Raspberry Pi Zero Now With Camera Support, Still Only $5

The latest version (1.3) of everyone’s favorite $5 computer now sports a frequently requested feature: a camera connector. The Pi Zero will now use the same economical camera modules available for the full-sized Raspberry Pi units.

The price of the Pi Zero is unchanged at $5, but there is a small catch. While the Raspberry Pi camera modules themselves will work just fine on the Pi Zero, the usual camera cable they come with will not. The Pi Zero’s camera cable connector is a little smaller than the ones on the full-grown Pi, so it needs a special cable to interface the camera modules to the slightly smaller connector found on the Pi Zero.

This should be good news. The new connector has appeared because another production run is ramping up. Logic points to greater availability of the $5 wonder board, but we’re still not holding our breath.

Adafruit Pi Zero camera cable
Pi Zero with camera module connector cable. [Image source: Adafruit]
With the Pi Zero now able to use camera modules, perhaps camera-based Pi projects like these digital binoculars or time-lapse camera rigs can now get even smaller.

[via Engadget]

119 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Zero Now With Camera Support, Still Only $5

  1. “She a-howlin’ about the front rent, she’ll be lucky to get any back rent,
    She ain’t gonna get none of it.”

    I still can’t find a zero v1 in the bay area. and now they have a v2. well isn’t *that* nice.

          1. The UK is much smaller than the USA or China, so that makes for a much smaller number of people who aren’t screwed – which may explain why it took so much longer for it to go out of stock here than everywhere else. Supposedly Adafruit charges even more in shipping to many US states than the UK sellers too. So basically, unless you’re in the UK or one of a handful of US states…

      1. I had 3 MagPi #40 magazine with free Pi Zeros on the covers but I sold them for a small profit … can’t believe they are still out of stock mostly everywhere….

          1. “not yet available to buy”

            Depends on how you understand this. Just because something became out of stock does not make it a vaporware.

          2. Point is that is effectively vaporware for the fast majority of people interested.
            The only caveat is that you should not compare it to the stuff that’s never made or where people had no intention of ever making it *cough*kickstarter*cough*.

    1. I think they’re bouncing in and out of stock at the minute; I picked one up from the pi hut last night, and there were some available from one of the US places, too, although, since I’m UK based, I didn’t look that hard. If you wait around and check from time to time, you’ll probably get one.

    1. a site to help you buy a pi. lol

      I could buy from 2 UK sites. in pounds. and pay shipping to US.

      how much is that five dollar pi, again? lol

      see my point? its still unobtainium for $5 unless its sold locally. not everyone has a microcenter nearby, etc.

      lets be honest: the $5 point is a gimmick and its not really a $5 computer once you add enough to it so that its useful and add shipping, since it won’t fly here (yet) on its own.

      hats off to the pi guys for creative marketing.

      1. How much you need to make it a useful computer is highly variable.
        For me, it’s just USB power supply, SD card, maybes a case, and we’re done. I happen to have a surplus of spare parts, and those things are on hand. I still can’t get my hands on a Zero, but I have a pair of original model B Pis sitting around being useful.

      2. Couldn’t agree more, nothing but marketing.

        And unless I have a pressing need to run Linux on a embedded system(which doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re doing any sort of I/O that’s time sensitive), I’ll stick with a Micromite.

        And I really hate the way the Raspberry designers laid out the I/O, It’s clear they put zero attention into that, because you end up with a box festooned with cables from all directions off it.

        1. But this is true for any single board computer. It is like complaining that Atmel is doing marketing selling their ATtiny 50cents because to do something usefull with it one need externals components. And the shipping companies need to to their profit too.

          1. Wrong logic. You’re comparing a single IC to a complete board.

            Atmel doesn’t make any bones about what’s needed to support their chips or who they’re targeting. Anyone buying just straight Tiny’s already knows they’re going to need extra stuff, like something to attach it to.

            The Raspberry guys straight up market their boards to the education sector as a board. It’s right there on their front page. They make a huge deal about affordability but gently gloss over all the extra crap you need to turn it into something useful as an educational tool. Not to mention their design choices seem to make it a headache for the very market they say they’re targeting.

            Is it a good board? Don’t know, don’t care. I’m not going to worry about a board that’s too difficult to get.

