Raspberry Pi Captures Close-Up Images of the Moon

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: DoomMonkey266)

The Raspberry Pi has tons of cool accessories, both official and from third parties. From HATs and servos to switches and more, there’s tons of cool stuff to build your projects with. But what do you do when the official component isn’t powerful enough? Rig your own, of course! Today we’re sharing an awesome camera mod from a maker known as DoomMonkey266 who’s connected a high-powered Canon lens to his Pi to take some stellar photography.

DoomMonkey266 has dubbed this project the ZoomPi. It’s capable of zooming incredible distances that the official Camera Module could never achieve. The lens is a Tamron 80-210mm Canon EF that was initially used with DoomMonkey’s old 35mm film camera. After seeing it sit around unused for so long, attaching it to the Pi just seemed appropriate.

The primary goal of the project, according to DoomMonkey, was to create a camera rig strong enough to capture an up-close shot of the moon. Without enough zooming ability, most moon shots look like a little dot in a sea of black. In this case, however, DoomMonkey managed to snag an excellent shot of our favorite natural satellite.

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: DoomMonkey266)

In order to get the lens to fit a compatible Pi camera, DoomMonkey used some 3D-printed components. You can find them over at Printables to get a better idea of how they go together. For this project, the lens is connected to an HQ Camera Module.

DoomMonkey explained that some custom code was necessary to operate the camera setup using their laptop. This was accomplished using Python along with Picamera2, OpenCV, Zeromq and Msgpack. The setup allows for more control for things like exposure as well as resolution.

If you want to see this Raspberry Pi project in action, check out the full thread shared by DoomMonkey266 over at Reddit, and be sure to follow them for more cool projects as well as any future updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.