In a nutshell: Raspberry Pi has launched a new camera module that aims to take photography projects to the next level through significantly improved image quality and flexibility. It retails for $50 but appears to be sold out at the moment, at least in the US.

Dubbed the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, the module features a 12.3-megapixel Sony IMX477 sensor with adjustable back focus and support for C- and CS-mount lenses. It is compatible with nearly every Raspberry Pi model available, from the Pi 1 Model B onward. Full specifications are as follows:

  • Sony IMX477R stacked, back-illuminated sensor, 12.3 megapixels, 7.9 mm sensor diagonal, 1.55 μm × 1.55 μm pixel size
  • Ouput: RAW12/10/8, COMP8
  • Back focus: Adjustable (12.5 mm–22.4 mm)
  • Lens standards: C-mount, CS-mount (C-CS adapter included)
  • IR cut filter: Integrated
  • Ribbon cable length: 200 mm
  • Tripod mount: 1/4”-20

The company behind the hardware said the new camera module will remain in production until at least January 2027.

This isn’t the first camera module from Raspberry Pi – models based on the OmniVision OV5647 5‑megapixel sensor and Sony’s 8-megapixel IMX219 sensor also come to mind – but this is by far the highest quality to date. It’s also the first that supports interchangeable lenses, opening Pi camera projects up to a whole new realm of possibilities.

Those interested in the camera module are also encouraged to check out the new Official Raspberry Pi Camera Guide. Publishes by Raspberry Pi Press, it covers how to set up the module with your Raspberry Pi computer and offers tips on using filters and effects to enhance your images. The book additionally affords advice on how to set up projects like smart doorbells, stop-motion animation stations and wildlife cameras. It’s available to download for free in PDF format or you can buy a physical copy for £10.00 ($12.57).