Raspberry Pi launches 12.3MP camera module for just $50

Raspberry Pi launches 12.3MP camera module for just $50
(Image credit: Raspberry Pi)

Raspberry Pi has just launched the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, an interchangeable lens camera module with a 12.3MP Sony sensor, for just $50 / £49.50 / AU$95.

The Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, built around a Sony IMX477 sensor, replaces the original 5MP Camera Module launched in 2013 (featuring an OmniVision OV5647 image sensor) and the 8MP Camera Module V2 from 2016 (built around a Sony IMX219 sensor).

The new sensor boasts pixels 1.55μm × 1.55μm in size, which is double that of its predecessor, and is also back-illuminated for superior sensitivity. And where both its predecessors were fixed focus cameras, the High Quality Camera possesses an integrated back-focus adjustment ring.

It natively supports C-mount lenses, and comes with an adapter to accommodate CS-mount lenses as well. These inexpensive optics are typically used for CCTV and 16mm film cameras – if you've ever been browsing eBay for lenses, you'll probably have come across some ludicrously cheap lenses with this mount.

Indeed, Raspberry Pi dealers will be offering two lens options: a 6mm (equivalent 14mm field of view in full-frame terms) CS‑mount lens for $25, and a 16mm (around 37mm equivalent) C-mount lens for $50.

The Sony IMX477 sensor inside the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module is also capable of 4K video, meaning that there are some fantastic opportunities for the industrious Pi community to come up with even more inventive creations. 

If you're still in the dark about what Raspberry Pi is, it's an incredibly low-cost (as in, $50 / £50 / AU$100) computer that's about the size of a credit card. It connects to standard keyboards, mice, monitors or even TVs, and can do anything that a regular desktop computer can, such as browsing the internet and playing games. 

It's a coder's paradise, which is designed to encourage people (especially kids) to learn computer languages like Python and Scratch. An incredibly vibrant community of creators has emerged, using the Pi as the basis for almost anything you can imagine that's powered by a computer, from weather stations to music machines.

The Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera is available now for just $50 / £49.50 / AU$95.

Order the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera from Micro Center (opens in new tab)

Order the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera from Vilros (opens in new tab)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.