Game Boy and camera enthusiast, Christopher Graves, fused his two passions to create the Game Boy Camera M, a mirrorless Game Boy camera with a sleek design.
The one-of-a-kind camera, complete with its own shutter button, is made from a cannibalized Game Boy Pocket, a smaller, slimmer version of the original Game Boy. The handheld game console now sits inside a custom shell complete with a leatherette finish wrapped around it.
Graves tells PetaPixel that he learnt 3D modeling and printed circuit board (PCB) design to create something he never thought could be accomplished.
“In my opinion, the Pocket is the perfect Game Boy for photography — natural grayscale screen, small size — but I always wanted something more camera-like,” explains Graves.
“I got a lot of help from the Game Boy Camera Club Discord along the way — some brilliant modders in there that this couldn’t have been made without.”
Graves is inspired by the minimalist design of Leica, Braun, and Apple and wanted his Game Boy Camera M to be in the spirit of those aesthetic masters.
“I wanted it to be good, feel good, and look good. I looked at a lot of Leica cameras online and watched a bunch of camera teardowns on YouTube. I was obsessed and wanted to make sure every detail was right,” says Graves.
Graves had to heavily modify a Game Boy camera cartridge, preserving its original PCB and relocating its sensor which now sits behind a CS-mount holding a manually focused 5-50-millimeter varifocal lens. Graves says it could be easily swapped for something larger and more capable.
“Sure, I can put on a massive Canon lens with huge zoom for ‘the clicks,’ but that’s not what I’m interested in. This is a completely personal and selfish project meant to improve my Game Boy Camera photography and expand my skills as a beginner, self-taught designer,” he tells Gizmodo.
The ingenious design allows the operator to swap out Graves’s custom lens and swap in the original Game Boy Camera making giving the shooter two lens options. However, the camera is still limited to creating 0.3-megapixel images that generate just four shades of grey, that give a distinct lo-fi look.
Cart swapping action pic.twitter.com/Q4s9GehHcb
— Game Boy Camera (@thegameboycam) July 10, 2022
Graves says he’s no camera expert, initially naming his creation a Game Boy DSLR until he was corrected “multiple times” that it was in fact a mirrorless camera.
“I’m still not satisfied with the creation, but a lot of people seem to want one, which is surprising. That being the case, I do want it to be a quality product before I get it into anyone else’s hands. But I’d absolutely love to get more out into the world and have people learn to love the Game Boy Camera as I and the folks in the Discord do.”
Image credits: All photos by Christoper Graves.