You can actually play Doom on this Kodak digital camera from 1998
I don’t know about you, but to me, this is a thing of absolute beauty. YouTuber LazyGameReviews just posted a video of the 1993 first-person shooter, Doom running on a Kodak digital camera that isn’t much younger than the game itself. The Kodak DC260 was released in 1998 and, surprisingly, it seems to run quite well, too.
The Kodak DC260 had a price tag of around £800 in the UK when it was released, which sounds pretty insane for a 1.6-megapixel camera. The review for it that I linked to above is quite hilarious in its appraisal of the camera, too.
The resolution of digital cameras for business and consumer use has now increased to the point — 1.6 megapixels — at which they rival professional cameras.
I wonder what the author of that review would’ve thought back then if he’d known 108-megapixel cameras inside a phone we keep in our pocket would be on the way a couple of decades later.
Anyway, the DC260 actually offered some basic “app” support. There was even an SDK available for download that developers could use to make their own applications for the camera, too, to add custom functionality. Don’t you wish more manufacturers still supported things like that today?
To run those apps, inside the camera is a 66Mhz PowerPC CPU, with 8-megabytes of RAM. It’s basically like having a low-powered version of an Apple Power Mac inside your camera. That means it can also run PowerPC code (not Mac OS software, though). In the video, it’s running a port “Doom for Digita“. Doom’s code was released to the public back in 2012, which allows anybody to edit and recompile it for whatever platform they can for their own personal use.
What I particularly like about this port is that you don’t have to rely on the tiny little LCD on the back of the camera to shoot your bad guys. The Kodak DC260 camera has a composite video output so you can hook it up to your TV and shoot them on the big screen instead.
LGR shows off a few other things running on the camera, including MAME arcade emulator, and an MP3 player.
Maybe in a decade or two, somebody will figure out a way to run something useful on those obsolete old DSLRs and early mirrorless cameras.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.