Well, we’ve seen a few experiments with the Gameboy camera over the years, but this one is pretty wild. YouTuber, car nut and 3D printing fanatic Conorsev has developed and printed an adapter that lets him mount Canon EF mount lenses to his Nintendo Gameboy Camera and it produces images far greater than the Gameboy ever deserved. While it might be a pretty crazy idea, it makes for some particularly intriguing and very unique photographs.
There are two big problems with the Gameboy Camera. The first is the fact that Nintendo has provided zero methods for getting images out of the Gameboy Camera other than using the little printer that comes with it. Getting a copy of the actual image file is essentially impossible. At least, it is using Nintendo’s hardware. Fortunately, this issue is fairly easy to overcome with a little assistance from an Arduino.
Using the code and schematic developed by mofosyne, Conorsev was able to convince the Gameboy Camera that it was connected to the little printer in order to tell it to print. Except, it wasn’t a printer that was listening, it was the Arduino, which then relayed that information to his computer via a serial connection. This information is then fed into the raw data decoder to turn it into an image file.
With that problem solved, the other issue with the Gameboy Camera is the fact that the lens is pretty terrible and it has a fixed, fairly wide, field of view. And this is where Conorsev put his 3D design and printing to work, developing a mount adapter to replace the stock lens and let him mount his EF lenses to it. Conorsev’s adapter is a remix of this one by Herr_Zatacke which was modified to provide a cleaner connection to the Gameboy Camera module itself as well as fixing the flange distance between the lens and sensor and providing a twist lock for the EF lens mount, rather than just the tolerance push-fit of the original design.
A very cool project, a very niche project, but it provides some fantastic results, as you can see at the end of the video. It’s a project that Conorsev says he plans to continue in the future and I can’t wait to see the results he produces!
If you’ve got an old Gameboy Camera lying around with nothing better to do and want to give this a go for yourself, you can download the 3D printable EF mount adapter on Thingiverse and get the code and schematics to pull the images onto your computer on GitHub.