Skip navigation
2013

Welcome to my First Raspberry Pi Project. Setting up the RPi Camera board and taking a few shots.

 

(In hind sight it might have been better to start with just learning how to use Raspberry Pi and getting it setup. Then getting the camera up and running, but where would the fun be in doing things in a logical order all the time.)

 

For those of you that do not have a wired connection.  Getting everything up and running fully can be a challenge. Well it was for me at least.  I do not have a typical internet connection. I use a Wireless Internet Provider (Clear) so I get my internet through a MIFI hotspot (with the only wire being the charging cord). This presented a problem because after some time of working with the Pi to get it to recognize my WIFI signal was very hard. In fact I couldn’t find the answer all the direction in setting up WIFI stated that I needed to update some things first which I needed an internet connection to do. So then next day I tried it at work but couldn’t get any web pages to come up or stuff to download. I presuming that it is because even though it was a wired connection it wouldn’t connect due to Firewall and Proxy settings.

 

 

So after quite some time I gave up and headed over to a Friend’s place after work so that I could run the update to get at least the WIFI module working.  So while having a good LAN connection I ran:

 

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get update

update.jpg

I then proceeded to go into the GUI using STARTX and set the WIFI signal up having a pretty straight forward interface that didn’t take long to get it going. It even saved these connection setting and connected to the WIFI even once I rebooted and logged in which was really nice for the rest of setting everything up.

 

Now on to why you are here getting the camera going. So logged out and disconnected the power cord and then plugged in the camera.  Having done a little research I saw others posts and hearing from someone else I needed to update the system. There seemed to be a lot of steps and none of the posts but none were really clear on what each step was doing and all seemed to have different steps. So I figured I would try and figure the easiest way to get the camera working since at this point all I wanted to do was take some pictures.

 

So when I was trying to get the WIFI going I ran raspi-config and saw an Update option.

 

So I then ran: pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspi-config

1.jpg

 

Chose the update function, and after it completed in a suspiciously small amount of time. After rebooting and going back in to raspi-config the Camera option was now showing. 

I remember sitting there thinking “Wow! That was really easy.”

upgrade.jpg

Then entering into the camera, enabling it and then rebooting. I then tried to take some pictures, but when I tried to run pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspistill and pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspivid to use the camera. I received an error that the function was not found so after a few times I decided to try some of the steps that others with a working camera tried.

 

Since I all ready ran the pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt get-update to get the WIFI going I ran pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo apt-get upgrade

 

Then somewhere around 91.1 Mb and rebooting I went into the raspi-config and enabled the camera again. Since there was no indication if it was still enabled or not. So then after doing 1 more reboot I nolonger got anymore errors running raspistill.

 

So now it was time to start playing around with some of the functions. First to get a list of all the functions it is really easy. You just run a camera command without any options like below.

 

The two options for stills are:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ /opt/vc/bin/raspicam

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspistill

raspistill.png

 

For Videos you have:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ /opt/vc/bin/raspivid

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspivid

 

Looking over these options it is clear there are a lot of options to fine tune. So since I didn’t want to do that much reading and more playing at this point I opted for running just a few basic commands.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspistill –o first.jpg

first.jpg

(Hey that's me and I'm glad I've trimmed up since that shot)

 

Noticing the image was flipped I added the hf option to flip the image horizontally and then grabbed a shot of my friend that helped me with the connection trying to get away.

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspistill –o file.jpg –hf

file.jpg

I then took a simple video by running: pi@raspberrypi ~ $ raspivid –o file.h264 –hf . (However since I didn't use the built in option to save it as an MP4 I am not able to post it at this time.)


I then shut down the pi and pulled the card out and put it in my laptop. However then I was very confused because I couldn’t find any of the pictures or videos that I just took.  After a little bit of confusion and hair pulling form not seeing any of my files. Noticed that Windows was only seeing that the card had around 55Mb of total space on the card it clicked. It was saving the files into a part of the card that Windows did not recognize.

