The normal Raspberry Pi camera module and the Raspberry Pi NoIR camera are custom designed add-ons for the Raspberry Pi. All Raspberry Pi cameras are attached to one of the two small sockets on the board upper surface between the RJ45 connector and the HDMI plug. The camera interface uses the dedicated CSI interface, which was designed especially for interfacing to cameras. The CSI bus is capable of extremely high data rates, and it exclusively carries pixel data. The camera is connected to Raspberry Pi by the way of a short ribbon cable.
In the picture below you see three Raspberry Pi Camera moduls. The first module is the normal Raspberry Pi Camera modul. The second one is a Raspberry Pi Camera module with a wide angle lenses. The third module is the NoIR module.
For my robot projects I use the normal Raspberry Pi camera as well a model with a wide angle lenses. The NoIR model I only use in my autonomous robot. The problem with the NoIR model is that it does not display colors very well.
Raspberry Pi camera module test pictures
In this section I show some example pictures taken by the three camera modules.