In-depth review and comparison of the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera

Alex Ellis
11 min readMay 4, 2020

As a keen amateur photographer, I was immediately drawn in by the announcement on the Raspberry Pi blog about the new High Quality Camera — up to 12 megapixels — with adjustable lenses. Then, I noticed that something was missing — there were no comparisons or third-party reviews of the lenses to help the buyer decide which lens would suit them best. Worse than that, I would have to pay 150 USD up front to find out the differences.

Maybe that’s why you’re reading too? Should you upgrade or not?

In this post I’ll share sample photos from indoors, outdoors, and studio conditions to help you compare each of the lenses against the original fixed-focus camera. I’ll share my thoughts on the practicalities and use-cases for the new HQ cameras, are they suitable for photographers?. To wrap up, I’ll give you my hints and tips for accessing and operating the camera along with my recommendation so that you can potentially save yourself some money.

The rather vague press release from the Raspberry Pi blog

Well, I’ve spent the money, so that you don’t have to. So how do you know if you need a 6mm CCTV lens or 16mm? In the world of 35mm photography, a 6mm focal length would be rather exotic, producing something like a 360 panoramic effect. Clearly the sensor size of the RPi’s new camera isn’t 35mm, or even close APS-C (aka cropped), so there’s very little to go from.

1) Test 1 — unboxing and initial setup

Both the official stockists: The Pi Hut and CPC were out of stock, but my friends at Pimoroni still had it available. For some reason they were not listed as a vendor on the announcement.

The package arrived the next day and was the size of a large shoe box, it contained three smaller boxes: one with the familiar Raspberry Pi red branding, and the other two seemed to be third-party products from CGL Electronics Co. Ltd. The C and CS mount is popular in CCTV and even with cinematography, so the mount opens up new possibilities.

This is what you get for 150 USD