The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero now adds another feather in its cap with camera connector
Since the launch of Raspberry Pi Zero, the cheap, $5 version of the popular computer last November, Raspberry Pi Foundation has been on its toes to churn out the product due to its overwhelming demand.
Acknowledging the demand, the Zero has now received its first major hardware upgrade: a camera connector, which is also called the most frequently-demanded missing feature.
In a blog post, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said “through dumb luck, the same fine-pitch FPC connector that we use on the Compute Module Development Kit just fits onto the right hand side of the board.” The team was able to close the feature gap between the Zero and bigger Pi boards by moving the surface components a little to the left and rotating the activity LEDs.
The CSI connector on the Zero is 3.5mm smaller than the adapter on the Raspberry Pi 3. The company is offering a custom six-inch adapter cable to connect the camera to the Zero. This converts from the fine-pitch connector format to the coarser pitch used by the camera board. Also, the new connector is compatible with the recently upgraded Raspberry Pi camera module, which uses a very capable 8-megapixel Sony IMX219 image sensor.
Upton says 30,000 of the new model, version 1.3, are available now and the company plans to make thousands more each day until demand is met. You can buy Raspberry Pi Zero in Europe at The Pi Hut and Pimoroni, and in the US from Adafruit and in-store at the local branch of Micro Center.
But if you’re new to Raspberry Pi and are looking for a new DIY project, the addition of a connector may allow you to build a cheap home security system or have some fun making a tiny spy camera.