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Raspberry Pi Accessories

1 Post authored by: jason721 element14 Team

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


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



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.”


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



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


(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


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!