DIY project transforms a Game Boy Camera into a modern mirrorless

Say hello to the Camera M.

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Igor Bonifacic
July 13, 2022 12:28 PM
Camera M is a DIY conversion of the Game Boy Camera, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Advance SP that turns all three into a mirrorless camera.
Christopher Graves

Nintendo’s Game Boy Camera has inspired countless DIY projects over the years, from a telephoto lens adapter to an AI model trained to colorize photos captured by the accessory. However, few are likely to match the creativity of the Camera M by photographer and modder Christopher Graves.

In a Twitter thread spotted by Gizmodo, Graves detailed how he turned the humble Game Boy Camera into a mirrorless camera. Using a combination of custom PCB and parts from a repurposed Game Boy Pocket, a 1996 variant of the original 1989 model that was smaller, lighter and more power efficient, he transplanted the internals of a Game Boy into a shell that looks like a Fujifilm X-E4. As for the Game Boy Camera’s 128 x 128 pixel CMOS sensor, Graves put that into a custom cart attached to a CS lens mount and a manual focus varifocal lens. The nifty thing about Camera M is that it’s possible to use an original Game Boy Camera in place of the custom cartridge he hacked together.

In either case, the resulting device still takes greyscale 128 x 112 photos, but the ergonomics and user experience are vastly improved. Graves replaced the Pocket’s original screen with a backlit IPS display, making it easier to use the camera at night, and added a 1,800mAh battery that can power everything for up to eight hours. It even comes with USB-C charging. Graves told Gizmodo he hasn’t tried playing any games with his creation yet but speculated turn-based RPGs like Pokémon would be fun with the button layout he devised. So far, only one Camera M exists, but Graves said he’s “strongly leaning” toward selling conversion kits or even complete kits.

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