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PiSight

I put a Raspberry Pi inside an Apple iSight. You can read more about the PiSight on Medium.

PiSight photo front view

Hardware

Part Info Price (2020)
Apple iSight Available new and used on eBay $15 to 150
Raspberry Pi Zero The W version adds Wifi, which makes working with it easier and opens it up to more applications $5 or $10
Raspberry Pi Camera V2 Supports 1080p@30 or 720p@60, at a 62° horizontal field of view $29.95
M2.6 screws 4 of M2.6 x 0.45 mm Thread, 6 mm long $9.26 for 25
M2 screws 2 of M2 x 0.4 mm Thread, 4 mm long $13.28 for 100
O-ring Covers the gap around the lens $6.16 for 50
Raspberry Pi Zero camera cable A few options, but the 15 cm long narrow ones seem to work best $3.49
Micro-USB cable Many options, just need to fit the iSight adapter $8.99
3D-printed frame Use PiSight.stl or PiSight.step, dimensions in mm, cost varies significantly depending on material quality $50 to $200

PiSight rendered side view

Software

The PiSight camera implements the UVC standard via the Gadget API, which turns the Raspberry Pi and camera into a plug-and-play USB webcam. I used the instructions in David Hunt's blog post, with a few modifications in my own fork of uvc-gadget.

I consolidated these steps into a setup script, so you simply need to install Raspberry Pi OS, enable the camera and serial interfaces via raspi-config, and then run:

git clone https://github.com/maxbbraun/pisight
cd pisight
sudo ./setup.sh

Update: There is now an alternative setup option thanks to the showmewebcam project, which is better maintained and provides pre-built optimized images (provided you don't mind seeing Piwebcam instead of PiSight in settings).

PiSight in Zoom settings

About

Apple iSight with a Raspberry Pi inside

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