When Raspberry Pi announced its 12.3MP High Quality Camera module in April 2020, it opened up a whole new world of photo-centric DIY projects. One such project that’s come as a result of its release is the RUHAcam, a ‘retro-style’ digital camera made from scratch by Ping-Hsun ‘penk’ Chen and Ruha Cheng.

The RUHAcam is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to a Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera module, which accepts C and CS mount lenses. Other features include a built-in 2,000mAg Li-Pi battery, a 2.2” TFT display that serves as the viewfinder and a 3D-printed case clearly inspired by SLR cameras from the past. The camera is still a work in progress, but is fully functional and captures rather impressive images when used with the 16mm lens ‘penk’ and Cheng attached to it for the following sample photos:

In addition to sharing detailed instructions on how to make your own RUHAcam at home, ‘penk’ and Cheng published the 3D design components and software required to run the camera for free under MIT license. This means you’re free to build an exact replica of the RUHAcam or use it as a base to make your own DIY digital camera.

In speaking with DPReview, ‘penk’ said the duo ‘plan to improve more on the software side, to add controls to the UI using Pi’s libcamera stack, and to leverage Raspberry Pi more as a server to easily share captured images with smartphones.’ You can find all of the instructions and materials needed to make your own on the RUHAcam GitHub Page.