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Building a Motion Activated Security Camera with the Raspberry Pi Zero @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi

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Fantastic project tutorial from Mark West, via RaspberryPiPod.

Recently my wife and I suspected that some unwanted guests had been visiting our garden.  After a discussion we decided that we needed a motion activated camera that could send us emails once it detected movement.  We also wanted the ability to view the live video stream from the camera on demand.

As a fully fledged Raspberry Pi geek I knew right away that I wanted to build my own solution.  My wife was not so convinced, and starting listing the dozens of unfinished projects I currently have on my backlog.  After promising her that I would see this project through to the bitter end I finally got permission to build a proof of concept

This project required no coding, but quite a bit of configuration. It took about 6-7 hours to complete once I had the parts in place.  I spent most of this time wrestling with Linux and this blog will hopefully help anyone attempting a similar project.

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  1. Thanks for sharing my blog! I’m currently working on a new blogpost where I explain how I used artificial intelligence to filter out the false positives. Part 1 is available here :

    Cool captcha by the way 😀

  2. Amazon Rekognition is nothing close to “free”. While there may be merit in trying to decipher hundreds of still-images (per month) according to their pricing model – you’d be better off financially by hiring a team of security guards working 24/7 to protect that “garden” rather than analyze just one single real-time video feed for any duration.


  3. Jason:

    My solution only sends images to Rekognition when it detects movement. At worse this is 50 images a day, but mostly it’s 10-15.

    Under the AWS Free Tier ( I can send 5,000 images a month completely free for the first twelve months.

    If I continue using my camera after the free period, and average 50 images a day, then Rekognition will process 18,250 images on my behalf. At the current pricing ($1 per 1,000 images) I’ll pay $18 a year.

    How many security guards are you planning on hiring for that?

    Sorry you are not impressed by my "garden". I’d like a bigger one, but the property prices in Oslo are just insane. I think we are experiencing a bubble :S

    If anyone is interested, the second part of my follow up blog (where I discuss AWS pricing) is now up :

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