Lo‐fi cameras are awesome…

I loves me some crap­py dig­i­tal cam­eras.

Ten years on, my first is still my favorite, my Game Boy Cam­era. Thank you Diego, for per­haps the great­est birth­day gift ever. Sure, I had crap­py film cam­eras before, but that didn’t stop me from lov­ing my GBC like any­one does their first. Using film meant that I couldn’t go wild and exper­i­ment, take tons of pic­tures of stu­pid stuff like any kid with a cam­era does, and any self‐respecting adult with one con­tin­ues to do.

That wouldn’t exact­ly work with my Game Boy Cam­era, which only held 30 snap­shots and didn’t come with any way to, you know, trans­fer them to a com­put­er.

Details. To make do, I would delete all but my absolute favorites, the true ‘keep­ers.’ That awk­ward red car­tridge still has pho­tos from walk­ing home on the day in 2000 I got the cam­era, of good high school friends, of a duck from Kendale Lakes, and self‐portraits tak­en every few months as I grew my hair to a respectable shoul­der length in col­lege.

Last year, real­iz­ing that I was far from done tak­ing tiny, grainy, black‐and‐white pho­tos, I bought a sec­ond Game Boy Cam­era, and a cou­ple of Mad Catz PC link cables, so I could final­ly trans­fer the pho­tos. They’re cheap and plen­ti­ful on Ama­zon and eBay these days (the cam­eras, at least; the link cables are hard to find).

There was a time when mobile phones could be count­ed on to take pho­tos of this sort. Sure it might be frus­trat­ing when you actu­al­ly want­ed to take a good pho­to, but think of the washed‐out col­ors! The poor light­ing! The blur­ry faces! Alright, maybe it wasn’t so great if that was the only cam­era you had at a mem­o­rable event, but if that’s the sort of cam­era you go out of your way to use for art­sy, leisure­ly pho­tog­ra­phy, I respect that.

My first mobile phone with a cam­era was a Side­kick, and its pho­tos are by far my favorite:

I could add these effects with soft­ware, but what fun is that?

Then came my Treo, which was, unfor­tu­nate­ly, a lit­tle bit bet­ter at tak­ing pho­tos:

I won’t even men­tion my G1, which takes prac­ti­cal­ly per­fect pho­tos. How sad.

I’m glad I’ve been able to shoot with so many crap­py cam­eras, because I know one I won’t be using any­time soon. Sigh.

To be con­tin­ued…

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