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Build your own Raspberry Pi powered Touchscreen Digital Camera complete with interchangeable lenses! Read more

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Build your own Raspberry Pi powered Touchscreen Digital Camera complete with interchangeable lenses!

About this project

The SnapPiCam is a D.I.Y. Digital Camera you can build at home. It is a great weekend project and it is easily assembled with the most basic of tools by just about anyone.

All four SnapPiCam cameras feature the amazing Raspberry Pi Model A and the crisp Raspberry Pi 5 Mega-Pixel camera board.

The SnapPiCam is an Open Hardware & Open Software Project. The Plans & Parts List will be made publicly available for free. 

I had the idea for the SnapPiCam after reading Adafruit's PiTFT Tutorial which described how to build a Touch-screen camera. In the final paragraph they go on to mention how it would be quite easy for an advanced maker to squeeze in a LiPo and a DC-DC Converter into the space between the Raspberry Pi and the PiTFT. Instructables had a Raspberry Pi Competition running at the same time and I thought a camera would make a great entry into the competition. 

It took a little over two weeks to complete the original design for the camera. The SnapPiCam was submitted into the competition and after a few tense weeks the winners were announced, the camera had won First Prize!

You can read more about the idea behind the SnapPiCam and see the development of the first version of the camera over at Instructables by clicking the link below.

http://www.instructables.com/id/The-SnapPiCam-A-Raspberry-Pi-Camera/

The SnapPiCam was so popular that Adafruit asked me to write a build tutorial which was to be featured on the Adafruit Learning System. Follow the link below to read through the tutorial.

http://learn.adafruit.com/snappicam-raspberry-pi-camera

The Proto-Pile. A heap of all the old development versions of the SnapPiCam. Inset is an image of the original prize-winning SnapPiCam.
The Proto-Pile. A heap of all the old development versions of the SnapPiCam. Inset is an image of the original prize-winning SnapPiCam.

The four SnapPiCam models are powered by LiPo batteries and each camera has its own on-board LiPo Charger. Just plug any connected USB Mini B cable into the camera's charger port and wait for the green light. The Adventurer and MegaZoom models have an I²C LiPo Fuel Gauge so you can keep an eye on the battery level.

The SnapPiCam is designed to work with a multitude of magnetic lenses and each kit comes with a choice of either a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens or a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens. Simply pop the lens onto the magnetic ring at the front of the camera and you're ready to go.

Connect a WiFi dongle to the SnapPiCam's USB port for wireless photography. You can upload directly to DropBox using your phone's Wi-Fi & Internet connection. All the Raspberry Pi's ports are accessible with the exception of the Micro USB Port. You can connect USB devices, HDMI cables, Video cables and Headphones.

The SnapPiCam MegaZoom has an aluminium bodied 4x - 12x variable MegaZoom lens which can be screwed onto the front of the camera. You can still use all the magnetic lenses when the MegaZoom lens is detached. The MegaZoom Plus offers an unprecedented 6x-18x variable MegaZoom lens!

The Compact is a go anywhere fun camera that fits easily into your pocket. The camera is controlled with a button board which is plugged directly onto the Raspberry Pi's GPIO header.

The Compacts features.

  • 5 Mega-Pixel Camera.
  • Raspberry Pi.
  • 1200mAh LiPo Battery.
  • DC DC Converter.
  • Basic 500mAh LiPo Charger.
  • Two body versions are available,  Clear & Neutral Grey.
  • Choose either Black or Silver screws.
  • Pick from a selection of fluorescent colours for the front & back. Colours include Fluorescent Acid Green, Fluorescent Hellios Yellow, Fluorescent Lava Orange, Fluorescent Mars Red and Fluorescent Neptune Blue.
  • 100mm x 68mm x 50mm.

The Adventurer is for the person that wants that little bit extra. Navigate around the camera's menus using a 2.8" LCD with Touch-screen & four Tactile Buttons. There is also a battery Fuel Gauge so you'll never be caught short on power.

The Adventurer's features.

