Shooting With a Nintendo Game Boy Camera from 1998

Aug 10, 2016

Theo Acworth

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Shooting With a Nintendo Game Boy Camera from 1998

Aug 10, 2016

Theo Acworth

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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A little while ago I spotted a Nintendo Game Boy Camera in a second hand shop and my eyebrows went up. It looked pretty jazzy, like someone had melted an old webcam onto a game. Some of you probably own and have used these things before, but I had never come across one. I bought it straight away.

Here are some facts I found out:

  • Released 1998.
  • Shoots 256 x 224 pixel images.
  • Held Guinness World Record for smallest digital camera. Awesome.
  • Stores up to 30 images at a time.
  • Printer uses thermal paper.
  • Produces a monochrome image the size of a stamp. I’m in love.

By all normal standards, this is an awful camera. That’s true, but it’s also amazing. This little beast predates the first camera phone, so give it a break. Shooting with it is strangely enjoyable, you definitely have to work with its limitations to get an image where you can actually identify what you’re looking at, but that’s half the fun.

What I’m so stoked about is stumbling on a completely new way to take and print photographs that I didn’t even know existed, and it was created by a bunch of Nintendo dudes trying to entertain kids. It’s very different from a darkroom process, but it’s a process nonetheless. Watching your little photo buzzing out of the printer is pretty magic. You get something a little different and 100% unique, and I reckon that’s rad.

So I might look like a bit of a spanner shooting with it, but the game loading screen while you print is a little bear running on a beachball. Can’t argue with that.

My photo series Jambo Nintendo is ongoing. The title was taken from one of the many (many) bizarre and unexplained parts of the game that comes with the camera.

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About The Author

Theo Acworth is a Photographer based in the South of England, and currently in Austria. you can see more of his photos on his website and say hi on instagram. This post was originally published on Format Magazine, and shared with permission. Format offers a portfolio website with a free 14-day trial.

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8 responses to “Shooting With a Nintendo Game Boy Camera from 1998”

  1. Brendan Baker Avatar
    Brendan Baker

    I kind of really love the aesthetic. It reminds me of Andy Warhol’s polaroids. I feel like this could be shown at a gallery or something. haha

    1. Theo Acworth Avatar
      Theo Acworth

      Thanks dude, I really love the thought of a big white gallery filled with tiny prints!

  2. Florian Brander Avatar
    Florian Brander

    I just found my Camera! Would love to buy the printer, if anyone has to sell one. Got some memoriables from 15+ Years on it.

  3. Simon Williams Avatar
    Simon Williams

    Attaching a camera to a device designed to do something else will never catch on… :)

  4. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    Whoa … did you just post d*ck pics on this blog? Kind of difficult to tell.

  5. Matthew Jackson Avatar
    Matthew Jackson

    It’s like the Gameboy camera knew it’s own heritage and was paying tribute.

    1. Theo Acworth Avatar
      Theo Acworth

      Aha great comment, thanks Matthew!

  6. Nikos Liavas Avatar
    Nikos Liavas

    Philipp Steffen