New add-on makes taking photos easy as Raspberry Pi

Ups the ante from five to eight megapixels

Raspberry Pi camera module

A new camera board add-on is available for the Raspberry Pi, and not only does it up the megapixel count and overall image quality, but it does so keeping the same price tag as its predecessor.

The previous camera add-on boasted five megapixels and used an OmniVision OV5647 sensor, whereas this new effort is an eight megapixel camera using the Sony IMX219.

As before, you can purchase either a normal 'visible light' version of the camera, or an infrared model, and whichever you plump for it will run you to $25 (or £19 in the UK) – the same price the previous boards were available for. It's sold by the usual suppliers, meaning RS Components and element14.

Low-light loveliness

The Pi Foundation observes that this isn't just about more megapixels (which as we know, aren't the full story when it comes to a camera's performance), but the new model makes considerable strides in terms of color fidelity and low-light performance. The latter, of course, is an area particularly challenging to small camera modules such as this effort.

The Sony IMX219 is a back-illuminated sensor that can record 1080p video at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps, and is capable of nifty slow-motion recording tricks, too.

The new board was designed by the same guy responsible for the Raspberry Pi Zero, namely Mike Stimson. In terms of the module's dimensions, it measures 24 x 25 x 9mm.

If you're on the hunt for Pi accessories, last month saw the release of the WD PiDrive which hooks up to the tiny computer via USB and offers a storage capacity of 314GB.

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