  • 5 Mega-Pixel Camera.
  • Raspberry Pi.
  • 2.8" LCD With Touch-screen & Tactile Buttons.
  • i2c LiPo Fuel Gauge.
  • Logic Level Shifter,
  • Advanced 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger.
  • Available in a variety of fluorescent colours including Fluorescent Acid Green, Fluorescent Hellios Yellow, Fluorescent Lava Orange, Fluorescent Mars Red and Fluorescent Neptune Blue.
  • Choose either Black or Silver screws.
  • A wrist-strap to keep your camera safe.
  • Mount the camera on a Tripod.
  • 100mm x 68mm x 60mm.

The MegaZoom, everything is better in Mega! The MegaZoom 4x-12x Aluminium Bodied Lens screws to the front of the SnapPiCam MegaZoom. Remove the MegaZoom lens and you can still attach the magnetic lenses.

The MegaZoom's features.

  • 5 Mega-Pixel Camera.
  • Raspberry Pi.
  • 2.8" LCD With Touch-screen & Tactile Buttons.
  • i2c LiPo Fuel Gauge.
  • Logic Level Shifter,
  • Advanced 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger.
  • Available in a variety of fluorescent colours & striped patterns. Colours include Fluorescent Acid Green, Fluorescent Hellios Yellow, Fluorescent Lava Orange, Fluorescent Mars Red and Fluorescent Neptune Blue.
  • Choose either Black or Silver screws.
  • A shoulder-strap to keep your camera safe.
  • Mount the camera on a Tripod.
  • Anodised aluminium lens attachment ring.
  • A 4x-12x Variable MegaZoom Lens with manual focus.
  • A protective bag and lens caps for the MegaZoom Lens.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  • 100mm x 68mm x 60mm (160mm with MegaZoom lens).

The MegaZoom Plus gives you massive 6x-18x MegaZoom Plus capabilities! The Plus also comes with a 2x Zoom Magnetic Telephoto Lens.

The MegaZoom Plus's features.

  • 5 Mega-Pixel Camera.
  • Raspberry Pi.
  • 2.8" LCD With Touch-screen & Tactile Buttons.
  • i2c LiPo Fuel Gauge.
  • Logic Level Shifter,
  • Advanced 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger.
  • Available in a variety of fluorescent colours & striped patterns. Colours include Fluorescent Acid Green, Fluorescent Hellios Yellow, Fluorescent Lava Orange, Fluorescent Mars Red and Fluorescent Neptune Blue.
  • Choose either Black or Silver screws.
  • A shoulder-strap to keep your camera safe.
  • Mount the camera on a Tripod.
  • Anodised aluminium lens attachment ring.
  • 2x Zoom Magnetic Telephoto Lens.
  • A monstrous 6x-18x Variable MegaZoom Lens with manual focus.
  • A protective bag and lens caps for the MegaZoom Plus Lens.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  • 100mm x 68mm x 60mm (195mm with MegaZoom Plus lens).
  • Bragging rights.

£30 | £35 | £45 | The SnapPiCam Laser-Cut Sets.

  • All the Laser-Cut parts for your chosen model.
  • A bag of Microbarb Brass Insert bolt anchors.

£89 (Early Bird) | £99 | The SnapPiCam Compact Kit.

24 Laser-Cut Parts | Raspberry Pi Model A | Raspberry Pi 5 Mega-Pixel Camera | Button Board PCB & Components | Power On / Off Switch | 1200mAh LiPo Battery | Basic 500mAh LiPo Charger | DC DC Step-Up Converter | Bag of Nuts & Screws | Bag of Wires & Connectors | Short Micro SD Card Adapter | A choice of either a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens or a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens.

£139 (Early Bird) | £149 | The SnapPiCam Adventurer Kit.

30 Laser-Cut Parts | Raspberry Pi Model A | Raspberry Pi 5 Megapixel Camera | 20cm Camera Cable | 2.8" LCD with Touch-Screen & Tactile Buttons | Power On / Off Switch | 1200 mAh LiPo Battery | LiPo I²C Fuel Gauge | 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger | DC DC Step-Up Converter | Bag of Nuts & Screws | Bag of Wires & Connectors | 8gb Micro SD Card | Short Micro SD Card Adaptor | Wrist Strap | A choice of either a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens or a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens | Can be mounted on a Tripod.

