Last month, the Raspberry Pi Foundation said that its camera board's hardware was finalised and the board would be priced at $25 (Rs 1,300 approx.). Now, almost a month later, the Foundation has announced that the first camera boards have been sent for production, and it should be able to start selling them sometime in April.

In a bid to get some feedback about how the camera boards perform in various scenarios, the folks at Raspberry Pi are giving away 10 pre-production camera boards, so the community can help them do some hard testing. We want the people we send these boards to do something computationally difficult and imaginative with them, so that the cameras are pushed hard in the sort of bonkers scheme that we’ve seen so many of you come up with here before with your Pis, and so that we can learn how they perform (and make adjustments if necessary). The community here always seems to come up with applications for the stuff we do that we wouldn’t have thought of in a million years; we thought we should take advantage of that,Pi Foundation's Liz Upton wrote.

Camera module on the Raspberry Pi

Up for grabs for the imaginative

The Foundation is giving away the camera boards in a manner not unlike Google's Glass competition—only this time, it's free. People who are interested in a free camera board will have to send their ideas to and tell Raspberry Pi what they plan to do with the camera board. You can even add details about any other projects or products you've previously worked on to bolster your proposal. It does not matter if the projects you mention were related to a camera or not.

The Foundation expects the camera board to be used to do something imaginative. “Think about playing around with facial recognition; or hooking two of them up together and modging the images together to create some 3d output; or getting the camera to recognise when something enters the frame that shouldn’t be there and doing something to the image as a result,” a post detailing the announcement adds. The competition is open worldwide until March 12.

Raspberry Pi first showed off the camera in November last year. The camera has a 5-megapixel sensor and can record 1080p H.264 video at 30 frames per second. This board will plug into the currently unused CSI pins on the Pi, using I²C for control. The Foundation says it is also working on a display board, which will be launched after the camera board comes to the market.

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