I have a Pi Zero WH, headless running Raspian-buster-lite. Can I attach a Pi Camera and have it capture an image to the SD when triggered by a motion sensor or proximity sensor? Or will I have to use an OS with a graphical user interface?

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You do not need a GUI desktop ... you can have your C or Python program run and interact with the Camera to capture images and save them as JPGs without any GUI desktop at all...

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