 

So I put the card back in the Pi and booted it up and after logging in ran STARTX and in Accessories opened the Image viewer. I was then able to find my images in the main Pi folder location.

 

I though couldn’t find a way to view the videos but did locate them when I used the Midori web browser (since it can use flash) to upload my images to my Google Drive.

 

Some of the things that kind of bugged me about the camera were that it was very sensitive to shaking when it actually took the picture. I played with it again last night while getting what was supposed to be a few minutes to get some more screen shots which didn’t even end up happening because  I started playing with some of the options and did find an Antishake so I will start using that to see if it will help.

 

Till next time!

Here is a photo of a Bee project Raspberry Pi that I made with my children. This was made as a school minibeast project.

 

This is an interactive model where the bee can be moved. When placed near the flower then the flower lights up and there is the sound of a bee buzzing. When the bee is placed near the hive then bee hive lights up and there

 

For the project has been placed outside with added flowers to compliment the project.

 

The photo was taken with a Raspberry Pi camera module.

 

bee-project.jpg

 

More details on the Bee project and how to make your own are available from my website: http://www.penguintutor.com/bee

Which also includes a video showing the project in use.

I have been desperate to get my hands on a Raspberry Pi camera module for a project and ended up having to use a USB which caused me some concern as the power requirements of some of the USB ones mean that you can't run them alongside a wifi dongle like my WiPi. Fortunately I managed to procure a Logitech C110 to tide me over until my PiCam arrives and now Duck Cam is up and running.

I started with one of my four Raspberry Pi and the latest image file. The webcam and WiPi both worked out of the box and all was looking good. I installed ffmpeg from the repo to stream to bambuser.com using RTMP but it kept failing after a single frame.

Getting the latest source from git and compiling my own ffmpeg meant that it then worked perfectly and using my cheap cam I have managed to stream up to 640x480 at 15fps (that's all this cam can do). I am lookng forward to getting a PiCam so I can up the resolution and frame rate to the limits of my home internet connection.

For those that want to do something similar you'll need to follow these instructions to compile ffmpeg and then sign up for a bambuser account and follow these instructions to get the streaming working.

So what am I streaming? My wife and I are currently looking after two cayuga ducklings called Bramble and Dandelion so I have rigged up their box with the RPi and camera as seen below.

 

IMG_0136_small.JPG

 

 

The resulting stream can be seen at http://bambuser.com/channel/duckcamuk

Probably my favourite shot from my Pi weather balloon flights, this one was taken at 38.9km altitude with the Pi camera and a model A running from 4 Lithium batteries.  The view is south-west from high above Swindon, looking out over Devon and Cornwall.

 

snap314.jpg

 

As well as the full resolution stored images such as this one, some smaller images were taken and transmitted "live" during the flight.

 

Here's the Pi with camera, GPS and radio shortly before the flight (pic not taken by a Pi):

 

dave.PNG

 

Dave

01.png

 

This photo was taken at the Hot Air Balloon Jubilee in Decatur, Alabama on May 26, 2013. I used a USB battery pack to power the Pi, and connected a push button via the GPIO buttons to trigger a photo script. The photo was later downloaded via FTP after the Pi was connected to a network. Below are a few pictures of the rig (not taken with a Pi Camera ):

 

IMG_5209.jpgIMG_5211.jpgIMG_5212.jpg

I started off using a script to take timelapse photos at every ten seconds which i made into a few minute long time lapse video starting from dark, ending in dark.

 

The pi was run via an power extension lead onto the window ledge and sat there from dusk to dusk, im looking to run this with a battery so it can sit in remote places. the picture attached was one of the few i thought was good to show colour with the camera.1.jpg2.jpg

My first pic with the raspiCam featuring my 1946 wurlitzer as the model.

antdoc

Rasberry Pi Camera

Posted by antdoc     May 21, 2013

The Pi camera looks great and compact for those anywhere videos. Trouble is the lack off a mini screen and power pack. Or is it that I have not noticed.

