If you're one of the many Raspberry Pi users asking for a camera module with autofocus, you now have four different models to choose from.
After what it says have been “many requests,” Raspberry Pi is giving users more of what they want by way of the autofocus-capable Camera Module 3. However, these Sony IMX708 sensor-backed modules offer a bit more than automated focus adjustments.
Each of the four versions of the new module can allegedly capture in-focus images as close as 5cm (a little under two inches) away, or as far out as you need. The camera sensor has also been upgraded to 12MP (compared to the Module 2's 8MP sensor), which provides a 16:9 aspect ratio and supports high dynamic range (HDR) image capturing. This all translates to clearer, sharper photos (or videos), and with better quality in low-light quality when compared to its predecessors.
The Module 3 also has an infrared-sensitive iteration, called the Camera Module 3 NoIR, along with horizontal Wide FoV (field of view) versions of both the regular and NoIR modules. So whether you need an infrared-sensitive camera, a relatively standard 66-degree FoV, or a much wider 102-degree FoV (with or without infrared), you've got options.
All models of the Camera Module 3 are available now from a number of online retailers carrying Raspberry Pi components. Both the Camera Module 3 and Camera Module 3 NoIR are priced at $25, while the Module 3 Wide and Module 3 Wide NoIR retail for $35 apiece.
Keep in mind that Raspberry Pi components like the Camera Module 3 are just components. You’ll need to install the camera to other hardware to get any use out of it.