As much as the original Raspberry Pi was an awesome bit of kit, we are a long way beyond its capabilities at this point. Not only do we have more powerful versions, with built-in wireless connectivity, but there are even smaller, more capable ones, too. That includes the Raspberry Pi Zero, which now comes packing its very own camera connector.
The point of the Zero has been to offer an even cheaper version of the Pi, in an even smaller package. While it was difficult to fit the camera connector on there, the team managed to do it after a bit of moving things around, keeping the size down while still improving its capabilities.
The best part about the Raspberry Pi Foundation managing to get that connector on there, though, is that it makes it so much easier for students and bedroom hackers to create something with the addition of a camera function. The foundation itself sells a very capable camera module for the Pi using the Sony IMX19 image sensor. It can take snapshots at eight megapixels, which should be more than enough for a number of low-cost scenarios.
The Pi Foundation hopes that with the release of the new version of the Pi Zero and its added imaging capabilities, we’ll see some new and exciting developments come out of the home-brew communities that have built up around the microcomputing scene in recent years.
The Raspberry Pi and its contemporaries were originally designed to ape the BBC Micro grass-roots movement around self-teaching electronics and programming, and it’s been a remarkable success.
It seems likely that the Zero will continue on in that fine tradition, and will even offer schools that couldn’t afford Pis before to get in on the action. At $5 each, it’s hard to imagine most schools not being able to afford a few for the kids to have some fun with.