Pint-Sized Raspberry Pi Zero Gains FPC Camera Connector, Keeps $5 Price

Budding programmers and makers on a budget were treated to the Raspberry Pi Zero last November, and despite carrying a shockingly low price of just $5, the Raspberry Pi Foundation was somehow "blindsided" by the level of demand. That's only going to increase now that a camera connector's been added.

Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton said it was "through dumb luck" that the same size FPC connector used on the company's Compute Module Development Kit happened to fit perfectly on the right hand side of the Raspberry Pi Zero. All it took was some rearranging of components and just like that, the least expensive version of Raspberry Pi was upgraded with one of the most frequently demanded missing features.

Raspberry Pi Camera

The best part about this is the addition of a camera connector didn't affect the price—it's still a $5 module, and a surprisingly capable one at that. It uses the same Broadcom BCM2835 application processor as the original Raspberry Pi, but is clocked a little faster at 1GHz. It also has 512MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, microSD card slot, mini HDMI socket for Full HD 1080p video output at 60 frames per second, micro USB sockets, an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header, and an unpopulated composite video header.

There's no Ethernet port or Wi-Fi connectivity, but it's tough to complain about such things at this price point. And with the addition of a camera connector, one that's compatible with Raspberry Pi's upgraded Sony IMX219 8-megapixel image sensor, it's suddenly more capable. You could build a cheap nanny cam, pet cam, or even a home security system.

Upton said another 30,000 Raspberry Pi Zero PCs were shipped to retailers today (you can purchase one in the U.S. online at Adafruit and in-store at Micro Center) and that thousands more will be made daily.