Billy O'Sullivan's Paparazzo Turns a Raspberry Pi HQ Camera Module Into a Chunky Handheld Camera

Python-powered camera in a 3D-printed shell is portable, but not exactly pocket-friendly.

Maker Billy O'Sullivan has designed a conversion kit to turn a Raspberry Pi and High Quality (HQ) Camera Module into a point-and-shoot, menu-driven chunky portable camera dubbed the Paparazzo.

"Want to learn about photography but not spend 1000s of Euros? Then do what I did and build your own using a Raspberry Pi (non-Zero models for this due to the screen) and the PI HQ camera module," O'Sullivan writes. "I wrote the software for this using pygame and the picamera library to make this chongus which you can build and use to harass your favorite celebrities!"

Inside the chunky 3D-printed housing is a full-size Raspberry Pi single-board computer, which runs custom Python code to provide a menu for operation on a rear-facing screen with four physical buttons linked to the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins. The Raspberry Pi HQ Camera Module, meanwhile, is mounted at the front β€” exposing the threads that provide support for interchangeable C/CS lenses.

"For this I wanted to put a ridiculously big flash on the side like an old fashioned newspaper reporter camera person might have, but ran out of time," O'Sullivan admits. "If I make it again it will be a lot smaller."

This isn't the first Raspberry Pi-powered device O'Sullivan has designed. Earlier this year he showcased the Armatron, a modular 3D-printed wearable inspired by the Pip-Boy from the Fallout game franchise; last month he unveiled a functional motion tracker pulled from the game Alien: Isolation.

The Python source code for the Paparazzo is available on O'Sullivan's GitHub repository under the reciprocal GNU General Public License 3, with the 3D print files for the housing published to Printables under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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