberry Pi camera on Raspberry Pi 4/3B+/3 and more, and Arducam has solved the problems with the installation and setup on...
  • Motorized Focus: See closer and easier than the fixed focus (1 m to infinity) lens, the minimum focal length is about 5CM, which is better to monitor the 3D...
  • Focus Controllable: A camera focus control plugin has been developed to control an Arducam motorized focus camera using the OctoPrint Control tab, which...
  • A Long Cable: 100cm/3.28ft extension cable included, long enough for mounting the camera, especially useful when you don’t want to place the camera near the...
  • Package Contents: 1pcs 5MP motorized focus camera module, 2pcs flex ribbon cables (15cm/100cm) for Raspberry Pi A&B series, and manuals.

Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Makes Purchasing Raspberry Pi Cameras Essential?

There are numerous benefits to purchasing a Raspberry Pi Camera that make it an appealing choice for both hobbyists and professionals. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider investing in one.

To expand the functionality of Raspberry Pi projects

Raspberry Pi cameras are popular when it comes to expanding the functionality of Raspberry Pi projects. The tiny cameras can capture high-resolution images and videos, which can be useful for monitoring and surveillance systems, image recognition projects, and various other applications that require visual data input. These cameras are also popular for creating robot projects that require vision capabilities. With a Raspberry Pi camera, it’s possible to create a robot that navigates or detects obstacles based on visual data. Overall, the Raspberry Pi camera can add a whole new dimension of functionality to any Raspberry Pi project.

To enable real-time video streaming and image capture

Raspberry Pi cameras are a popular choice for real-time video streaming and image capture due to their compact size, low power consumption, and high resolution. These cameras allow users to capture high-quality video and images in real-time, making them ideal for a range of applications such as security surveillance, remote monitoring, and live broadcasting.

By using Raspberry Pi cameras, users can easily set up a system for capturing and streaming video footage directly from their devices. This is particularly useful for applications where real-time monitoring is critical, such as in industrial settings or for surveillance purposes. Additionally, the low cost and open-source nature of Raspberry Pi cameras make them an accessible option for hobbyists and developers who want to experiment with video streaming and image capture.

To explore computer vision and image processing applications

Raspberry Pi Cameras are small, cost-effective, and highly functional devices that capture images and video with high resolution. By utilizing Raspberry Pi Cameras, developers and hobbyists can explore various computer vision and image processing applications such as object detection, classification, face recognition, and motion tracking.

With these applications, Raspberry Pi Cameras can be used for a range of purposes such as security systems, home automation, intelligent transportation systems, and much more. Additionally, Raspberry Pi Cameras can be integrated with machine learning frameworks to build intelligent systems that can perform complex tasks such as identifying an object, recognizing a face, or detecting an event. Thus, Raspberry Pi Cameras enable developers and hobbyists to explore new opportunities in the field of computer vision and image processing and bring their ideas to reality.

Buying Guides

Before purchasing a Raspberry Pi camera, it is important to understand the key factors that will impact its performance and compatibility with your project.

Resolution

Resolution is an essential factor to consider before buying Raspberry Pi cameras, especially for users who require high-quality images and videos. The higher the resolution of the camera, the better the image quality will be. This is because the resolution determines the number of pixels that the camera can capture, and the more pixels there are, the more detailed the image will be. Therefore, if the camera’s resolution is low, the images and videos captured will be of poor quality, and the user may find it difficult to discern the details they need.

Furthermore, the resolution of the camera has a direct impact on the raspberries pi’s computing performance. Higher resolutions require more processing power and may lead to lagging and delays in capturing images and videos. This can be a drawback for users who require quick and efficient image capture. Thus, considering the resolution of the camera is of utmost importance before making any purchases to ensure that the camera satisfies the user’s needs.

Frame rate

Frame rate is an important consideration when buying Raspberry Pi cameras as it determines the number of images that the camera can capture per second. If the camera has a high frame rate, it can capture more images in a short period of time. This is particularly useful if you want to capture fast-moving objects or events, such as sports or wildlife photography. A higher frame rate also reduces blurring and motion artifacts, resulting in sharper and clearer images.

In addition, the frame rate also determines the smoothness of video playback. If the camera has a low frame rate, the video may appear choppy and laggy. Therefore, if you plan to use your Raspberry Pi camera for video recording, it is important to consider the frame rate to ensure that you get smooth and high-quality video footage.

Zoom capability

Zoom capability should be considered before buying Raspberry Pi cameras because it determines the level of flexibility and control one has over the images or video captured. The ability to adjust the zoom makes it easier to focus on specific details and objects, especially for surveillance cameras or live streaming. Without zoom capability, one would have to physically move the camera closer or further away from the subject, making it less convenient and functional. Therefore, zoom capability is crucial for applications that require precision and attention to detail.

Another reason why zoom capability should be considered before buying Raspberry Pi cameras is because it affects the overall quality of the images or video. By zooming in, it magnifies the image which can reveal more details and improve the clarity of the picture. Similarly, zooming out can provide a wider perspective and context, making it useful for landscapes or panoramic views. Therefore, having the ability to zoom can enhance the user’s experience and the functionality of the Raspberry Pi camera.

Compatibility with Raspberry Pi models

Compatibility with Raspberry Pi models is important to consider before purchasing a Raspberry Pi camera because not all cameras are designed to work with all models of the Raspberry Pi. Certain cameras have specific interface requirements and may not work properly or at all with models that do not meet those requirements. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the camera you choose is compatible with the Raspberry Pi model you own or plan to purchase.