        2. I have two Pi Zeros that I’m using for various projects, and I got them both at Micro Center. If you can’t ask a friend on the East Coast to stop by a Micro Center and post one to you, I don’t know how you’ll ever be satisfied.

          It’s simple economics that the demand will massively outstrip supply if the prices of devices are 1/7 what the previous products cost – depending on how elastic the market is (very) demand could be more than seven times higher than it was for the original Pis.

          1. I don’t think demand is actually all that high compared to other models of Pi. This batch of 30,000 was the first decently-sized batch of Zeros produced in months, and it took an entire day to sell out of the base model. If you look at the sales figures the Foundation have released, they sell about that may Pis in total every few days on average.

        3. I’m gonna disagree. It is as much a $5 computer as the pi itself is a $35 computer, and for my want to make my own e-reader it will be plenty of computing and small enough I can tuck it in a corner of the project and have more real-estate wiggle room to shuffle battery/power charger/lcd controller board/buttons for controls.

      3. Well for most people that’s what happens in most of the cases. The last time I tried to buy something from adafruit the price went from $17 to somewhere around $50 with the shipping costs so I ended up buying somewhere else. then when something is above $100 it always get stuck in customs where I pay an additional 20%. So it’s hell out here. I live in Europe by the way.

        1. Only 20%? You are lucky!

          I live in Brazil and customs adds 50% (product plus shipping), and it takes at least one month to get here, and a lot of sites will not ship to Brazil, even if they will happily ship to Paraguay. And if customs think you paid too little on whatever you bought, they look up on a list with “outrageous prices in Brazil”, and taxes you based on that list.

      4. I got one when they came out, cost me 5 bucks. The shipping was free as I had ordered some other bulky items at the same time. If you try to buy JUST a pi zero then you’re a fool to your self and living in dream land.

        Ps. The zero, cost me zero to get it running and connected to my breadboard as I had all the bits from other projects.

      5. It’s not all about the US; the RasPi foundation are UK based, and production’s done somewhere in wales (I think that’s still the case; not sure); Of course it’ll cost more to get it shipped over if you buy it here. and, let’s face it, how often do they take into account shipping on prices with anything else? It cost me £6.50 including shipping, to get one last night. That’s hardly unreasonable. Just because it’s not sitting on your desk in the US doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    2. “http://whereismypizero.com/”

      The only models “in stock” are “kits” with bloated prices…
      At car dealerships that is known as a “Nail Down” i.e. a car that is the base model of a popular model of car that has the MSRP price. It is featured prominently in their sales advertisements. But if you attempt to buy it, you’ll find that it is “nailed down” in the sales lot. The salesdroids will not sell it, but try to shift you to a version with more “options” at a much higher price.

      “Oh! You don’t want THAT one, it doesn’t have air conditioning, it doesn’t have a radio, it has vinyl seats…”

      1. You do realize that for resellers, if the sell only the Zero, they made 0% profit. The Pi foundation mandates they sell them at the MSRP ($5). The only way they make money is by (1) charging shipping, or (2) selling it as a kit and making the profit off the kit. The people selling the Pi deserve to eat, pay rent, and otherwise not be under a bridge in a cardboard box.

        Even though I didn’t ”need’ to have the the kits, I bought the most basic kit because I realize they deserve some form of support from their consumers.

        1. Then how about…

          “If you buy one of our “kits” at its regular price; we’ll let you buy up to two additional Zeroes at $5 each, plus a small shipping surcharge for each additional one.”

          1. For the Pi Foundation it IS sustainable. For the resellers, selling the Pi Zero alone isn’t (in massive quantity). The resellers are walking a fine line between a profit and none. Consider this. If Adafruit only sold the Pi Zero and the Pi Zero kits. They would have to sell the Pi Zero solo at $5 (given). They would then mark up the costs for the kits, TO COVER THE LOSS ON THE SOLO. To be a business, they have to make a profit. They are not just calling the solos a loss, they are amortizing the cost across all the other products.

            Do I agree with the shipping prices? No.
            Do I think that in general their stuff is over priced? Yes.
            Would I like to see the same quality for less cost? Yes.
            Is that going to happen? No.

            Anyone who would try to do it differently than Adafruit, with the sustained customer satisfaction, quality, and resources would be a fool. Keep in mind you may not pay for their YouTube stuff, or their tutorials, or anything you get for ‘free’ on their site, but someone got a paycheck to produce that. That cost rolls right into their products. They mark them up so you and I can all use their free resources.

