Raspberry Pi Camera

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Enable Camera

On Raspberry Pi OS-Desktop:

  • access the start menu
  • Preferences->Raspberry Pi Configuration

On the command line:

  • sudo raspi-config
  • enable/disable the camera in interface options

Verify Camera

vcgencmd allows us to query the VideoCore GPU - we can use this to verify our camera has been detected:

vcgencmd get_camera # supported=1 detected=1 when successful

If this is unsuccessful, the PiCam cable may not be connected properly.

Take a Photo

raspistill -o image.jpg

Run raspistill --help to see all of the additional options and filtering available.

Another tool raspiyuv generates uncompressed images which can be useful for computer vision.

Take a Video

raspivid -o vid.h264 -t 10000

The -t flag sets how long to record in milliseconds

  • default is 5000 milliseconds
  • set to 0 to record until cancelled


Assuming we have a raspberry pi on, and we would like to stream on port 5000:

raspivid -t 0 -w 320 -h 240 --inline --listen -o tcp://

On client side:

vlc tcp/h264://

I have found that gstreamer has significantly lower latency than using raspivid directly. See GStreamer RPi Streaming.

Python pycamera Library

Install the pycamera library on Raspberry Pi OS:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3-pycamera

Capturing an Image

from picamera import PiCamera

camera = PiCamera()

Recording a Video

from picamera import PiCamera

camera = PiCamera()

See the Basic Recipies Documentation for more.