Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 Boasts Autofocus, HDR + More

Say cheese — a brand new Raspberry Pi camera module has arrived!

Unveiled today, the Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 is the first major camera update produced by the company since 2020.

Naturally, plenty of big improvements are the frame. The Camera Module 3 boasts a higher resolution, and is available in variants that offer infrared, HDR, a wide angle field-of-view, and fast, powered autofocus.

The Camera Module 3 uses 12-megapixel Song IMX708 sensor. This is larger than the camera sensor offered in the Camera Module 2, first released in 2016.

A bigger sensor means sharper images, plus better low-light sensitivity. The 16:9 aspect ratio means the unit captures 1080p HD video at up to 50 frames per second, using the full area of the sensor.

Autofocus in action

But for me the scene stealer is the built-in powered autofocus. While this does make the camera unit noticeably thicker than before it unlocks a wider range of usage, with the camera now able to focus on objects from 2-inches away up to infinity.

Four modules are available:

  • Camera Module 3 $25
  • Camera Module 3 Wide $35
  • Camera Module 3 NoIR $25
  • Camera Module 3 NoIR Wide $35

The standard FoV provides a 66 degree horizontal FoV (~28mm full-frame lens); the wide angle variant provides a 102 degree horizontal FoV (~14mm full-frame lens). HDR capability is included in all.

The NoIR (no infrared filter) variant are intended for those needing night-vision-style functionality.

the raspberry pi camera module 3
Image: Raspberry Pi

Developers should note that the new Camera Module 3 is supported by libcamera (and the libcamera-based Picamera2 beta) but it is not supported by legacy closed-source camera stack.

Want in? You can buy the camera from today at the Raspberry Pi store which has links to approved Raspberry Pi sellers.