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Pi Zero tweak adds camera connector, keeps $5 price

May 16, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,415 views

The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of the Raspberry Pi Zero with a camera connector and the same $5 price.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation began shipping a new version 1.3 of the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero SBC that adds a camera connector. To hook up the connector to the Raspberry Pi Camera, you need to buy a new FPC adapter cable, which has yet to be priced. The custom six-inch FPC adapter cable “converts from the fine-pitch connector format to the coarser pitch used by the camera board,” he writes Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton on the Raspberry Pi Blog.

Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 (front) and rear views
(click images to enlarge)

“Through dumb luck, the same fine-pitch FPC connector that we use on the [Raspberry Pi] Compute Module Development Kit just fits onto the right hand side of the board,” writes Upton. He adds that first generation Raspberry Pi Zeros have all sold out quickly, but a batch of 30,000 cam-enabled Zeros has just reached market.

Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3 with its camera accessory
(click image to enlarge)

Raspbian image adds Bluetooth support

The Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 was announced three days after a new version of Raspbian Linux was announced. The unnamed release adds UI elements for controlling the Raspberry Pi 3‘s Bluetooth radio via a plugin for the lxpanel taskbar.

Raspbian Bluetooth menu (left) and dialog UI elements
(click images to enlarge)

The Bluetooth support is still said to be fairly limited, but pairing code is pretty much complete, and you can connect to Bluetooth speakers and headsets for audio. The new release also advances to Linux kernel 4.4, and adds an SD Card Copier application that can copy Raspbian from one card to another.

Further information

The Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 is available, according to the Pi Foundation, but at publication time was not quite ready for order. More information may be found at the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 announcement and this Adafruit Zero 1.3 page, which at publication time listed the board and the unpriced FPC cable as being out of stock, offering notification signup for availability. U.S. buyers can also go to Micro Center, says the Pi Foundation, but at publication time this was still showing the old board without the connector. In both cases, prices start at $5. In Europe, it’s said to be available at The Pi Hut and Pimoroni.

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2 responses to “Pi Zero tweak adds camera connector, keeps $5 price”

  1. Daniel says:

    It’s not $5 if you can’t buy it for $5.

    • chip says:

      As others have already pointed out the PiZero is most likely a marketing device intended to shift away users attention from similar products such as CHIP, Pine64, OrangePI and others.
      I for me would not design anything based on a board that is still almost non existent months after its first distribution, which is a clear sign that the producer itself doesn’t want to sell it.

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