            In the end, a small group pays for all our free access. (I’ve been both a customer and a free leech from them before)

            Besides, no one forces you to support the Foundation.

        2. No, they don’t. If a company is willing to take that level of abuse and be forced to sell a product at a zero % profit margin if they want to carry it at all, then they don’t deserve anything. Everybody is letting the Pi Foundation get away with playing these mind games and gimmicks because they are a “charity” even though they behave as bad as Intel (the old days Intel) and Apple.

          Adafruit employees will never be living in cardboard boxes anyway. Their markups are insane and they don’t even eat shipping costs until you spend a ridiculous $200. And don’t even think about asking for cheaper shipping options. You’ll get some angry response pointing you to previous posts on the subject where they go on a rampage about how their sales customer satisfaction has greatly increased since forcing customers to have fewer shipping options with higher prices.

        3. Huh. That’s interesting. I was assuming that they were selling the Pi Zeros to the distributers for less than $5 making the rest profit. Now I am thinking that the Pi Zero is totally pointless.

          If I was going to buy the USB hub and all those adapters why wouldn’t I just by a ‘regular’ Pi instead? I’m thinking that the whole thing that makes a Pi Zero interesting is that if I want to embed it somewhere that I don’t need a display and/or I don’t need more than one USB port I can pay less money and do so. Or.. if I do want those items but I already have a USB hub and I already have micro to ‘regular’ size adapters for USB and HDMI, etc… then I could by the Zero and save money. Likewise maybe someday I could save money when it’s time to upgrade since the USB hub, sound, network adapter, etc.. are all outboard. I would just be replacing the Pi Zero with a Pi Zero-II or whatever they decide to call it.

          If it never makes sense to sell JUST a Pi Zero then how does it make sense to build them at all?

          1. I don’t know for sure what the profit margin for a retailer is on any Pi’s. But from what I understand it is extremely low for all boards. Which is why so many resellers sell them at a markup. Especially sellers that offer free shipping. It’s not feasible to sell only Pi’s at MSRP and then ship them out for free even if you have say $100 minimums because the profit margin from 3 Pi 3’s isn’t adequate. Even if there is a profit margin for the retailer on the Pi Zero, the cost of handling the item will well exceed it. Which is likely why many sellers charge more for shipping and are pushing pre-made packs and accessories. Even brick-mortar stores will lose money selling the Pi Zero at MSRP by the time all costs are figured in between receiving the item and the customer walking out the door with their Pi in hand.

            So the Pi Foundation’s criticisms seem pretty fair. $5 is not a realistic price point even if it can be bought at that price. Someone is eating the cost so the Pi Foundation can say the Pi Zero is only $5.

          2. Products like this are often called “loss leaders”. Also, the Raspberry Pi Foundation doesn’t really care about making a profit. They want to come out even in the end. So with the sales of the other products, they can provide a low cost computer that pushes their products and their exposure to a wider group of kids. Remember, the reseller isn’t making money, but the Foundation is (just a little). They make enough to cover some operating expenses and to cover the cost of failed batches (presumably), but are still don’t profit enough to lose their “non-profit” label.

            Just food for thought.

  2. that annoys me, too. I want the cables on one side so that its embeddable.

    a nice hot-swappable edge card would be nice, too, with power pins offset so they precharge the right psu pins.

    people like the idea of a cluster of these (just for learning, mostly); and a real backplane with real edge cards that are swappable would be a nice use for these.

  3. Personally I really wanted to see analog audio making a return, its more useful to me than the camera module.

    Also this is still unpurchable in South Africa , when it does pop up its a grey import for 200% the price….

    1. What do you mean more useful?
      The camera port is extremely useful, as it allows making a Wifibroadcast transmitter smaller and lighter, both of these count when you’re bolting them to quadcopters…
      Ordered one (and the £4 cable…grrrr) just because of this, the weight and size difference to the A is well worth it…

  4. Telling that raspberry pi zero is 5$ computer is biggest LIE ever. Find me where i can buy Pi Zero for 5$. Everywhere where price is 5$ it is out of stock since day one. I am searching for this pi and i can find only with price 40$.

