May 252013
Adapt your Raspberry Pi Camera for close-up use

The Raspberry Pi Camera is a fixed focus module, so that anything from about 0.5m to infinity is acceptably sharp. This has strengths and weaknesses, as with every design decision. The weakness in this case is that if you want to film or photograph anything closer than about 50-75cm it will be out of focus. With large SLR cameras, what people do is change the lens for a macro or close-up lens. We can’t do that easily. The other (cheaper, but generally less good) option photographers use is to add a small, screw-in, close-up magnifying […more…]

May 232013
Another way to convert Raspberry Pi Camera .h264 output to .mp4

This is going to be short and sweet. I picked it up from a video by the Marvellous Matthew Manning (reminds me of the “marvellous mechanical mouse organ” from Bagpuss – Google it if you need to ask) otherwise known as RaspberryPi4Beginners. Matt’s made a video which complements several of my recent blogs about the Raspberry Pi Camera. His channel is Raspberry Pi For Beginners, but that doesn’t mean that only beginners can learn something from it. I learnt this alternative way of wrapping an .h264 stream to .mp4. It’s much simpler than using FFMPEG […more…]

May 222013
Raspberry Pi Camera stills output VS video output - comparison

After reading a few comments in the Pi forums about perceived quality differences between stills and video, I thought I’d test it out for myself. Some people are saying that the video quality is better than stills. “Quality” is quite a subjective thing, but resolution is a bit easier to test. This was a pretty simple test. I left the camera propped up facing the same Nissan Micra as yesterday’s blog and remotely took a still shot (by ssh) raspistill -t 3000 -vf -o reg-plate.jpg …and then I shot a few seconds of 1080p@30fps video… […more…]

May 212013
Comparison of real resolving power of RasPiCam with other cameras

Talk to any photography geek and you’ll hear that the glass is a lot more important than the number of pixels. This is definitely true. It doesn’t matter how many pixels you’ve got if the light isn’t gathered and focussed nicely onto the sensor. Sensor size is the other large factor. The larger the sensor, the better the pictures (generally). The optimum is therefore good glass and a big sensor. With phone cameras, you usually have a small sensor and a small lens, which is far from ideal. Good glass costs hundreds or thousands and […more…]

May 202013
NOOBS New Out Of Box System for Raspberry Pi owners

Gordon Hollingworth announces a New Out Of Box System for Raspberry Pi owners at the Cambridge Jam. It’s a setup/recovery system to make it easy to set up your SD card from the outset and also recover it if something corrupts. It boots in seconds. To activate it, you hold down the shift key while powering up the Pi. Very impressive and should make a big difference to those for whom flashing an SD card image is the stuff of nightmares. It should be out in a week or so.

May 192013
How to stream video from your RasPiCam to your Nexus 7 tablet using VLC

Yesterday I went to the Cambridge Jam. It was a very good Jam. I met four members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and they were all extremely nice people. I took three demos with me: Gertboard “Whackadoodle” Wii controller Wii controller nunchuk Guzunty car RasPiCamCorder I had the RasPiCamcorder streaming live video to my PC via my phone as WiFi router. It worked quite well, but with poor latency. It took several seconds for changes to appear on the screen. I hadn’t had time to monkey about with the commands and was streaming 1080p at […more…]

May 172013
How to make a standalone camcorder from your Raspberry Pi and RasPiCam

On day 2 of Raspberry Pi Camera ownership I decided it was time to make the new RasPiCam into a camcorder that could be taken anywhere and used to shoot video. Hold on, there’s issues with that aren’t there? Sure there are, but there’s ways round ’em too ;) So here’s how I did it. I’ll be taking this to the Cambridge Jam tomorrow. :) Ingredients 1 Switching regulator 1 Bluetooth serial adaptor 1 Raspberry Pi with latest updated Raspbian 1 Raspberry Pi Camera Connectors for battery, reg and Bluetooth adaptor 1 power source (I’m […more…]

May 162013
How to shoot video and convert it to something you can edit in Pinnacle and other programs

Yesterday I got my shiny new “RasPiCam” Raspberry Pi camera module about half an hour before I had to go out and teach. Being a good boy scout (although I never was one) I was ready for it and had it up and running within five minutes of it coming through the letterbox. But when I got back from school, I shot some test videos that I wanted to edit and publish. You know how it is. You have to publish something on day 1 or it didn’t happen, right? :) I knew there must […more…]

May 152013
My first year of Raspberry Pi ownership RasPi.TV to RasPiO

I arose with the larks on 29th February 2012 to participate in the great global DDOS of RS and Farnell’s websites (whilst attempting to order a Raspberry Pi or two). It was with great delight on May 15th that I received my first Raspberry Pi from RS, a week or two after the first lucky 10,000 got theirs after the ethernet port refit. I had everything ready, including an SD card with the early version of Debian Squeeze on. I’d had months to get it all ready. I connected it all up, using my Galaxy […more…]