Raspberry Pi Camera vs NoIR Camera

Raspberry Pi Camera VS NOIR

As you probably know, there are two different versions of the Raspberry Pi Camera. There is the standard Raspberry Pi camera that features an IR filter. Then there is the Raspberry Pi NoIR camera that lacks the IR filter.

In this guide, I will take you through the pros and cons of each of the cameras so you can acquire the one best for your project.

There are many significant differences between the two cameras, but most people will only need a regular Raspberry Pi camera.

The best way to the grasp the differences between the two cameras would be to see it in action visually, and that’s why I created the video right under the equipment section.


The equipment I used to carry out this guide is listed below.

Raspberry Pi x2

Raspberry Pi Camera

Raspberry Pi NoIR camera

Camera Cases x 2

Power Packs x2

IR Illuminator


The video will show you both the Raspberry Pi camera and the Raspberry NOIR camera and the main differences between the two cameras. This video includes displaying the differences at night and during the day.

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Raspberry Pi Camera and NoIR Camera Daytime Shots

If you look at the image below you can see that the camera that doesn’t have the IR (Infrared) filter is washed out and doesn’t look nearly as good and clear as the one on the right that does have the filter.

The image quality is probably the main difference between the two during the day. I did notice some image tearing with the NoIR camera. However, I am not sure if this was a camera issue or the connection to the Pi.

You can still do some pretty cool photography with the NoIR camera during the day, but if you’re after a clear normal picture then the standard Raspberry Pi camera board is the way to go.

The standard Raspberry Pi camera is perfect if you plan on doing a time-lapse, webcam server or any other project where the image quality has a significant impact on the overall result of the project.

Daytime Pi Camera

Night Time Shots with IR Illuminator

If you plan on doing night time filming or photos, then the NoIR camera is the way to go. By using an IR illuminator, you’re able to get Raspberry Pi night vision as you can clearly see in the photo below. The NoIR camera also can see a lot better in low light environments even without the assistance of the IR illuminator.

The NoIR has quite a few uses apart from just allowing you to film at night. It has been used to do cool creative photography and can even be used to monitor the health of green plants.

You’re also able to use the Raspberry NoIR camera for surveillance systems (vision at night very important), nightlife watcher and much more.

Night-time Pi Camera

Hopefully, this guide has helped you be able to decide which Raspberry Pi camera you will need for your future project. There are benefits and cons to both of them, but hopefully, this guide has been clear enough to point out what those differences are.

If you’re looking to start a new Raspberry Pi project, then you should check out some of the cool projects I currently have up. I also have plenty more on the way, so make sure you check back in the future.


  1. Avatar for Frances
    Frances on

    Hi. I’d like to ask if the other rpi camera is rpi night vision camera?

    1. Avatar for Gus
      Gus on

      Hi Frances,

      The NOIR camera will give you night vision if paired with an IR illuminator.

  2. Avatar for Matt
    Matt on

    Hi, I am into astrophotography and I was wondering would it be better to buy a Normal or a Noir picam when shooting the sky at night ?

    1. Avatar for Sidd
      Sidd on

      obviously noir. Noir in French is black, and the sky is black(at night). You saw the guys vid, the regular cam will do nothing!

    2. Avatar for Bonzadog
      Bonzadog on

      I am interested in Astrophotography ( but just starting) but I wonder if such a NOIR Camera is sharp enough for Astro work…. I would have though a much better camera
      would be needed plus tracker system.

      @Gus : once again another good tutorial!

  3. Avatar for Abhirami
    Abhirami on

    From my understanding NOIR camera will not be suitable for face recognition(LBPH) and detection(viola jones) . Am i correct?

  4. Avatar for gtj
    gtj on


    I got a NOIR V 2.1 camera. Can I fit those infra red LEDs on the PCB of the camera?

    Many thanks!

  5. Avatar for Sam
    Sam on

    I have motion pie asking for a login and password. What should I use ?

    1. Avatar for Sandy
      Sandy on

      Type in admin leave password blank

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