Raspberry Pi + Canon = Camera Pi: ARM 11 and Linux hack of a Canon 5D Mk II DSLR

Here’s a link to a very interesting and cool hack of a Canon 5D Mk II DSLR achieved by stuffing a Raspberry Pi Linux-based single-board computer into an accessory battery grip. EDA360 Insider has covered the Raspberry Pi board before. (See “3D Thursday: Raspberry Pi Foundation’s $25 ARM board boots Linux using stacked DRAM.”) The board is a Linux platform based on a 700MHz ARM 11 processor core running in a Broadcom Mobile Multimedia Processor SoC. It attaches 128 or 256 Mbytes of SDRAM on top of the Broadcom SoC using POP (package-on-package) 3D assembly. Significantly, it sells for about $25!

Photographer David Hunt says he had the idea to couple a single-board computer to the Canon 5D Mk II DSLR for “a couple of years” and that the Raspberry Pi’s specifications triggered his desire. He took action. Using an old, broken battery grip, Hunt installed the Raspberry Pi board into the space formerly occupied by two batteries in the grip.

The Raspberry Pi communicates with the camera via a USB port (the Raspberry Pi is the host in this case). It can download the images via USB and then transmit the images via WiFi or Ethernet. In later updates, Hunt notes that he’s now got the Raspberry Pi clicking the shutter on the camera.

Here’s a video of the whole thing in action:

For more information, see Hunt’s August 13 blog post, “Camera Pi—DSLR Camera with Embedded Computer,” where you’ll find detailed images of this ingenious hack.

About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at https://eda360insider.wordpress.com/)
This entry was posted in ARM, EDA360, Linux and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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