In today’s era of affordable technology, almost everyone has access to a pocket-sized camera through their smartphone. For those of you who want something more authentically retro and don’t feel like spending an obscene amount of money on a Leica camera, there’s another option. If you don’t mind a bit of soldering and coding to turn a Game Boy Camera add-on into a full-fledged DSLR gear.
While the original accessory may have been seen as yet another gimmick for the Game Boy when it was first released in 1998, the Game Boy camera has found a new lease of life among audiences that appreciate its retro charm and the quirky, pixelated photos it produces. he can make, appreciates. By adjusting the device, it can put a camera lens on it, like Twitter user Chicane demonstrated:
So how do you turn the original wide-angle lens into a device that can upload saved photos to your PC? As YouTuber Conorsev pointed out, the process involves getting your hands on the right gear, soldering it to an Arduino board, and modifying it with some custom code to lay a foundation for the Game Boy Camera customization project.
From there, Conorsev removed the camera from the cartridge, took out the sensor and attached a DSLR lens to it using a 3D printed adapter. After some reassembly and some fine-tuning to get the camera sensor in an optimal position, Conorsev had his Game Boy set up to capture some unique shots. Conorsev’s video is worth watching to see just how doable the process of making a modern Game Boy camera is.
There’s a whole community of modders who have upgraded Nintendo’s iconic handheld console for some wild and exciting tasks, with this DSLR mod being the tip of the iceberg for customization. If you’ve got a few dozen Game Boys laying around — and have an impressive level of technical skill — you can even arrange them into a giant synthesizer or use the handheld to make some scientific art:
Hey, I’m Zoe! Your regularly scheduled reminder that #IAmNonbinary. I love making glitch art and doing crazy science with gameboys. I am a long time software engineer actively looking for new opportunities in the art/gamedev world. Would happily do whatever this is for a living. pic.twitter.com/6cck5zM6OM
— zoe wolfe (@glitch_wolfe) January 10, 2022
If you’d rather look back to the golden days of the Game Boy, you can also check out our feature on the best Game Boy games of all time and our Analog Pocket review, which is the best way to make those classic games feel new again.