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 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).

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

sudo apt-get-update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Now run the following command to go into the Raspberry Pi configuration tool:

sudo raspi-config

Raspi config screen

Navigate to Interfacing Options and hit Enter. Now select the 'Camera' option, and hit the Enter key to enable it. Select “Finish” and select to reboot your Raspberry Pi.

Raspi Config Camera

How to take a photo with your Raspberry Pi Camera Module

"raspistill" is a command line application that allows you to capture images with your camera module. Below is an example of this command in use.

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

raspistill -o image.jpg

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

How to record a video with your Raspberry Pi Camera Module

"raspivid" 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:

raspivid -o video.h264 -t 10000

Here, "video" is the name of your video and "10000" is the number of milliseconds.


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

Raspberry Pi Camera Module Mount