I was sent one of these by Nwazet but I’m free to say what I like about it.
UPDATE: Nwazet has gone out of business but you can still pick one of these up from ModMyPi.
The Nwazet Raspberry Pi B+ Camera Box Bundle enables you to encase your Raspberry Pi B+ and your camera module and then mount it to a wall if you so wish.
It comes in a collection of bubble-wrapped packets and a small box for the lens. Here’s a picture of the contents of the main box kit:
What you can’t see is the bottom of the wall mount. It contains a nifty metal plate that is screwed to the plastic mount. You can remove the plate, mount that to the wall and then slide the rest of the mount onto it.
So, what did I think? Let’s start with the negative first…
To start with, it’s a little bit of a sod to assemble. There are a large number of parts and fixings that you need to get to grips with. The whole thing took me about 45 minutes (including dropping and losing a couple of the screws) but, thanks to the excellent assembly instructions, it was quite fun to do. At times, I felt like I needed an extra pair of hands to hold things together, but there is the recommendation to use elastic bands as an aid to assembly and, although I didn’t, it’s probably best if you do.
Secondly, there are bits which are fairly easy to break. The camera module is held in place between two pieces of plastic on the inside of the box. There are warnings in the instructions about not tightening some nuts too tightly… but apparently I did tighten them too much because a bit snapped. It wasn’t a big tragedy, however, as I stopped myself tightening any further and the camera is still held quite securely. You only need to tighten the nuts a little bit to hold the camera and, really, I should’ve known better.
Thirdly, and this is being a bit picky, it’s very bulky – this is not made to be a hidden camera!
Fourthly, the fish-eye lens isn’t the best quality. Around the edges it’s distorted and out of focus. I guess that’s probably par for the course with these lenses, though.
Now onto the positive.
This is a really pretty product. The plastic the box is made out of has a matt finish and, in black, this gives it a feeling of being of extremely high quality. All in all, despite it’s bulk it’s very stylish, which is something I’ve come to expect from Nwazet. In terms of the design, it’s nicely thought out and the fixings are all good and solid, making me feel that my B+ is very well protected. In fact, I deliberately squeezed, banged and knocked the case to see if I could damage it easily and I couldn’t. Definitely very solid. The wall mount is also very solid – that metal plate makes me feel very secure that I could attach it to a wall without it breaking or falling off and it’s also adjustable – the plastic part of the mount can be rotated to get the camera in the right position.
There’s plenty of room inside the box for the camera cable (even the extra long one that I was using) and there are some other nice touches: there’s good ventilation thanks to slits on the top and side of the box; it has holes cut for the power and activity lights so you can see what your Pi is doing; and you can still access the GPIO via ribbon cable as they’ve cut a slot in the side.
Perhaps that best bit about the design could be unintentional. You know how the micro SD card on the B+ sticks out a bit? Well, this case/box takes care of that. Because of the thickness of the plastic, the micro SD card is kept within the bounds of the box by about 1.5mm, completely protecting it. This does mean it’s a bit of a challenge to get it out, but just poking it with a credit card through the hole will do the job.
Lastly, just a bit of praise for the lens. It comes with a sticky metal circle that embeds into the case and the lens then attaches magnetically to it. The nice thing about the lens is that it comes with both a cap for the front of the lens and a magnetic cap for the rear, together with a lanyard loop. The lens is obviously made for mobile phones, hence the lanyard, but it’s nice to have the protection of the caps.
I really like this product, but it does have it’s flaws and it’s not for everyone. The bulk may put some off (but then again if you want a wall-mounted security camera, it’s ideal), and assembly isn’t easy. The biggest flaw is the thin plastic camera holder that is easy to break, but as long as you’re more careful than I was, that shouldn’t be a problem. For the sheer amount of protection it gives your Pi, the quality finish and the clear assembly instructions, I’m inclined to give it quite a high score. So, for the Nwazet camera box bundle, it’s got to be 8/10.