Raspberry Pi Cinema Camera

This Raspberry Pi Cinema Camera can shoot high end video for a fraction of the cost of a fancy broadcast camera.

The demo video below was shot with the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, plus a 6mm lens, on a 4GB Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. It was captured in 12-bit RAW DNG, 2028×1080 at 24fps, and DaVinci Resolve was used to edit the RAW footage.

Footage from the CinePi Vimeo profile

A passion for filmmaking and programming

This project’s author has been using Raspberry Pi products for years and finally got round to combining their passions for filmmaking and programming.

We usually come across interesting Raspberry Pi projects on reddit, Twitter or YouTube, so it was nice to find this brilliant creation by schoolpost on our own forums.

Raspberry Pi Cinema Camera

In their forum post, the keen filmmaker explains:

For those that know, high end film/video cameras typically shoot high resolution ( 4K+ ) with very good codecs (RAW when possible) and with tons of manual control for high flexibility to manipulate images in the post processing stage.

Out of the box the Raspberry Pi provides a very friendly experience to work with cameras, with convenience features like auto white-balance, auto exposure, efficient h264/jpeg codec. These features cater to a wide variety of general applications, but for high end video work these are often hindrances that restrict you from controlling the quality of your image.

So they sought to combine the best elements of shooting high-end video with the ease of use that Raspberry Pi offers. It seems like it worked: they believe what they’ve built is capable of shooting at the same specs you find on cameras costing $1000 and up.

Raspberry Pi Cinema Camera editing suite
Davinci Resolve editing suite in action

Contributions welcome

All the software to enable cinema camera capabilities for Raspberry Pi is on GitHub, and schoolpost is inviting contributions to help them clean up the code. They explain that they just wanted to get to where they are now without spending too much time making everything elegant, and say they’ll appreciate a friendly piling-in to help on the software side.

5 comments

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Will love to buy this camera for my new project, I want to start a Youtube channel where I will be sharing my tours. Hope this camera is a perfect match for it.

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Wonderful project. I want to build a teleprompter with a camera like this behind the translucent mirror. I expected “they” would improve the gpu sooner. The one with the teleprompter was meant to be one of five cameras in a vodcast studio to be. Now that I’ve read this I can no longer wait to play some with the hq camera.

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any hints on how to get audio and video to sync??

I can not get it to work

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This is a very interesting article! I am wondering though if you can achieve the same quality levels using a smaller board, like the Zero or the new Zero 2. And does it matter what type of microSD card you use?

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What about Adrucam 16MP?

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