£184 (Early Bird) | £199 | The SnapPiCam MegaZoom Kit.

30 Laser-Cut PartsRaspberry Pi Model A | Raspberry Pi 5 Megapixel Camera | 20cm Camera Cable | 2.8" LCD with Touch-Screen & Tactile Buttons | Power On / Off Switch | 1200 mAh LiPo Battery | LiPo I²C Fuel Gauge | 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger | DC DC Step-Up Converter | Bag of Nuts & Screws | Bag of Wires & Connectors | 8gb Micro SD CardShort Micro SD Card Adaptor | Neck Strap | A choice of either a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens or a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens | Can be mounted on a Tripod Anodised aluminium lens attachment ring | 4x - 12x Variable MegaZoom Lens with Manual Focus.

£209 (Early Bird) | £224 | The SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus Kit.  

30 Laser-Cut Parts | Raspberry Pi Model A | Raspberry Pi 5 Megapixel Camera | 20cm Camera Cable | 2.8" LCD & Touch-Screen | Power On / Off Switch | 1200 mAh LiPo Battery | LiPo I²C Fuel Gauge | 120mAh - 1000mAh LiPo Charger | DC DC Step-Up Converter | Bag of Nuts & Screws | Bag of Wires & Connectors | 8gb Micro SD Card | Short Micro SD Card Adaptor | Neck Strap | A choice of either a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens or a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens | 2x Telephoto Magnetic Lens | Can be mounted on a Tripod Anodised aluminium lens attachment ring | 6x - 18x Variable MegaZoom Plus Lens with Manual Focus.

£299 | A hand-built SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus.

We will hand build, to the highest possible standard a Limited Edition SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus Digital Camera. The standard resistive panel will be upgraded to a Capacitive Touch-Screen and the camera will be tested and fitted with a 16gb Micro SD Card before being shipped.

What do I need your money for? Well I'd like to be able to bring a software developer to the team to help make the SnapPiCam a fully functional camera capable of both still image and full motion video capture.

The SnapPiCam Compact uses a button board with LEDs to control the camera. I'd like to be able to have it redesigned and to expand the boards function and provide additional features with extra buttons.

The power of bulk buying means that I can purchase parts at a lower price than usual. I can return those savings onto you and make the SnapPiCam a very affordable and fun D.I.Y. digital camera.


 

£45,000 | Receive a set of Allen Keys which can be used to assemble your SnapPiCam with every pledge of £89 and over.

£52,500 | All pledges of £89 and over will receive both a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens and a combined 0.67X Wide & Macro Magnetic Lens.

£65,000 | The LiPo battery's capacity will be increased for all cameras and the designs altered to take the larger cells.

 

Photographs with no Lens attached.

Oxford University Botanical Gardens.
Oxford University Botanical Gardens.
My lunch.
My lunch.
Woodlands.
Woodlands.
Flowery things.
Flowery things.
Oxford University Botanical Gardens.
Oxford University Botanical Gardens.

Macro Lens.

Bug.
Bug.
Raspberry.
Raspberry.
An M2 Allen Screw next to a ruler.
An M2 Allen Screw next to a ruler.
Bee on a flower.
Bee on a flower.
The pointy end of a pencil.
The pointy end of a pencil.
Looking down the flute of a flower, note the water droplets near the bottom of the image.
Looking down the flute of a flower, note the water droplets near the bottom of the image.
Grass seeds.
Grass seeds.
The tip of a Cotton Bud.
The tip of a Cotton Bud.
Tree Moss.
Tree Moss.
Sugar crystals on a Fizzy Cola Bottle.
Sugar crystals on a Fizzy Cola Bottle.
Venus Fly Trap
Venus Fly Trap

180° Fish-Eye Lens.

