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I would like to build a project with the Raspberry Pi Zero and the camera module. I'd like to write custom software to capture video, do minimal processing and send it on using wifi and/or bluetooth. The really small form factor is very important for me.

Unfortunately, as anyone interested in the RPI Zero would know, it is perpetually unavailable.

What are some alternative platforms that may be interesting for me to investigate that will allow me to do the same thing, hopefully with similar ease of development?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The Pi compute module may be a better option for commercial products with a large MOQ. \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Oct 27 '16 at 8:27
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Your best bet is the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

  • It's just as easy to use as the Zero, but easier to find
  • Its first-party camera is excellent and has simple libraries
  • It has onboard powered USB ports for webcams
  • A subminiature "Spy Camera" and low-light camera are available
  • It has a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module built right onto the board

The Zero is better for size-constrained applications, but the full-featured Pi 3 seems better for this project.

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Another cheaper option would be C.H.I.P., that have CSI pins available, very low price (9$) and really small from factor.

N.B. There are already several options for video capture under Linux, which could save you from having to write custom software.

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