Madness: Magnum Photogs Promoting the Nintendo 3DS as a Camera

What has the world come to? Apparently the prestigious Magnum Photos has partnered with Nintendo to promote the Nintendo 3DS as a camera. Photographers Martin Parr, Thomas Dworzak and Gueorgui Pinkhassov used the handheld gaming device to shoot a series of 3D photos that were then put on display in an exhibition held at the Magnum Gallery in Paris. Here’s what Vingt Paris Magazine had to say about the show:

The exhibition has transformed the white walls of the Magnum Gallery into an upmarket video games console store. Several portable games consoles sit on flashy plastic Nintendo-branded pedestals. Peer closely at each console and you’ll see a slideshow of a few eerie 3D images of each photographer’s ‘perception’ of everyday life. (‘Perception’ because it could be too strong a word to use to describe the result.) The lack of a guiding artistic thread puts the spotlight on the tool rather than the work. The images are nothing to write home about and disappointingly so, especially from Magnum Photos’ best.

The video above shows Parr shooting with the 3DS and referring to it as a “camera in disguise.” Hmmm… That’s nice, but please go back to shooting with Leicas now.

Nintendo (via PopPhoto)

  • electroginge

    heh, Parr’s shit anyway…

  • daz

    Hmm I don’t know.. Its all well and good looking at it on the 3DS but if you don’t have one you can’t see the images. So its kind of pointless for everyone else.

  • Joop van Roy

    Sure it’s a marketing ploy but that doesn’t mean there’s no value in 3D photography. Even if the tool is a game boy.

  • Anonymous

    It would be one thing if a Magnum photographer bought one and started using it because of its innate qualities, but the fact that it is a partnership completely curtails any value in this concept they are presenting. 

  • Dan Shekleton

    To market or promote it as a 3D camera truly is absurd, unless you can actually compare it to existing 3D cameras (Fuji makes one, I’m sure others do too) as far as capabilities of the 3DS compared to the 3D camera.  Unless the 3DS can outperform the 3D cameras out there, this is just a marketing ploy and Magnum just got paid to say this crap.  Without properly testing the 3DS myself, I will say that I believe it’s a game system with a 3D cam-toy attached… nothing more.

  • Rob-L

    Anything for money, eh?

  • Fotofill

    You can image him accidentally loading a game and panicing because he couldn’t get the camera back.

  • steve

    I think Martin Parr is a great photographer.  This is a 0.3 megapixel camera, so it doesn’t interest me but I don’t mind him making some money from Nintendo.  He could of turned it down but it’s publicity and he might get some more people looking at his photos through this.

  • Jamie Weir

    I tried so hard to just ignore this…

    It has a camera, and that camera can capture 3D images.  To me that qualifies as a 3D camera, and doesn’t seem absurd to bring note to that.
    It seems your logic is that unless a device is the best one out there, it’s dishonorable for Magnum to promote it and see what they can do with it.

    As far as being paid to say “this crap”, the “crap” he discussed in that video was in regards to 3D photography.  There wouldn’t have been anything different for him to say in the first two and a half minutes of this video, if he was using the Fuji W3.  The only praise he gave specifically to the 3DS was that it is neat that a feature like that is present in what began as a video game system (which is a pretty neat evolution), and that with the 3DS you can be a lot more candid since people don’t look at you and think you’re a person with a camera.  These were both minor points in the video, and the only concepts specific to the hardware.

    While I appreciate you’re not lying and trying to claim you know the 3DS inside and out, and consider it to be a crappy toy, why are you trying to tell us about the device when you have no experience with it?  Your word is worth nothing in that regard.

    The 3DS is a game system first and foremost.  It happens to also have 3D camera capability, and it’s only 170 dollars.  Fuji’s W3 list price is 599.99.  That’s a pretty monumental price difference, especially when at this point they’re both creating images that most people don’t have the equipment to view.

    Much like the 3DS, the iPhone is a phone, mp3 player, etc, (I won’t list any of these as first and foremost since it’s hard to tell any more  The point is it’s not purchased as a camera.), that also happens to have a camera in it.  Should that be dismissed as “nothing more”?

    Fstoppers did an amazing photo shoot using iPhones to show that you can do very impressive things with it, even though it’s just a little camera attached to a phone.  This helps inspire people to look more into what they may have just dismissed before, and try to take great, creative pictures that they wouldn’t have bothered with before because they didn’t spend money on a top of the line camera.

    In terms of your griping that it’s not able to outperform other cameras, Viscosity was made to be a modern art generator that lets you play around, and just make interesting abstract designs.  Yet if you look at some of the highest rated pieces, you can find amazing works of art that were made with this little program in ways the creator never intended.  If they were created in Adobe Illustrator (which in terms of creating vector images like these, would be considered something that totally outperforms viscosity), they may still look nice, but wouldn’t be nearly as impressive since with fancy software like that, it would take little effort.  But the act of creating something beautiful while restricting yourself to certain restraints or limitations can be what makes the work so amazing.

    The event and partnership promotes interest in what can be done with a new and emerging photograph format, and shows that it can be experimented with using a rather inexpensive device most people figure is just for playing video games (and hopefully by next year there will be more than just re-makes of N64 games worth playing).  This is encouraging people to do more than just use a 3DS to play games.  It’s encouraging them to use it for creativity, and interaction with the world around them.  That’s a wonderful thing for a game company to be promoting for their devices.

  • Anonymous

    I’m really surprised at all the negative reactions to this. The fact is it’s the photographer not the camera. There are so many professionals who capture wonderful images on Holgas, iPhone cameras, pin hole boxes. Parr is just experimenting with new gear as anyone photographer should.

    Daido Moriyama uses a point and shoot to produce stunning photographs. Mark Romanek produces gorgeous images via his iPhone. What’s the difference?

  • Daniel Yu Suzuki

    Promo aside, magnum photographers have been known to shoot with anything. Like a Pentax Auto 110, or a Minox. Their moto is to just shoot.
    This makes perfect sense. Shoot with what you’ve got. 

  • Cydom

    well its like if a regular photo is dialed to ten; there no where else to go , this gives you just that  little more , you can go to eleven.

  • chadsantos

    “The fact is it’s the photographer not the camera”