ZeroCam Raspberry Pi Zero NoIR Camera

The ZeroCam NoIR is a tiny camera for the Raspberry Pi Zero that does not have an infrared filter. This kind of camera is more suitable for recording in low light compared to a regular camera. Because of that, it is ideal for recording wildlife in the night time. Or as part of a home security system. Furthermore, it can record even in complete darkness, with the help of an infrared lamp.

If you want to get an all-in-one bundle, check out this camera kit that combines infrared LEDs with a fisheye lens:

noir camera zerocam raspberry pi zero

First, in order to use the ZeroCam, you need to enable the camera interface of the Raspberry Pi. To do that, type in a terminal:

sudo raspi-config

Next, the menu below appear. In there, select option 5 – ‘Interfacing Options’:

enable camera zerocam raspberry pi zero

Then select the first option to enable the camera interface:

Raspbian already has some libraries to enable you to use the camera module. To capture a picture and save it as image.jpg:

raspistill -o image.jpg

To take a 10 seconds video and save it to video.h264 file:

raspivid -o video.h264 -t 10000

For full documentation of the camera module, see the official guide.

Here is an example of how this camera works in normal light. The plant pots are originally blue. However, with a NoIR camera, the colors are a bit desaturated:

zerocam noir light picture

Finally, below it’s the same picture. Only this time it’s in complete darkness, illuminated by an infrared LED. Additionally, I used the exposure setting, and set it to ‘night’.

zerocam noir darkness picture

If you don’t have a Raspberry Pi Zero, but a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, you can still connect the ZeroCam. For that you need an adapter. In my future posts, I will show how to use this camera to create a streaming server and to create security system with a PIR sensor.


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