The Game Boy Camera is a fantastic low-res art tool

Originally published at: The Game Boy Camera is a fantastic low-res art tool | Boing Boing

I recently went down this route and it is fun.

I also added a Gameboy camera to the mix, the orientation is a bit wonky for the SP…

… but whoo boy the Advance has such a legendary console library. And this stuff is fun. Especially that beautiful IPS screen. Recommended.

For low-res art, this is the device that always captured my imagination.
The Fisher Price PXL2000 used standard audio cassettes to record B&W in 120x90 15fps.


I have lusted after one of those for years.

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Some years ago I found a low-res camera designed for the Palm Pilot, but I never could get it to work. Has anyone had experience with this?

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Came to post just this. It was never reliable enough for Fischer-Price (they like their toys to be used second-hand) but security firms were interested. Back then, one TV camera and recorder could cost many thousands, and a bank robber could blast it with a shotgun before it could get a decent snap of them. But at this price, you could stick hundreds all around a bank, and one of them has to get a point-blank shot of your ugly mug.

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Speaking of low-res art tools; I’ve been meaning to(but, like so many things I’ve been meaning to do, haven’t gotten around to) play with the fact that optical mouse sensors are, in fact, very low resolution/high speed cameras.

Support, difficulty, and documentation vary; but it is possible (by way of example, there are other writeups) to access direct pixel readout, rather than pre-chewed X Y movement data, from many optical mouse sensors; usually in the range of 16x16 greyscale pixels.

Obviously useless for any real camera jobs(unless you can find one that allows readout fast enough to take advantage of the crazy-high framerates that the mouse uses internally to compute movement and can do some computational photography witchcraft with hundreds or thousands of 16x16 frames per second); but strikes me that it would be really cool if mated with one of those (conveniently also frequently 16x16) LED matrixes, optical mouse sensor on one side LED matrix on the other, so that you get a real-time pixelvision view of whatever you point it at.

Pinot has one and experience using it:


Camera module for the SHARP something something PDA. Which is also still somewhere.

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Huh. I’m not sure I knew about this, here’s a video walkthrough

He brings up an interesting point: this was kinda groundbreaking tech for its time as a “toy”!

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