The Hottest DCEmu Posters
GBA Mini Camera Review
Thanks to EAGB Advance
for the review
Buy your GBA / GBA SP Mini Camera from Lik
It's anyone's guess on when Nintendo will release an official
GBA camera, although rumors were rife recently that one was
already in development. Those of you who can't wait, however,
need not despair, thanks to a third party manufacturer in
Asia who has just released the GBA Mini Camera.
Purpose Of The GBA Mini Camera
The GBA Mini Camera, as it's name implies, is a cartridge
camera using CMOS technology. Just like a regular camera,
the GBA Mini Camera will allow you to take pictures using
the screen of your GBA as a view finder. The camera has 8MB
of built-in flash memory so you can store up to 26 photographs
which can then be transferred to your computer via a USB cable.
Once you get your pictures on your computer, you can then
print them out or touch them up using your favorite imaging
software. Below is a list of the camera's features:
Built-in 8MB of flash memory.
640 X 480 pixel resolution.
Takes up to 26 pictures.
Pictures can be deleted/undeleted from the GBA itself.
9 pictures can be viewed simultaneously on each page in preview
Selectable area zoom-in.
4 exposure modes; normal, under-sun, in-door and night.
4 picture effects; neutral, rich color, blue, red.
Adjustable screen contrast.
USB connection with supplied cable to computer.
Photo management software for your computer to preview, print,
back-up and catalog your pictures in the camera. The software
only works on Windows 98, ME and XP operating systems.
Using The GBA Mini Camera
Those of you who own or tried the old GameBoy Camera will
know instantly how to use the GBA Mini Camera. It's a relatively
simple attachment, you only need to plug it in and turn on
your GBA to start snapping happily away. The camera doesn't
need any batteries nor do you need to modify your GBA in any
way to use it. The printed instructions that come with the
camera reads a little looney (literal English translation
from Chinese) but trust me it's easy to work because all the
menus are on-screen.
The first thing you'll see when you turn on the GBA is the
flash screen for the camera program. After that, you are instantly
in picture taking mode and whatever you see on the screen
is what you will take a picture of when you press the "A"
button. Pressing "Select" will bring up menu options,
and from here you can select the exposure mode, effects filters
and contrast display.
Exposure Mode - It's important to set the mode in which you
are taking pictures. For example, if you are taking pictures
out-doors under bright sunlight, you must choose the "under-sun"
mode. If you don't, your pictures will turn out over-exposed.
Focus can also be manually adjusted by tuning the focus lens
on the camera. Don't worry too much about this, however, because
you can see for yourself what your picture looks like on the
screen since everything captured is in real-time and you can
adjust the settings accordingly. As soon as you snap a picture,
there is a slight pause and you will know that your picture
has been saved when the picture counter goes up by one.
Effects Filters - The camera has four effects filters and
you can play around with these to your heart's content. I
only used the "neutral" filter for this review since
any kind of filter effect that I need can be done with Adobe's
Photoshop. To let you know, the "rich color" filters
emphasizes hues and color, while the "blue" and
"red" filter as it's name implies, imparts a bluish
or reddish tint to your pictures.
Contrast Display - As we all know, the GBA's screen display
can be rather difficult to see. The camera, however, will
allow you to adjust the contrast up to fifteen times. This
helps a lot, but in low light conditions you can't expect
much unless you have an internally lighted GBA.
So, once you've got all your pictures you can then manage
them using the camera's photo management menu. You can access
this menu by pressing the "left" shoulder button.
In preview mode, you can view up to 9 thumbnail pictures at
one time, and select to view or delete the one you want. A
neat feature is the ability to zoom-in on any part of the
picture, although the result is highly pixilated. Another
good feature is the undelete option, in case you delete any
The next step is to transfer the picture to your computer
for printing or touch-ups. This is done via USB with the supplied
cable. The driver and software for the camera comes on a diskette,
so you must install this on your computer first. Pressing
the "left" shoulder button and cycling through the
options will get you to the "pc connection" menu.
When you've got the camera linked and ready, you'll then need
to start the "Mini Cam Photo Book" software.
Mini Cam Photo Book Program- The program is small and simple
and easy to use. It will tell you how many pictures are stored
in the camera and will give you the option to preview, print,
back-up and catalog your pictures. All pictures saved are
in the JPEG format.
Pros Of The GBA Mini Camera
First of all, is ease of use and portability. The camera
is the size and weight of an average game cartridge and is
a self sustained unit with it's own built-in memory. This
means you can bring it anywhere and take pictures anytime.
The high resolution screen of the GBA also works nicely as
the camera's view finder. The menu system and options are
easy to understand, and anyone can get it up and running in
In sunlight and bright light conditions, the camera takes
pretty good pictures. Capturing at 640 X 480 pixel resolution
gives your pictures better print quality, and also makes it
easier to work with when exported to an imaging program like
The use of USB is another plus point, which makes transferring
pictures that much faster and easier. The drivers supplied
worked flawlessly on my computer, and the camera's photo software
was simple and dead easy to use.
Cons Of GBA Mini Camera
As I've mentioned, the GBA Mini Camera uses CMOS technology,
and so you can expect certain shortcomings in image quality
and sensitivity that are inherent to CMOS (if you own a GB
Camera you'll understand). In short, camera's like these need
a lot of light to capture good quality pictures. So while
the camera is quite good at capturing pictures outdoors on
sunny days, it doesn't do as good a job in low light conditions.
Another con is the slow frame rate that the camera achieves,
which in turn makes focussing a little difficult. To take
a good picture you'll definitely need steady hands as any
movement when pressing the "A" button will result
in a blurred image. Processing time between pictures is also
a little long (about 5 seconds) so don't hope to take fast,
simultaneous action shots with this camera.
In the software department, my main gripe is that you can
only select one picture at a time to preview or upload. If
you have 26 pictures, it will take some time to upload all
the pictures despite the fast USB connection.
Another disappointing gripe is that the camera can't be used
a web cam or to capture video. Maybe this is too much to ask
for considering the price, but it would have been ultra-cool
if it could. Also, because the camera is locked in a fixed
position without any kind of swivel attachment, self portraits
are out of the question, bummer!
Lastly, like the GBA TV Tuner, the GBA Mini Camera will be
so much easier to use if you have an internally lighted GBA.
So if you can, get yourself the Afterburner kit!
Despite its shortcomings in image quality under low light
conditions, the GBA Mini Camera is pretty good for outdoor
shots. For those on a budget and very new to digital imaging,
this is the attachment to get for your GBA.