If you have always wanted to own a Leica M-mount camera, but are always put off by the price take, then you could always do that this clever fellow has come and created your own by printing 3D parts and using a Rasberry Pi, well that is just what this clever chap has done, and has created the Peica - a 3D printed, Rasberry Pi constructed, Polaroid-looking camera with a Leica M-mount attached.
To see the full construction, and thorough process behind this rather clever design, take a look at the Tea and Tech Time (opens in new tab)'s YouTube video below which explains all:
Within the video Tea and Tech Time explains that the initial design of the Peica is based around a Polaroid-style wedge however, it's not as small or compact as a Polaroid, or a Leica M rangefinder for that matter, but we have to give kudos for making something that combines possibly the two most well-known camera brands in the world – the best Leica cameras (opens in new tab) and the best Polaroids.
On the front you will see that this homemade camera feature the Leica M-mount at the bottom corner, a crudely 3D printed pie symbol and a red shutter button, which is a key from a mechanical keyboard, so you can customize how clicky or tactile you would like your shutter button - a lot like many Leica users choosing a soft shutter button on their cameras.
Neatly this camera does not feature your standard SD card or require an expensive CFexpress card, all that is required is a humble USB drive, which has a convenient storage compartment that sits flush to the bottom of the Peica, along with standard tripod thread.
Now on many Leica cameras, you are used to either seeing no extra ports at all or like on the new Leica M11 (opens in new tab) rangefinder which holds a USB Type-C port in the battery compartment. The Peica though based around a Raspberry Pi features many ports, including a USB charging port that can recharge the Peica, along with video ports, a power button, and a soft power button for a quick reset.
What I think it s probably the coolest thing about this homemade camera system is that it features Live View - a feature that has only recently been added to Leica cameras from the M10 onwards. Even though, the UI might look a little clunky the Peica can take still images as well as video - which M system cameras cannot do! The camera automatically starts up in auto exposure mode but has the ability to manually change each setting, such as ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation.
This might all sound fantastic, but there is a catch... the Peica uses a tiny sensor that appears to look as if it was to be used in smartphones, while it is not mentioned what the actual size of the sensor is, Tea and Tech Time commented the sensor has a 5x crop factor, and that a standard 50mm lens on the Peica will be turned into a 275mm lens - he comments that this would be no good for any normal use, such as street photography, so a focal reducer lens of 0.5x, which are commonly used in astrophotography (opens in new tab) is added between the sensor and the M-mount to give a more genuine focal length of lenses attached to the Peica.
This is a fascinating project, which you can even print yourself as Tea and Tech Time has kindly added all the 3D printed files and software to make your own Peica camera on GitHub (opens in new tab) - who knows, maybe in years to come we will all be printing out our own cameras from home?