You could call this “the tiny camera that wasn’t”.

After proving the design, I’ve decided not to build my S-Pi camera. It just doesn’t have enough uniqueness or purpose. Whereas the Hawkeye Pi Camera truly does some cool stuff not otherwise possible, the S-Pi camera can be done better and cheaper by buying something that already exists.

major components for a spy camera
major components for a spy camera

The Raspberry Pi Zero W handles all of the processing for the S-Pi camera. The 160×128 pixel color display handles preview and the menu system. The PowerBoost board powers the setup and also charges the little 720mah 3.7V battery.

It took a bunch of research and trial and error but the combination of the fbtft_device support now part of Raspbian, the pygame API, and the piCamera API yielded good results.

The finished camera could be as small as 1.25″ x 3″ x 0.675″