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!

The SnapPiCam is on Kickstater!

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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andrea biffi8 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 biffi8 months 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 biffi8 months ago

Thanks for the tip :)

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.

kenyer2 months ago

Cool Kickstarter! I hope you do well.

yichone4 months ago

i have bought a night vision raspberry pi camera at, but can i do it?

5t0rm6 months ago

How did you set up the touch screen from adafruit

SilverJimny (author)  5t0rm6 months ago
nerd74737 months 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)  nerd74737 months ago

It does do that :)

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

esperling7 months 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)  esperling7 months 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)  esperling7 months ago

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

CactusMonkey7 months ago

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

Any advice before I do this?:

2014-03-03 20.04.33.jpg

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

SilverJimny (author)  CactusMonkey7 months ago

It might be better to just get a Model A

CactusMonkey8 months ago

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)  CactusMonkey8 months ago

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

CactusMonkey8 months ago

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)  CactusMonkey8 months ago


CactusMonkey8 months ago

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

2014-02-18 18.08.11.jpg
fotosyn8 months ago

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

SilverJimny (author)  fotosyn8 months ago

Thanks :)

slimbore8 months 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)  slimbore8 months 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.

arquimana8 months ago
Very nice project! Congrats!
Are there laser plans for download?
Can't wait for build one.

SilverJimny (author)  arquimana8 months ago


The plans are attached to the last step.

slimbore8 months ago

I wassearching for conversion of my Fusica wide angle couple range finder camera , as I love this camera , don't want to through in scrap. as 35mm film becoming obslete nowadays. No0w even I can dream of having camcorder. of my own built.


SilverJimny (author)  slimbore8 months ago

My pleasure :)

One more query, Does it possible to use lense of present camera? or the interface has lense / pinhole for?

SilverJimny (author)  slimbore8 months ago

do you mean use it without a lens on it?

MikB SilverJimny8 months ago

I think this confusion is because your first example pictures is labelled "without lens", which is of course unlikely to give an image. You mean "without additional lens, but with the built in Pi Camera Lens", right?

SilverJimny (author)  MikB8 months ago

Yes thats right.

One more query, Does it possible to use lense of present camera? or the interface has lense / pinhole for?

JoQuez248 months ago

what other alternatives can make for the camera body and CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

SilverJimny (author)  JoQuez248 months ago

Just about any 3mm and 1mm thick sheet material should work. So long as you can cut the shapes out yoiu should be fine.

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