How to use SnapCamera

Difficulty: medium

Make your own digital camera and use it to create a wide range of photographic effects.

Using SnapCamera

When SnapCamera boots you will notice text appear on the screen of PiFace Control And Display. The top-left corner states how many pictures have been taken with SnapCamera. The top-right corner states how many pictures can still be taken with SnapCamera, based on the amount of storage space left on your SD card. The bottom-left corner displays the mode SnapCamera is currently in. And the bottom-right corner displays the option settings for that mode.

SnapCamera has many modes used for different applications. To switch between these modes, press the leftmost button on the PiFace Control And Display. All modes take pictures by pressing the rocker switch in.

Camera mode

This is the default mode. It takes a picture after the given delay. Set the delay by moving the rocker switch left or right.


Effects mode allows you to select an effect that will be applied to your image. Move the navigation switch left or right to select an effect.


Overlay mode allows you to overlay an image stored at /home/pi/snap-camera/overlays on top of your image.


This mode takes pictures at a set interval over a set period. In bottom right of display ‘S1s1’ will be displayed. The first S1 denotes the total period of the timelapse (how long it will be taking pictures for) and is currently set to 1 Second. The second s1 denotes the interval between pictures in the timelapse. To change the time units (seconds, minutes, hours, days) for the total timelapse period, use the third button from the left, for the interval, use the fourth. The first S is capitalised as this is the setting that is currently selected. Change the time by flicking the rocker switch left or right. Move between the period and interval by pressing the second button from the left, the selected one will be capitialised.

Note: Period / Interval = Number of pictures taken. Confirm this with the remaining pictures above. If too many pictures are to be taken the camera will flash the attention symbol before continuing with taking the images.


This mode, you guessed it, takes a video. Change the length of time of the video with the rocker switch.


This mode takes a picture triggered by an IR remote. Press 1 on the remote to take the image.

Note: You must have LIRC correctly configured with a remote for this mode to work.


This is the mode that is used to create our bulletTime effect videos. In bottom right of screen there will be a # followed by a number. These should be set sequentially, as image files will have this ID in their names, to automate the video creation. Set this number using the rocker switch. View this link for more information.

Note:Network mode will error if not connected to a network.


Viewer mode allows you to view your images on a connected monitor. Move the navigation switch left and right to change image.

Note: HDMI options will need to be changed if you want to use this mode when connecting a HDMI cable after your Raspberry Pi has already booted.