PiCorder, the miniature camcorder

The modest dimensions of our Raspberry Pi Zero and its wirelessly connectable sibling, the Pi Zero W, enable makers in our community to build devices that are very small indeed. The PiCorder built by Wayne Keenan is probably the slimmest Pi-powered video-recording device we’ve ever seen.

PiCorder hardware

Wayne’s PiCorder is a very straightforward make. On the hardware side, it features a Pimoroni HyperPixel screen, Pi Zero camera module, and Zero LiPo plus LiPo battery pack. To put it together, he simply soldered header pins onto a Zero W, and connected all the components to it – easy as Pi! (Yes, I went there.)


So sleek as to be almost aerodynamic

Recording with the PiCorder (rePiCording?)

Then it was just a matter of installing the HyperPixel driver on the Pi, and the PiCorder was good to go. In this basic setup, recording is controlled via SSH. However, there’s a discussion about better ways to control the device in the comments on Wayne’s write-up. As the HyperPixel is a touchscreen, adding a GUI would make full use of its capabilities.

Picorder screen

Think about how many screens you’re looking at right now

The PiCorder is a great project to recreate if you’re looking to build a small portable camera. If you’re new to soldering, this build is perfect for you: just follow our ‘How to solder’ video and tutorial, and you’re on your way. This could be the start of your journey into the magical world of physical computing!

You could also check our blog on Alex Ellis‘s implementation of YouTube live-streaming for the Pi, and learn how to share your videos in real time.

Cool camera projects

Our educational resources include plenty of cool projects that could use the PiCorder, or for which the device could be adapted.

Get your head around using the official Raspberry Pi Camera Module with this picamera tutorial. Learn how to set up a stationary or wearable time-lapse camera, and turn your images into animated GIFs. You could also kickstart your career as a director by making an amazing stop-motion film!

No matter which camera project you choose to work on, we’d love to see the results. So be sure to share a link in the comments.


Andy avatar

Wow… throw a 3D printed case on that thing and you’ll have a polished, piece of recording equipment. Using the touchscreen sounds nice, but a physical button would be my preference. Either way – nice job Wayne!

AndrewS avatar

Ahh, the relentless march of technological progress ;-)

Mike Gregory avatar

Great project! Perfect for a car camera!

David avatar

Great project….if your using raspivid, how will you overcome the 2GB file size limit ?

James Carroll avatar

Supposedly that was fixed ages ago. https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59089

Claude Pageau avatar

https://youtu.be/PSrzbeVX8DE This is a demo of the Air Drum option of my sonic-track.py computer vision motion tracking programming project. It uses a usb or pi-camera to track motion and processes data and sends to sonic-pi. It can run on a console without accessing the GUI desktop. You can also play notes and change settings via motion activated menus. The project is available on github.

Esa Rantanen avatar

Took this project a step further with BlueDot, see: https://forums.pimoroni.com/t/raspi-camera-with-hyperpixel-and-bluedot/6033

quentin avatar

Hi guys !
i just don’t understand what soft you use for recording the video, do you use Picamera ?

Thanks !

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