I need to know how to remotely detect whether an 8mp or a 5mp camera module is connected to the rpi for implementation in an embedded project.

Any help?

  • Why not look up the camera specs online?
    – Darth Vader
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:01
  • The device itself will be inaccessible and so I need to identify the model of the camera though ssh. Apr 29, 2016 at 20:22
  • 2
    Take a picture and look at resolution/size? Should be significantly different.
    – Ghanima
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:26
  • Is there a cli command to see the dimensions of an image? If so then I could just pipe the output of raspistill into that info command. Apr 29, 2016 at 20:41
  • get some inspiration here superuser.com/questions/275502/… and here unix.stackexchange.com/questions/75635/…
    – Ghanima
    Apr 29, 2016 at 21:03

4 Answers 4


None of the above.

Take advantage of the v4l driver (modprobe bcm2835-v4l2), and either use the v4l2-ctl command from the CLI, or, if you want to get fancy, use the v4l2 libraries from python or C:

# v4l2-ctl --list-formats
        Index       : 0
        Type        : Video Capture
        Pixel Format: 'YU12'
        Name        : Planar YUV 4:2:0

(much more output)

# v4l2-ctl --list-framesizes=YU12
        Size: Stepwise 16x16 - 2592x1944 with step 2/2
  • 1
    The actual question is apparently how can I get V412-ctl? With me it just says "no such file or directory". "Unable to locate package v412-ct" Without this information the answer is incomplete. Mar 17, 2019 at 16:36
  • @AlbertvanderHorst - The key is that it is v4l2-ctl, not v412-ctl. That's a lowercase L after the 4, not a 1. It appears to have come preinstalled on a totally-stock raspbian for a pi zero I just opened.
    – ArtHare
    Mar 13, 2021 at 3:18

None of the above worked for me. With Raspbian Stretch (June 2018 Version, Kernel 4.14), Python 3.5 and picamera 1.13 I used:

import picamera

with picamera.PiCamera() as cam:

If you're happy coding C, have a look at the relevant lines in raspistill which uses the new MMAL_PARAMETER_CAMERA_INFO to look up the type of camera attached.

If you're not so happy with C, you'll need to wait a week or so while I finish off picamera 1.11 which will have a new PiCamera.model parameter you can query for the same information (this will return a string containing the sensor name as returned by MMAL_PARAMETER_CAMERA_INFO).

Update As EdMc2's answer neatly shows, I wound up calling this PiCamera.revision rather than model!

  • Thanks for the update! This post shows up first in a search for 'picamera get model' so I'm grateful for the breadcrumbs Sep 25, 2018 at 18:45

EdMc2's answer worked for me--but cam.revision only display camera sensor name. So I did find maximum resolution like this:

import picamera

with picamera.PiCamera() as cam:

You can save the file (for example, picamera.py) and execute it like this:

python3 picamera.py

My result is 2592x1944 which is 5MP camera.

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