  5. Same thing here in Canada, the 5$ pi or the 9$ chip board cost way more with the shipping fees,

    It is better for me to buy the PI 3, i have “kickstarted” the LattePanda 4gig/64gig storage, will all the parts IE: board, lcd, touch overlay, it costed me around 100$ in shipping fees …. erk

  6. I really want to get one of these and I don’t care where is the supplier (UK or US). My biggest problem is the shipping cost. Few of these suppliers are shipping to Italy and the parcel cost is nearly ~20/25€, in this moment an RPi on Amazon is cheaper so I’ll wait until someone ships them through Amazon

    1. It is if that is the listed retail price at the outlet in question.

      Not in stock.. Different problem.

      Ramping up manufacturing capacity takes time. Not everybody has unlimited resources to get a few million units made in a week. Deal with it, and grow up.

      1. Some of you are unable to understand that this is just a marketing scam or whatever you would like to call it.
        Sure, maybe a few people got it for 5$, that’s good for marketing right? But that about the other 90% of the people that will purchase this? Will they get it for 5$ or 15/20/40$?
        And I don’t have to deal with it or to grow up, by your reply you are the one that should be doing that.
        Regarding manufacturing, as someone who works in embedded for quite a few years, please spare me those details, it’s outside the point.

      2. It seems that they’ve had plenty of time to get more units made.

        I can see if this was some little tart of a company and this is their first board. But “foundation” has had how many different boards designed and made? How long have they’ve been in business? I think they would have developed enough of a rapport to know, to some degree, where to go to ramp up production.

        1. They make more margin on the Pi 3. That margin drives their educational goals. They make the Zero in the spare production capability between the larger boards. There’s no conspiracy, they’ve said this themselves and it makes perfect sense.

  7. A lot of people seem to be complaining that they can’t get the board for $5. That price is set for people living in the UK. You aren’t going to magically get it that cheap everywhere else. Shipping isn’t free or logical to be free when the board is already very low markup. It would be nice, but they are a business. Resellers are going to dip in the pot as well. Don’t be so shocked.

    1. Some even seems to think shipping costs is a “scam” (se Daniel above), and yet others confuse it with “vapourware” because they cannot buy it at their local Wallmart.

      1. Well the best I can get is a Pi zero starter kit for about $40 and with shipping it just short of $100 for a so called $5 board.

        If that’s not a scam then I challenge you to give it another (single) word.

        1. A) It’s the Pi Zero that has a base cost of $5, not the starter kit.
          B) Whoever is charging $60 for for shipping something the size of a Pi Zero is scamming you, not the Pi foundation.
          C) The board still costs $5

          1. So you would be perfectly happy with this deal for over $100 because the Pi still costs $5?

            And to quote you twice –

            Quote: “Some even seems to think shipping costs is a “scam””
            Quote: “Whoever is charging $60 for for shipping something the size of a Pi Zero is scamming you”

            No one ever said that the scam was the Pi foundation as far as shipping goes.

  8. I was lucky enough to buy one from the Pi Hut yesterday, right before the stocks vaporized.
    I hope it will have the camera connector, but I guess it’s too soon…

    1. It was actually in stock at the Pi Hut for most of the day yesterday from what I saw, probably because they were less aggressive about pushing people towards the bundles than Pimoroni.

      1. Yeah opensource…. I can’t believe people still believe that BS. Yeah they love open source alright. They will openly redistribute the work of other people. But don’t you dare ask for anything from them like schematics. In fact don’t you dare ask for anything. You will be belittled and treated like a 2 year old.

  9. I would like to build a slew of MAMEs for charity auctions and under privilege children but can’t because of corporate greed and bad planning by the Raspberry Pi organization. I am so flippin angry

    1. I wanted to make the World’s largest supercomputer using shipping containers full of Zeros to simulate protein folding. I guess I’ll go tell the sick kids that Cancer is just going to have to cure itself because of those Raspberry Pi Org fat cats.

  10. What I see going on with the Pi Zero is that it appears that sites are getting the individual Zero’s in and making bundle packs out of them to jack up the price.

