Raspberry Pi Zero Powers Custom Camera Platform

These days, most of us are carrying a fairly impressive digital camera with us at all times. But as capable as the hardware and software of a modern smartphone may be, there’s still plenty of reasons you may want a “real” camera to go along with it. The larger sensor, advanced controls, and selection of lenses that you’ll get with even a relatively cheap camera opens up a world of artistic possibilities.

If you’re really into chasing that perfect shot, you can even build your own digital camera these days. This design from [Jacob Cunningham] may not be able to go shot-for-shot against a Canon or Nikon in its current state, but we think you’ll agree there’s a lot of potential here — especially for something pieced together with modular components and perfboard.

Inside the 3D printed enclosure is a Raspberry Pi Zero, a Pi HQ Camera module, an 1.5″ OLED display, a lithium-ion battery pouch cell, and the charging and voltage regulation boards necessary to keep everything powered up. There’s also a handful of tactile buttons to work through the settings and menus, and a 10-axis IMU to help you keep your horizon level.

[Jacob] figures the whole thing comes in at around at $185.00, though naturally that number could go up or down considerably depending on what you’ve already got in the parts bin and what kind of lenses you add to the mix.

The hardware side of things looks more or less complete, at least for a first version, and [Jacob] has provided everything you’ll need to build one of your own. But the software is still a work in progress, with the latest push to the Python code in the project’s GitHub repository just eight hours old at the time of this writing. If you’ve been looking for a DIY camera project to really sink your teeth into, this could provide a great starting point.

If you’re more interested in moving pictures, we recently covered the CinePi project, which aims to develop an open source cinema-quality camera that you won’t need studio backing to afford.

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An All Sky Camera To Watch The Night Sky

If you have any astronomer friends you’ll soon discover that theirs is a world of specialist high-quality optical equipment far ahead of the everyday tinkerer, and for mere mortals the dream of those amazing deep space images remains out of reach. It’s not completely impossible for the night sky to deliver impressive imagery on a budget though, as [David Schneider] shows us with a Raspberry Pi powered whole sky camera.

The project was born of seeing a meteor and idly wondering whether meteorite landing sites could be triangulated from a network of cameras, something he quickly discovered had already been done with some success. Along the way though he found the allsky camera project, and decided to build his own. This took the form of a Raspberry Pi 3 and a Pi HQ camera with a wide-angle lens mounted pointing skywards under an acrylic dome. It’s not the Hubble Space Telescope by any means, but the results are nevertheless impressive particularly in a timelapse. We wish there were less light pollution where we live so we could try it for ourselves.

Long-term readers may remember that this isn’t the first Pi sky camera we’ve brought you, for example this one is from 2020.

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