Home Tech Gadgets Pieca: A Raspberry Pi camera system for M-Mount lenses

Pieca: A Raspberry Pi camera system for M-Mount lenses


Here’s another contender for the Leica entry-level camera: The Pieca mounts all your M glass and is based on a Raspberry Pi4 computer. Its cheerful Box Brownie/Polaroid visage and chunky handling could be just up your street if you are looking for a leg up on the Leica bandwagon. The only snag is that you’ll have to build it yourself.

In the Tea and Tech Time blog, Tdsepsilon describes how his obsession with the Leica rangefinder and his electronic chops combined to generate the Pieca Camera System. The pun is intended and far too appropriate to ignore.

Solving problems

As Mr T says, “This camera project is a culmination of countless hours of learning to code in various languages, designing 3D parts, printing them successfully, building basic electronic circuits, using optical elements, and solving complex problems in general”.

Based on the venerable Raspberry Pi4 processor and using a high-quality (but tiny) image sensor, the Leica incorporates a five-inch touch screen with live view and full manual controls. It has more ports than you can shake a stick at and incorporates a nifty USB stick with an additional USB-C connector.

The Peica makes for a fascinating story, and you can now read the full saga. Better still, watch the video. Pay special attention to the explanation of the tiny sensor, the resulting crop factor (which is not ideal for full-frame M lenses) and the “focal length reducer” secret.

… spot the crop factor

Now, which intrepid Macfilos reader is going to be the first to design and build their own Peica? I think this is one for Dunk, don’t you? Can you afford not to have a finger in the pi?

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  1. Ingenious and fun, ICL camera but any DIY electronic construction project is a ‘no go’ for my dodgy colour vision. The Peica’s user interface immediately reminded me of my now ancient Leica T. Look forward to hearing that a Macfilos’ regular(s) has built a Peica and seeing resultant speed-boosted images. Perhaps speed boosters could be an an interesting subject for a Macfilos article? They can offer means of using e.g., f0.85 on M4/3 cameras. I do not have a speed booster myself.

  2. I think this is fun. I have grandchildren now and while I watch them I wonder how I lost my playfulness when I got older and too serious. My 2 year old granddaughter recently has been using the toilet seat as a desk to draw on – who would have thought. I used to worry about what people would think of me wearing two watches and then I realized that was taking the joy and fun out of my life. I also think it would be a wee bit of creative fun to take this camera out and play with it. It would also certainly be a great conversation starter with strangers. I cannot wait to see what Jono could do with this. It certainly might make you stand out at a LSI event.

  3. When I watch tv commercials, I don’t know whether I’m becoming a brainless fossil or is that life’s just dancing and singing and jumping on the streets. Is otherwise everybody brainwashed? I don’t know, but that’s what this (ridiculous) camera makes me think about. Thanks

    • Ah, you are missing the fun here. Why does he do it? Because he can. It’s a glorious piece of fun. As a boy, I made a gramophone with Meccano. It was a bit rickety but played old 78s with aplomb, even if the sound was a bit scratchy. Then I got over-ambitious. I covered a flat disk, record size, with metal foil and set the gramophone needle and attached horn on the surface before furiously cranking the Meccano handle. I fondly imagined it would record my voice, but of course it didn’t. Still, it kept me entertained for hours…


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