Camera M game boy camera by Chris Graves
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Camera M Project – A Retro Game Boy Pocket Turned into Modern Rangefinder

August 1, 2022

Camera M is a Game Boy Pocket-turned modern rangefinder created by retro-modder Christopher Graves. The pixelated Game Boy camera images bring back pure 90s vibes while the sleek black rangefinder design makes it clear this camera is a fusion of retro and contemporary concepts.

camera m created by chris graves

Image used with permission from Christopher Graves at Game Boy Camera.

The Game Boy Camera was originally released by Nintendo in 1998 and over 20 years later there is still a strong following. Chris, who is a self-taught retro-modder,  has redesigned the Game Boy Pocket solely for Game Boy Camera use. He says, ‘Photography actually got me into game modding – I wanted to improve my tools and skills, so I learned to solder, learned 3D modeling, and circuit board design. Almost 5 years later, the Camera M is essentially the peak of my skills at this time.’

game boy camera M photographed next to traditional gameboys

Image used with permission from Game Boy Camera

His personal project has become of interest to fellow photographers who have asked if they can have one of their own. Chris says in his post about the Camera M, ‘So, my goal is to eventually sell kits for DIY builds and a small number of complete units. I initially set out to create something I would be proud of and I feel I succeeded. Along those lines, if I’m going to make something that others will buy and use, I want it to be done right.’ (source: Camera M website)

back of camera m created by chris graves

Image used with permission from Christopher Graves at Game Boy Camera.

He has plans to perfect the design before moving on to the next step of building a second unit which he will auction off. With the funds from the auction, Chris plans to make DIY kits & cameras to sell. Down the line, he also wants to make iterations and perhaps additional models.

Right now, you can support the project monetarily by donating to his Ko-fi page or shopping at Retro-modding where he also has a 5% discount code for you (gameboycamera) to use. Chris is also happy to have other forms of support such as sharing his work with others on social media and sending him encouraging words. Check out his Instagram here and Twitter here.

image shot on game boy camera of tree

Image used with permission from Christopher Graves at Game Boy Camera.

I asked Chris if he would run a crowd-funding campaign in the future. He said this is something he is considering but needs to work out the final materials and cost to build first. Watch this space!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Ron Peters
    August 1, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    A “rangefinder” camera has a rangefinder, this does not.

  • Reply
    Juan
    August 2, 2022 at 1:10 am

    Intriguing concept, but I can’t see the rangefinder, or viewfinder, in the camera. How does it work?

    • Reply
      Ranger 9
      August 4, 2022 at 6:56 pm

      It works on the principle that if you’re a jargon-obsessed Gen Zer who doesn’t actually know anything about cameras or photography, your meaning will be clear to other jargon-obsessed Gen Zers who don’t know anything about cameras or photography. All of Gen Z culture is based on the idea that fresh, youthful ignorance is better than old, boring knowledge, so this fits right in. Besides, focusing doesn’t matter when the image is basically unrecognizable, so this type of rangefinder achieves perfect accuracy for its intended purpose.

  • Reply
    spaq
    August 3, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    It’s a classic case of “OMG LENS IN THE FRONT BUT NO PRISM BUMP = MUST BE RANGEFINDER”

    well, in shape of a brick it does look like a leica

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