SparkFun Raspberry Pi Zero W Camera Kit

The SparkFun Raspberry Pi Zero W Camera Kit provides you with a pan/tilt camera controlled via a Raspberry Pi Zero W. This kit consists of parts that are easy to assemble and program, expanding the Raspberry Pi Zero W's IoT capabilities and highly tailored accessibility to the Pi Camera Module. With the Zero W camera kit, you will be able to create homemade motion-activated security systems, webcam interfaces for streaming, or monitoring stations for any number of projects and adventures. After just a few steps you'll be set up in no time with your very own remote camera system!

Inside this kit is everything you need to assemble your pan/tilt camera, including a Raspberry Pi Zero W, our own Pi Servo HAT, a Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2, a pan/tilt bracket with servos, and all the cables and headers you need to hook them all up. We have also written an in-depth assembly guide that walks you through each step to put together your kit, as well as programming steps utilizing the Raspbian Jesse Image and libraries. This guide can be found below.

Note: The Pan/Tilt Bracket in this kit does not come pre-built, so some assembly is required. Check our Documents for a complete Assembly Guide.

SparkFun Raspberry Pi Zero W Camera Kit Product Help and Resources

Pi Servo Hat Hookup Guide

September 14, 2017

This hookup guide will show you how to connect and use the Pi Servo Hat in a project.

Setting Up the Pi Zero Wireless Pan-Tilt Camera

September 14, 2017

This tutorial will show you how to assemble, program, and access the Raspberry Pi Zero as a headless wireless pan-tilt camera.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

3 Robotics

Skill Level: Competent - You may need an understanding of servo motors and how to drive them. Additionally, you may need some fundamental understanding of motor controllers.
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Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

3 Programming

Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • William Kalfelz / about 7 years ago / 1

    Comeon, that thing wooobles like crazy... :-(

Customer Reviews

3 out of 5

Based on 7 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Pi - great; Hat good; Servos = typical but cheap and disfunctional

Overall this is a fun package to set up and use. The instructions are detailed and clear. It includes 2 sg90 mini servos and they are the common ones used in various products. Unfortunately, they are not the quality of the other components and in my case, they slowly wandered rather than holding their position. I order new ones and all is much better (still slow and imprecise compared to an RC airplane etc.).

Not a Sparkfun issue but it would be nice if the browser interface included a "center" button/command.

Sparkfun was understanding and responsive.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Fun little Pan/Tilt Security or Time Lapse Camera

While none of the components of this kit are astounding by themselves, together they make a nice Pan/Tilt Security or Time lapse camera system. The Pi Zero is a bit underpowered to do much image analysis, but it is excellent for controlling the servos and Pi Camera. The one thing I liked most about this kit is actually free! The RPi_Cam_Web_Interface is a great tool for controlling the Pi Cam and both streaming and recording video and photos.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Does as advertised, but needs some structural reinforcement

This is a good product, but the pan/tilt assembly is what I would call "rickity". To be useful at all, you will need to mount the pan/tilt to something solid, otherwise the whole assembly jumps or falls over.

The Guide that goes along with this is useful, and I was able to follow it with some "gotchas" along the way, but that's pretty normal for electronic projects.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

A nice collection of parts, good price, good instuctions.

Put together was easy. I noticed some differences in the Pi Zero setup. Mostly in the network part. Why all the work as far a using a serial terminal? Why not use the hdmi port. The os set up the wifi, why do I need to create files? I still have not able to connect to the Pi Zero web page.

2 of 5 found this helpful:

Camera kit falls short of the standard set by Heathkit

From the 40's to the 90's Heathkit company produced electronic products for assembly. Just imagine building your own colour television set from a kit. It is hard to imagine that it was even possible to provide clear instructions over the scale of such a project. They did and did it very well I might add.

The camera kit assembly instructions fell far below that standard. To start, the picture of the bill of materials didn't match what came in the delivered kit. And what is with the red lines in the pic? Oh, you discover at the end you will never use those parts. I do confess at one point the instructions indicate there are a few extra parts. Phew, not just a few.

I'm not accustom to writing reviews. To placate myself after a such a frustrating ordeal, I planned on writing a diatribe on my experience. Then I decided to provide simple words to describe the experience.

Fragmented, fractured, in-congruent, inaccurate, short sighted, falls short, misleading, incomplete, wrong audience, disappointing, frustrating and disheartening. Ah yes, perseverance, I did get is completed in the end.

"You may need to assemble and disassemble these two parts a couple of times to find the right rotational position of the servo motor so that the tilting portion has its full range of motion." Really folks, that is the best you can do? I have 35 years in electronics. I had to draw on all the skills from the full 35years to finish the assembly. I pity the poor soul who is a hobbyist.

This was my first Sparkfun purchase. I had high expectations, considering the extensive materials made available and quality information I have found on the site. Oh buy the way. After the build I wound up with two flat ribbon cables. On long and one very short. They don't have connectors matching anything on the pi, camera or servo driver board. They didn't appear in the picture either. Should I return them? I assuming they may be from another kit or did I miss something in the instructions?

Two important problems

There are two important problems that I had with this product:

  1. The pan servo has a annoying buzz when idle. I think this might be an issue of the code given that it has no problem when I tested with an Arduino.
  2. The mount does not appropriately hold the pan servo, when I "sandwiched" the pieces it has a gap of about 3mm, sufficiently for the thing to wobbly itself at each move.

Easy to assemble, but don't get full range of motion

The step-by-step guide to assemble went great, thanks for a very thorough document!

The code suggested for this needs some SparkFun love. Powered off, the pan servo rotates more than 180 degrees and the tilt servo rotates almost 180 degrees. Powered up with the suggested software I get maybe 90-100 degrees of pan movement and at best 90 degrees of tilt movement. Unfortunately there's code in JavaScript, PHP, and Python all controlling the camera, so it's very difficult to tell which code to tweak. The JS code sends a pan/tilt value to PHP which writes it to a FIFO that Python reads. It'd be nice if SparkFun perhaps forked the suggested code and helped us tweak it to get full range of motion.

BTW, putting some screws in the package to secure the bottom of the pan/tilt assembly would be nice. The servos move fast enough that the whole assembly will fall off-balance if you just sit it on a table.