A screen shot from a video demonstrating how to set up the new Raspberry Pi camera board

Raspberry Pi launches new camera accessory

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a new camera accessory for their credit card-sized computer.

The organisation has announced that RS Components and Premier Farnell/Element14 will start taking orders for the device, which features a small lens on a chip about the size of a postage stamp, from today.

The camera board, which is attached to a flex cable, can be connected by opening the camera port on the Raspberry Pi – situated between the ethernet and HDMI ports – and inserting the flex, and is controlled by three applications provided with the device, which has been a year in the making.

“The camera boards are now available for order!” said Rasberry Pi Foundation founder and trustee Eben Upton in a blog post this morning.

“We’ve been very grateful for your patience as we’ve tweaked and refined things; it’d have been good to get the camera board out to you last month, but we wanted your experience to be as good as possible, and we’ve been working on the software right up until last night.”

The module features a 5-megapixel camera capable of capturing 1080p video and can stream video over a network on Linux, Windows and OS X.

Using commands, users can tweak elements such as sharpness, contrast, brightness, saturation, and ISO and there are various effects available, such as Posterize, Watercolor, Oilpaint and Sketch.

“For such a small device, this has been an enormous project, and a year-long effort for everybody involved. We’re pretty proud of it: we hope you like it!” added Upton.

A photography competition for users of the camera board has been launched by element14 with a prize of a single Raspberry Pi accessory every time one is launched throughout the remainder of 2013.

A video showing how to set up the new device is available here. For details of the photography competition visit the element14 website here.

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