In the era of smartphones equipped with impressive digital cameras, there remains a compelling case for having a dedicated camera. Despite the capabilities of modern smartphones, a “real” camera offers advantages such as a larger sensor, advanced controls, and the flexibility of various lenses, unlocking artistic possibilities that go beyond the smartphone’s limitations.
For those enthusiasts seeking the perfect shot, building a DIY digital camera has become a viable option. An innovative design by Jacob Cunningham showcases a customizable camera using modular components and perfboard. Encased in a 3D-printed housing are a Raspberry Pi Zero, a Pi HQ Camera module, a 1.5″ OLED display, a lithium-ion battery pouch cell, and the necessary charging and voltage regulation boards. Tactile buttons and a 10-axis IMU contribute to user-friendly settings and level horizon assistance.
The estimated cost of this DIY camera is around R3500, subject to variation based on existing components and additional lenses. While the hardware appears relatively complete for an initial version, the software remains a work in progress. Jacob has shared the project’s details and instructions for those interested in assembling their own camera. As of the latest update, the Python code on the project’s GitHub repository is still undergoing refinement, emphasizing an ongoing commitment to improvement and community collaboration.