Gameboy Camera


The Gameboy Camera

The Gameboy Camera, released in 1998, is a special Gameboy cartridge that can shoot 2 bit pictures (ie with 4 different pixel values), and a distinctive pixel-art style.

Since a couple of years,It got a lot of traction on the Internet, thanks to, I believe so, two posts of lens mounted on Gameboy Camera : someone that shot a F1 Grand Prix and someone else that attached a Canon DSLR lens to their Gameboy Camera, both in 2018. I knew about it as a kid, but I couldn’t understand why one would buy a camera cartridge, while you can get an actual video game. But as an adult, I got seduced by the look of its pictures, sometimes looking just as a carefully hand-crafted pixel-art. I recently got myself in the hype train, and I will describe here my process, and my results.

I got a second-hand Gameboy Camera from LeBonCoin, for 25€. Prices are skyrocketing since the two famous posts, from $10 before 2018 to $50 in 2022.

The Gameboy Camera has 30 pictures memory, stored in RAM and thus needing a functioning battery to keep this storage. The battery from the cartridge I bought was dead, so first thing was to replace it. It is the same process as any other Gameboy cartridge (replacing a battery after loosing a Pokemon save seems to be a classic), so the process is well-documented, and new batteries can be found easily . You have to desolder the dead battery, and solder the new one, basically.

With my picture well stored on my cartridge, the next step, is, in our social media era, to be able to retrieve and share those pictures. Several solutions are available to read the cartridge memory, I chose to buy a cartridge reader, as it seems the easier solution.