Here are a couple of photos to show my Raspberry Pi/ZX Spectrum+ case project. After the initial novelty of owning a shiny new RPi wore off and the cheap case I bought broke, I started looking for something practical to do with it and here is the result. Some things are a bit rough & ready and there are quite a few improvements I'd like to make, such as better keyboard mapping, better Wifi and a better power supply configuration, it's working and useable for now however. I have a real passion for these machines going back the best part of 30 years and they have taught me an awful lot about microelectronics, diagnostics and fault finding, I love the originals but it's fun to have a 'souped up' version that doubles up as a modern(ish) computer.

 

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j36/sirjez/Speccy%20Stuff/th_2012-12-05144545.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j36/sirjez/Speccy%20Stuff/th_2012-12-07100703.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j36/sirjez/Speccy%20Stuff/th_2012-12-07123000.jpg

arduinos-on-the-raspberry-pi.jpg

pi self portrait.jpg

This is a self portrait of my Raspberry Pi Camera Board for which I laser-cut a chassis that allows me to attach

my set of Lensbaby accessories - wide-angle & tele lens or like in this example a macro lens. It also has a

mounting screw at the bottom so I can attach the camera to my gorilla pod.

 

As you can see I had to use my iPad as a "mirror" so the pi cam could shoot itself - and in the background you get

some nice feedback effect from the raspistill preview on the desktop. I guess this fits best in the category

"Raspberry Pi Project"

 

The laser schematics can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:92105

the workshop never looked this tidy before

 

workshop.jpg

made up out of 25 images taken with the Pi camera module and stitched together. 

 

The camera module is fairly tricky to use like this, the flexi cable is connects to the Pi with could do with being a bit longer, you need all sorts of cables attached etc.  So I quickly heath robinsoned up something to hold it all together out of a scrap box lid some pcb offcuts, lots of masking tape and cable ties. That would hopefully mean I could spend a bit more effort on trying to hold the camera still. I looks like this:

 

IMG_2089.JPG

IMG_2090.JPG

 

that's a 10m hdmi lead so that I could have a preview up on the monitor to give myself some idea if I was pointing it vaguely the right direction.

 

The raspistill utility has a timelapse option to take an image every so many milliseconds which I thought might be good for doing this sort of thing, but unfortunately it just saves to the same filename continuously. So I threw together a short perl script to take a pic every two seconds and generate a unique filename:

 

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

for (my $f=0;$f<40;$f++) {

        my $img="pan" .'0' x (3-length($f))."$f.jpg";

        my $c="raspistill -ex auto -awb fluorescent -t 2000 -ISO 100 -o $img";

        system $c;

}

start the script and try to take some reasonably steady photos round the room with a good bit of overlap - easier than it seems when you're trying to hold the Pi, a keyboard, various cables and are at the limit of the length of the power lead.

The camera module has a reasonably long focal length which didn't help, I could have done with being six feet further back, but the workshop just isn't big enough for that.

 

Finally joind it all up with Autostitch, which made a remarkably good job of my rather shaky camera work.

I spy with my little Pi...

 

We're pleased to announce the arrival of the long awaited camera module for Raspberry Pi at element14! You can buy the Raspberry Pi Camera now, so go to the main Raspberry Pi accessories page and ORDER YOURS NOW. Initial stock of camera module is limited, so make sure you order yours now to avoid waiting.

picamerabloginsert.jpg

The Raspberry Pi Camera module is designed and made by the Raspberry Pi foundation. It attaches easily to your board and is simple to get started with, as demonstrated in this video:

 

 

To celebrate the launch, we're also launching an exciting photo competition with a whole load of Raspberry Pi accessories up for grabs. You can read the rules of the competition here.

 

We also spotted the BBC's technology corespondent Rory Cellan-Jones getting to grips with the Pi Camera. Although Rory notes that he won't be entering our photo competition, we think his dog would make a fantastic entry for people and pets!

Rory cellen Jones Pi.JPG

rory dog.JPG