Oxford University Botanical Gardens Greenhouse.
Oxford University Botanical Gardens Greenhouse.
#selfie.
#selfie.
Aloe Vera.
Aloe Vera.
Lancia Stratos.
Lancia Stratos.
Tree.
Tree.
Merton College Chapel, Oxford.
Merton College Chapel, Oxford.
Water Lillies.
Water Lillies.

London

We went on a day excursion to London with a MegaZoom Plus & an Adventurer, I took a 180° Fish-Eye Magnetic Lens along for the trip too.

The viewing gallery is right at the top on floors 68,69 & 72. This photo was taken with the MegaZoom Plus from the deck of HMS Belfast.
The viewing gallery is right at the top on floors 68,69 & 72. This photo was taken with the MegaZoom Plus from the deck of HMS Belfast.
                                  
It's a long way up!
It's a long way up!
The View from The Shard is incredible. Although there was a lot of cloud around we could still see quite a distance.
The View from The Shard is incredible. Although there was a lot of cloud around we could still see quite a distance.
                                  

 The reflections on the glass were a bit annoying and I'm not sure if they have found a window cleaner yet but still, what a view.

 Time for some zoom action! 

With Westminster, The London Eye and Battersea Power Station waaaayyyyy off in the distance the haze is obscuring some of the finer details.

1.7 Miles to Big Ben from The Shard.
1.7 Miles to Big Ben from The Shard.
1.3 Miles to the London Eye from The Shard.
1.3 Miles to the London Eye from The Shard.

 With the day drawing to a close it was time to head home via the London Underground and a ride on the Tube.

Imagine what could be done with the SnapPiCam if you could make videos! 

With your support we will be able to develop the software further so that you can record Macro videos, Wide Angle videos, MegaZoom videos and a whole lot more. 

Pledges start at £1 and SnapPiCam rewards begin at £30. 

What are you waiting for?!?!

Some of the photographs have been edited to bring out the colours. There has been nothing more than a few simple tweaks to the contrast and some basic filters applied. 

You can download the unedited lens-less photos from here.

You can download the unedited Macro Lens photos from here.

You can download the unedited 180° Fish-Eye Lens photos from here.

You can download the unedited London photos from here

All photographs are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License. However the use of the photographs on media blogs and news sites is permitted.

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk to the project is the delivery dates. I have learnt from my last Kickstarter project that all the planning in the world can be undone by late deliveries from suppliers. This time around most of the components come from America and the UK where reliability is not a problem.

I will be in constant communication with suppliers to ensure the project is kept on schedule and that delivery dates are met.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes!

    Wi-Fi is possible by plugging in a Wi-Fi dongle to the Raspberry Pi's USB port on the side.

    Part of the development plan for the software is to add extra features to enable control via a mobile phone over a Wi-Fi link.

    This will enable remote control of the camera.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    £1 reward

    17 backers

    Help make the SnapPiCam a reality and get all the news, information and project updates emailed directly to you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    £30 reward

    2 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Compact Laser-Cut Parts Set.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £35 reward

    8 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Adventurer Laser-Cut Parts Set.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £45 reward

    2 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Laser-Cut Parts Set.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £74 reward

    0 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Compact kit without a Raspberry Pi & Camera Module.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £89 reward

    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    Early Bird Compact | Receive a reduced price SnapPiCam Compact Kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £99 reward

    0 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Compact kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £124 reward

    0 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Adventurer Kit without a Raspberry Pi & Camera Module.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £139 reward

    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    Early Bird Adventurer | Receive a SnapPiCam Adventurer Kit at a reduced price.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £149 reward

    8 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam Adventurer Kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £174 reward

    0 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Kit without a Raspberry Pi & Camera Module.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £184 reward

    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    Early Bird MegaZoom | Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Kit at a reduced price.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £199 reward

    2 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £199 reward

    1 backer

    Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus Kit without a Raspberry Pi & Camera Module.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £209 reward

    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    Early Bird MegaZoom Plus | Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus Kit at a reduced price.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £224 reward

    4 backers

    Receive a SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus Kit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    £299 reward

    4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)

    A perfectly crafted Limited Edition SnapPiCam MegaZoom Plus hand-built at The LittleBox Company Workshop.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)