Raspberry Pi eye is a £20 camera for photos and HD video

The Raspberry Pi eye is a £20 camera module that shoots 5-megapixel photos and high-definition video for your home-built computer.

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Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Say cheese: you can now get a webcam for your home-built Raspberry Pi computer. The Raspberry Pi eye is a £20 camera module that shoots 5-megapixel photos and high-definition video.

The makers of the Pi eye, element14, suggest that the camera can be connected to your home-brew Raspberry Pi for security and VoIP projects, perhaps as a webcam beaming images to another computer.

As well as taking photos, the camera module films high-definition 1080p or 720p video, or 640x480-pixel video at 60 or 90fps. 

The Pi eye has a sensor and lens and little else, attaching to one of the small sockets on the Raspberry Pi's upper surface.

One thing it doesn't have is a button to make it go: instead, you have to type out a line of code in your Pi terminal. Typing /opt/vc/bin/raspicam -o mypicture.jpg and hitting return captures a snap a moment later. Other lines of code give you different effects, including retro effects or negative colours.

For more on setting up the camera check out the official guide to getting started, or hit play below for more.

The Raspberry Pi camera module costs £20 from CPC, and it's on sale now.

Once you've bought a camera and connected it to your Raspberry Pi, the people behind it are calling for your photos in a competition to win a supply of new Raspberry Pi accessories throughout the rest of the year. Take a picture of your desk or workspace, your Pi project, people or pets in your life, or lug the camera kit outside for an outdoors shot. Snaps will be uploaded to Facebook and a public vote to select an overall winner after 14 June 2013.

And in the meantime, here's our guide to how to get started with the Raspberry Pi, plus 25 fun things to do with a Raspberry Pi.

Do you have a Raspberry Pi? What would you do if you could build your own camera? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or cut us a slice of Pi on our Facebook wall.