Raspberry Pi seems to be developing into a complete system for DIY. Now we have a video camera to add to the list of goodies - and it's only $25.
The Raspberry Pi, the low-cost ARM-based computer, seems to be used for just about every type of computing you care to think of. If $35 is too much for your budget, then there is the $25 model A, with a reduced specification - mainly no network interface.
The Pi is used for everything from multimedia players, through programming platforms, to embedded controllers But until recently it lacked a simple way to get video data. Now we have a simple camera module almost ready to ship.
The good news is that it is expected to cost as little as $25. The slightly bad news is that it is only 5 mega pixels, but this is reasonable for such a low-cost module and for the computing powers of the Pi - it's still more than 1080p Hi-Def video for example.
It is small and attaches to the Pi via a 15cm ribbon cable. This allows it to be directly interfaced to the GPU via a special connector on the board, i.e. not the GPIO, with a bandwidth good enough for video. The lens isn't removable and it is fixed focus - again reasonable for the price and resolution.
People are already working out what to do with the new module and ideas range from snapping wildlife, robotics, baby monitors, night vision and balloon payloads. After all at $60 (for the Pi plus camera) this is one video payload you can probably afford to lose!
The module is expected to be available in about a month - there is some work to do on the drivers.