Compatibility is also important because it affects the performance and functionality of the camera. Some cameras may require more processing power, memory, or GPIO pins than other models of the Raspberry Pi can provide. Choosing a camera that is compatible with your Raspberry Pi model will ensure that you can achieve the desired image quality, resolution, and frame rates without any performance issues or limitations. Additionally, it will prevent any compatibility issues or errors from occurring, which could potentially damage the camera or Raspberry Pi.

Angle of view

The angle of view is an important factor to consider before investing in Raspberry Pi cameras. It determines how much of the scene can be captured and included in the final image or video. Cameras with a wider angle of view can capture a larger area and provide a more comprehensive view of the surroundings. Whereas cameras with a narrow angle of view will only capture a small part of the scene.

Knowing the desired angle of view is crucial when selecting a camera for a specific application. For example, if the purpose is to monitor a large area, a wide-angle lens is required. On the other hand, if the purpose is to capture details within a smaller area, a narrow-angle lens would be more suitable. Therefore, considering the angle of view is essential for ensuring that the camera’s capabilities suit the intended application.

Image sensor size

The image sensor size is an essential factor to consider when buying Raspberry Pi cameras because it affects the camera’s ability to capture high-quality images. A larger image sensor means more photons can be captured, resulting in higher resolution, better dynamic range, and improved low-light performance. In contrast, a smaller image sensor may struggle to capture enough light, resulting in lower image quality.

Furthermore, the size of the image sensor also has an impact on the depth of field. A larger image sensor will provide a shallower depth of field, which can be useful when shooting portraits or macro photography. On the other hand, a smaller image sensor will provide a deeper depth of field, which can be beneficial for landscape and architectural photography. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the image sensor size when purchasing a Raspberry Pi camera to ensure that it can meet your specific photography needs.

FAQs

What are the different types of Raspberry Pi cameras available?

There are mainly three types of Raspberry Pi cameras available in the market. Firstly, the official Raspberry Pi camera board that can capture images up to 8MP and supports 1080p30, 720p60, and VGA90 video modes. Secondly, the Raspberry Pi Noir camera that features the same specifications as the official camera, but with an infrared filter removed. This allows clearer images to be captured in low light environments. Lastly, the Raspberry Pi High Quality camera that comes with a 12.3 MP Sony IMX477 sensor, interchangeable lenses, and support for 4K video recording.

Additionally, there are also third-party cameras available that can be used with Raspberry Pi, such as the Arducam camera modules with various features like motorized focus control or support for long-range zoom lenses. These cameras can be excellent for more sophisticated projects or professional applications where high-quality images or particular features are required.

Can I use a Raspberry Pi camera with other boards or devices?

Yes, the Raspberry Pi camera can be used with other boards or devices as long as they support the Raspberry Pi camera interface (CSI). These boards or devices include:

1. Nvidia Jetson: The Nvidia Jetson platform supports the Raspberry Pi camera through its CSI interface. This allows users to use the Raspberry Pi camera with Jetson for their projects.

2. Arduino: The Raspberry Pi camera cannot be directly connected to an Arduino, but there are some shields available that allow users to connect the Raspberry Pi camera to an Arduino. One such shield is the Arducam CSI to Arduino Shield.

3. BeagleBone: The Raspberry Pi camera can be used with the BeagleBone through a dedicated CSI interface. In fact, BeagleBone users can take advantage of the BeagleBone’s additional processing power to run more complex computer vision algorithms.

Overall, the Raspberry Pi camera is a highly versatile camera that can be used with a range of boards and devices as long as they have a compatible CSI interface.

How do I connect a Raspberry Pi camera to my Raspberry Pi board?

Connecting a Raspberry Pi camera to your Raspberry Pi board is a straightforward process. The first step is to identify the camera module you have. The Raspberry Pi camera comes in two versions: the standard and the NoIR camera, which is suitable for low-light environments.

Once you have identified your camera module, you can connect it to the Raspberry Pi board by following these steps:
1. Turn off your Raspberry Pi board and unplug it from the power source.
2. Locate the camera connector on the board.
3. Gently push down on the clips on both sides of the connector to open it.
4. Insert the camera module into the connector with the silver contacts facing the clips.
5. Push down on the clips to tighten the connection.
6. Turn on and boot up your Raspberry Pi board.
7. Open the terminal, type in “sudo raspi-config,” and enable the camera.

Your Raspberry Pi is now ready to use with its camera module.

What are some common use cases for Raspberry Pi cameras?

Raspberry Pi cameras are commonly used for various purposes such as surveillance cameras, home security systems, wildlife monitoring, time-lapse photography, weather monitoring, and robotics. They can also be used for video conferencing and remote collaboration, as well as for image processing and computer vision applications. The compact size and low cost of Raspberry Pi cameras make them an ideal solution for hobbyists, students, and professionals alike.

Conclusion

To sum up, choosing the best Raspberry Pi camera can be tricky, but with this comprehensive list of options and features, it should be easier for you to make a decision. The cameras reviewed in this article are among the best Raspberry Pi cameras available in the market, offering high resolution, low-light performance, easy installation, and multiple functions for diverse projects. Whether you are a novice or a pro, these cameras will enable you to capture clear and vivid images, videos, and live streams, making your Raspberry Pi projects more exciting and engaging. So, go ahead and pick the best Raspberry Pi camera that suits your needs and budget, and start exploring the world of Pi photography and videography!

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