How to install and use the Raspberry Pi Camera Module

How to install and use the Raspberry Pi Camera Module

In this step by step guide we will explain how to install the Raspberry Pi Camera Module, along with how to take pictures and videos with it.

Camera Module Hardware Installation

Before you take your Camera Module out of the box, be aware that it can be damaged by static electricity. Make sure you have discharged yourself by touching an earthed object (e.g. a radiator, PC Chassis or similar).

This tutorial shows the NoIR Camera Module (great for night photography projects). The standard Camera Module is green. They are installed and work in the same way.

Raspberry Pi and camera module

Install the Raspberry Pi Camera module by inserting the cable into the Raspberry Pi camera port. The cable slots into the connector situated between the USB and micro-HDMI ports, with the silver connectors facing the micro-HDMI ports.

Raspberry Pi Camera Module belt direction

If in doubt, just make sure the blue part of the cable is facing the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi:

Now boot your Raspberry Pi (plug the power in and turn it on).

Always Update!

Once booted, update your Raspberry Pi by running the following commands in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get-update
sudo apt full-upgrade

Please note that from the latest 'Bullseye' release of Raspberry Pi OS, you no longer need to enable your camera within the Raspberry Pi configuration.

How to take a photos and videos with your Raspberry Pi Camera Module

With the latest 'Bullseye' release of Raspberry Pi OS we now use libcamera to take photos and videos. (If you're using an older version such as 'Buster', you'll need to use the older raspistill/raspivid).

Taking Photos

libcamera-jpeg is a command line application that allows you to capture images and videos with your camera module. Below is an example of this command in use.

To capture a simple image in jpeg format, type the following command into your terminal window:

libcamera-jpeg -o image.jpg

Here, 'image' is the name of your image that will be saved to your Raspberry Pi.

This is one of the simplest ways to take a picture and save the image. libcamera has many powerful options you can use - please read the official documentation to learn more.

Recording Video

libcamera-vid is a command line application that allows you to capture video with your camera module. Below is an example of this command in use.

To capture a 10 second video with your Raspberry Pi camera module, run the following command:

libcamera-vid -t 10000 -o video.h264

Here, 'video' is the name of your video and "10000" is the number of milliseconds we're telling it to record for (10 seconds). libcamera-vid has many powerful options you can use including raw image formats - please read the official documentation to learn more.

Camera Accessories!

Need something to hold your camera module whilst you practice your code? Check out our Mini Camera Mount or the awesome ZeroView, or check out the camera section of the store for more Camera Modules, mounts, tripods and accessories!

Raspberry Pi Camera Module Mount

Featured Products

Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Camera Module V2.1
Sale price £28.50 incl. VAT excl. VAT
Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi NoIR Camera Module V2.1
Sale price £28.50 incl. VAT excl. VAT

1 comment

Nick

Nick

I have a rpi4b and camera. The rpi4 is new from yourselves along with the camera. I do not see the option camera in interfaces so cannot get the camera to register. I am running bullseye version id 11, I hope this is the correct latest option to use.

I am obviously doing something wrong. Please help. Thanks.

I have a rpi4b and camera. The rpi4 is new from yourselves along with the camera. I do not see the option camera in interfaces so cannot get the camera to register. I am running bullseye version id 11, I hope this is the correct latest option to use.

I am obviously doing something wrong. Please help. Thanks.

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