Picture of The SnapPiCam | A Raspberry Pi Camera

Adafruit launched it's PiTFT not long ago and I bought one immediately from Pimoroni. Soon after that Adafruit published a tutorial entitled DIY WiFi Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Camera. I had a good read through it and on the final page the final paragraph was;

The package could be slimmed down considerably; there’s a huge amount of empty space between the PiTFT and Raspberry Pi (even more with a Model A board). Advanced makers could squeeze a slim LiPo battery and a 5V boost converter in there, connecting to the expansion header at the right edge of the TFT board instead of the side-protruding USB power connector. The result would be similar in size to some consumer point-and-shoot digital cameras.

Hmmm OK, Challenge Accepted!

But let's see if we can fit in a charger too, and attach some lenses while we're at it. Modern cameras feature both as standard, no reason why the SnapPiCam shouldn't......

Thanks for voting for the SnapPiCam in the Raspberry Pi Contest, we made First Prize!

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
1 x Raspberry Pi Model A
1 x Raspberry Pi Camera
1 x Adadfruit PiTFT
1 x Adafruit LiPo Charger
1 x Adafruit 1200mAh LiPo
1 x Pololu Step-Up/Step-Down DC Converter
1 x Slide Switch
1 x Compact Micro SD Adaptor
1 x 8gb Micro SD Card

4 x M3 45mm Button Head Screws
4 x M2 8mm Screws
8 x M2 6mm Screws
2 x Nylon M2.5 6mm Screws
2 x M3 4mm Nylon Spacers

4 x M3 Microbabrs
2 x M2.5 Microbarbs
12 x M2 Microbarbs

25 x Laser-Cut Acrylic Parts

1 x Raspberry Pi Mini Sticker

1 x 8x Zoom Lens
1 x Fish-Eye Lens
1 x Telephoto Lens

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I actually used this ible with some mods to make my daughter a toy camera. See photos. The color wheel on the camera was used to change photos filters as well. My goal was to keep it as true to the original toy as possible.

SilverJimny (author)  fashionneverfunction4 months ago

Wow that's great. Is it fully functional and working now?

Yep. Fully functional. Has a micro screen from a pair of VR glasses I picked up on eBay. So the screen is in the viewfinder. And the lens is able to be focused as well.
SilverJimny (author)  fashionneverfunction4 months ago

fantastic. Post an instructable for it :)

wheeljam2 months ago

Can this setup record video?? Record from multiple cameras?? This looks like something I could build and mount to my motorcycle.

doobsgoobs85 months ago

would it be ok if I use the model B+?

(sorry i'm a noob!).

SilverJimny (author)  doobsgoobs85 months ago

if you want, but it won't fit in the SnapPiCam as it is designed for the Model A

cherzog27 months ago
it would be cool if you could manufacture that case.
SilverJimny (author)  cherzog27 months ago

the SnapPiCam has an impressive dynamic range, see how I edited your first picture


Just think of the B&W images using a Pi Noir with a 700nm pass filter.

SilverJimny (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago

ooo, nice. What did you do to get it like that?

Just some level adjusting and a mask for the sky. Actually the essential feature to identify a good digital camera is not the image resolution, but the dynamic range. Not for nothing Canon reduced resolution in his last G model to improve the image quality. So I believe 5 megapixel is good for almost everyhting (except of course high-res images). Always try to not overexpose the sky to make nice pictures.

SilverJimny (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago

Thanks for the tip :)

MoTinkerGNome11 months ago

Great project SilverJimmy, I picked up a 3.5 PiTFT to use for a portable emulator and I am going to change it to a 5 inch HDMI, I guess I am going to have to pick up another PI for the TFT and a camera board....

Buying a incorrect part does not a problem make, it presents us with an opportunity to build something else.

kenyer1 year ago

Cool Kickstarter! I hope you do well.

yichone1 year ago

i have bought a night vision raspberry pi camera at http://www.smartarduino.com/raspberry-pi-night-vision-camera-rpi-ir-infrared-webcam_p94407.html, but can i do it?

5t0rm1 year ago

How did you set up the touch screen from adafruit

SilverJimny (author)  5t0rm1 year ago
nerd74731 year ago

you should make your own app/distro that changes to a camera as soon as teh pi boots... that would be very cool

SilverJimny (author)  nerd74731 year ago

It does do that :)

what program did you end up using and how does one such as yourself go about doing that?

esperling1 year ago

I just need to build a simple camera where I can use lipo power, hit a button, record to sd. film from an rc car and then grab the video. could you point me to something like that? sorry if that's a remedial question. I'm a noob

SilverJimny (author)  esperling1 year ago

Haha i am aware of the gopro and appreciate the response, however, in this build im looking to mount 3-4 cameras to record a 360 degree field of view and i need the whole setup to be as compact as possible

SilverJimny (author)  esperling1 year ago

I suggest using cheap digital cameras, eBay would be a good point to start your research from.

Discovered that my Pi has an antiquated an unsightly growth that your pi does not-

Any advice before I do this?: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=32331

2014-03-03 20.04.33.jpg

Figured it out... need to make amendments for my Model B. Stay tuned.

SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey1 year ago

It might be better to just get a Model A

Hey SilverJimny-

Hopefully, you don't mind me asking- how did you deal with the slant due to the pi cam pins?

As you can see, assembly is still in progress...

2014-02-22 17.04.21.jpg
SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey1 year ago

3mm Sticky foam pad behind the camera stuck to the acrylic. The screws tighten the camera down onto the foam keeping it level.


Laser cutting gave me one extra piece than what is shown here. I'll try to figure it out in the next few days (still waiting on microbarbs to arrive).

2014-02-18 20.30.43.jpg
SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey1 year ago


Did some laser cutting today... and so it begins

2014-02-18 18.08.11.jpg
fotosyn1 year ago

Totally blown away by this. Everything is so well crafted - great idea with the layering of cut plastic slices.

SilverJimny (author)  fotosyn1 year ago

Thanks :)

slimbore1 year ago
I do understand , any image interface require lens / at least pin hole , what I need to know can I replace existing lens with a camera lense wich can be adjust focuse. , so that I can replace 35mm film with image interface?
SilverJimny (author)  slimbore1 year ago

If you are asking if you can fit a standard Canon or similar lens onto the SnapPiCam then the answer is no, not without modification to the design.

arquimana1 year ago
Very nice project! Congrats!
Are there laser plans for download?
Can't wait for build one.

SilverJimny (author)  arquimana1 year ago


The plans are attached to the last step.

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