  11. I could have bough Pi Zero when minutes after it came out, but I was at work and all were sold when I got home. I thought they wouldn’t be this popular. D’OH. Later I found several Pi Zeros on Ebay with descriptions more or less like “I bought one but didn’t find any use” or “selling these for profit, suckers” and prices were near $40. Keep your darn Zero, I don’t want it anymore…

    1. THIS. Too many pps capitalizing on the fanboi hype. This is what ebay has done to our society! ‘OOO! I better buy ten of them so I can sell them on ebay to all the fanbois for a profit!’ Openpilot did the same shit with their flight controllers, then pissed and moaned about people cloning them or making them elsewhere. Gladly, the people who knew what they were doing jumped ship and the project imploded, but the work they did is still available for everybody to use in a new project they spun-off from it.

      The only thing stopping people from doing this with the pi is the special ‘deal’ the Pi foundation has with Broadcom. All you people pissing about corporate greed and stuff, take a hard, careful look at the ‘loving, kind and benevolent’ pi foundation! They got in bed with an ‘evil’ corporation, and are making a shit ton of money by doing so. You think ‘kind, benevolent hipster god’ Eben Upton drives something normal to work every day like all of us every day stiffs who actually work for a living?

      This is why I don’t like the pi. The hypocrisy that surrounds it, and looks the other way when something they all claim to hate is staring them in the face makes me sick.

      1. *cough* opensource *cough* educational *cough* non profit *cough* deal with broadcom to don’t sell the SOC to other people. If this was really educational students would be able to design their own boards with this SOC.

  12. Well, I would be happy if you told me when they were finally “back in stock” for a period of more than 24h at a time, since the onliest time I can buy one is when I am either very lucky or when I buy it with a tonne of goodies. It sounds like Steve Jobs announcing their latest iPhone: “Its such a great product that they even sell out before we opened our stores”. These things run “out of stock” really fast, only to appear on ebay moments later for prices that are considered “ridiculous”.

    Yes, I would LOVE to have a raspi zero, simply because i have some low-powered projects that I want to program for. But the lead time, the fact that availability is VERY limited and that this is already 1.3 tells me that I rather wait for the storm to pass and just keep programming on my trusty raspberry pi v1 until I can buy more than 1 at a time.

  13. You people are babies……many (thousands, if not millions) of zeros have shipped are in people’s hands…just because YOU didn’t get one doesn’t make it vapor or a scam
    Just because they are a charity, doesn’t mean they don’t need to eat or drive their choice of car.. just cuz your life sux doesn’t mean they owe you something…

    1. And you are a fool who assesses our grievances based on your own experience, foolishly believing that our experiences are mostly the same. We have every right to express our grievances just as you have a right to winge about us doing so! Your comments do not discount our experiences.

      Our experiences are not the same at all. I can’t get a zero for under $40 for the board and $60 – $70 for the shipping so I am certainly not complaining about the $10 to $20 shipping that you pay in a $5 board.

      In any normal marketing the product is shipped to distributors in different countries so that shipping costs are reduced. The official Pi distributor in my country has never sold a singe zero. In fact they don’t even bother to put it on their site because they’re sick of the complaints. The Pi foundation has decided that we are not worthy of their product. We are last on the list and it will be version 10.x before a singe zero lands on the doors of the official distributor.

      Quite rightfully we reflect the Pi foundations rude attitude to us and they can quite frankly shove the zero where the sun don’t shine.

      Raspberry Pi zero-stock VAPORWARE

      NEXT, bring it on!

    2. I agree with you 100%. I expected more from the maker community. I think hackaday should stay clear from pi zero stories until everyone learns to grow up.

      It’s a real shame that these babies are spoiling for the people who are not cheap skates and understand buying a kit + some other bits supports the foundation and the suppliers.

      1. So let me get this right here [Richard]

        Are you saying that you *did* pay $100+ for your Pi zero or are you saying that you.

        If not then you’re a cheapskate … apparently.

  14. I bought the V1.2 pi0 on ebay for about £25… worth it tbh, was certainly interesting to play with. Bought the V1.3 too for £6.50 inc postage. Couldn’t resist. The mini HDMI connector has a different anchoring pin length too so the underside of the board is now completely smooth – nice touch.

  15. By far the stupidest thing is that the adapter cable is $6 itself, and Adafruit charges $10 for shipping (a f*cking flat flex, that they could stuff in a letter!), so I end up paying $15 for a cable and $5 for the Pi, for a grand total of $45 when you include the camera module (the old one at that!). At this point I am considering making my own adapter cable etching/assembly line or just soldering magnet wire to the stupid connector on the Pi.

    Sheer ridiculousness.

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