RUHAcam – the Raspberry Pi-powered digital camera you can print

Ruha Cheng & Penk Chen
(Image credit: Ruha Cheng & Penk Chen)

The RUHAcam is perhaps the best pick of the many photo-centric DIY projects inspired by Raspberry Pi's High Quality Camera module, which was released last year. This project can be easily built at home by computer programming enthusiasts.

Made from scratch by Ping-Hsun 'penk' Chen and Ruha Cheng, the retro-style RUHAcam digital camera is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module, which features a 12.3MP Sony IMX477 sensor.

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'Penk' and Cheng have published detailed instructions for making your own RUHAcam, as well as the 3D design components and software required to run the camera for free under MIT license. You can find all of the instructions and materials needed to make your own on the RUHAcam GitHub page.

According to DPReview, other features include a built-in 2,000mAg Li-Pi battery, a 2.2in TFT display that serves as the viewfinder and a 3D-printed case inspired by classic SLR cameras. 

The Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module natively supports C-mount lenses, and comes with an adapter to accommodate CS-mount lenses as well. Both are inexpensive optics, typically used for CCTV and 16mm film cameras and can be found in abundance online.

Alternatively, Raspberry Pi dealers offer two lens options: a 6mm (equivalent 14mm field of view in full-frame terms) CS‑mount lens for $25 / £25 / AU$50, and a 16mm (around 37mm equivalent) C-mount lens for $50 / £50 / AU$100.

The Sony 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. 

Raspberry Pi is an incredibly low-cost programmable computer that's about the size of a credit card. Costing around $50 / £50 / AU$100 it is designed to encourage people (especially kids) to learn computer languages like Python and Scratch.

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Laurence McJannet

Laurence is an NCTJ-trained journalist with nearly 20 years' editorial experience gained on a wide range of publications, from The Beirut Times in Lebanon to The Sunday Times, and including recent freelance engagements with Future's cycling and automotive portfolios, Outdoor Fitness, and The English Home. He has recently been undertaking a sports broadcast journalism MA at Southampton Solent, gaining valuable TV and radio experience, and am currently videographer for Frome Town FC soccer team. He is the author of Bikepacking (Wild Things Publishing, 2016).