A Man Took Pictures At The Shanghai Grand Prix... With an Old Game Boy

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(original Game Boy with the Game Boy Camera)

In 1998, Nintendo released the Gameboy Camera in an effort to extend the life of its handheld cash cow. The system had been on sale for almost ten years and hadn't really changed that much up until the Game Boy Color which was released at the end of 1998. 

The Camera was a kitschy device that had a 128×128 pixel CMOS sensor that could only take 128-pixel grey scale images. It was mounted on a cartridge that went into the game slot on the system, so it was impossible to play a game with the camera attached... oh and it was $45 dollars. 

Amateur photographer Tim Binnion had an idea. He wanted to take pictures with his old Game Boy and a Game Boy Camera. He specifically wanted to take pictures of the Shanghai Grandprix, but according to an interview he did with The Drive, he had to make modifications to the camera and the Game Boy for it to work as he'd be over 100 feet away. The camera itself has a tiny fixed lens and the resolution is so poor that he wouldn't get anything recognizable from that distance. There was also the issue of storage. The original camera could only hold 30 images and couldn't share them unless you printed them on another add-on, the Game Boy Printer. 

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(Photo by Tim Binnion)

Tim modified his Game Boy color to be able to use a flash card to store the images and make for an easy transfer. The next part is not as easy. He made a custom 3D printed mount to hold a cheap $10 dollar telephoto lens that was meant for smartphones. 

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(Photo by Tim Binnion)


After all his hard work, this is what he got. All Photos by Tim Binnion

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Kind of amazing, right? They look exactly like frames from an old Nintendo game. Some may wonder why would anyone take the time to do this as the tech is so inferior to any camera on the market today, but there's something beautiful about the images. It's like looking at life through the past.