The Raspberry Pi foundation has announced some impressive-sounding new camera modules with higher resolution, larger pixels, wide-angle options, autofocus, high dynamic range and night vision via infrared.
The upgraded Camera Model 3 once again starts at just $25 (around £20), which isn’t bad considering it’s the first major upgrade to the cameras modules since 2016.
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The new module is based upon Sony’s IMX708 sensor. It’s back-illuminated, offers 12-megapixels (up from 8) and larger 1.40μm pixels, as well as some lovely HDR imagery and 16:9 HD video recording.
There are multiple variants on offer. The standard modules slightly improve the field of view from 62-degrees on the predecessor to 66-degrees. However, if you opt for the the wide field of view module you’ll get a much broader 102-degrees. That variant offers digital panning for the first time.
The biggest improvement though, might be the addition of autofocus. In a blog post, Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton explains: “Camera Module 3 introduces powered autofocus support for the first time. The lens assembly is mounted on a voice-coil actuator, allowing us to move it backwards and forwards relative to the sensor until a selected area (by default the middle) of the scene is optimally focused.”
You can see a demonstration of the new Autofocus capabilities in the video below.
You can also see a breakdown of the all of the camera modules to date. The Camera Module 3 works with all of the Raspberry Pi computers with CSI connectors (except the 400 and 2016 Zero) and there’s also a new version of the M12 mount available from today. That costs $50.
The new line-up includes four options, with standard and wide-angle options and a NoIR variant available for each. All in all it’s a boon for Raspberry Pi creators who’ll now be able to capture much-improved snaps natively at a typically excellent price point. Happy baking!