Long-lost photos from Game Boy Camera show New York in 2000


posted Monday, May 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM EDT


Professional photographer David Friedman recently uncovered some remarkable photos of New York City he took back in 2000. The intriguing digital photos were not taken with an early DSLR as you might expect, but rather his Game Boy Camera.

Charmingly low-res (we're guessing there are app developers already hard at work on GameBoy camera filters), they brought us back to a time when integrating digital cameras in mobile devices was novel, mobile gaming didn't involve cellphones and the market for digital cameras was still nascent (Imaging Resource only launched two years prior, in 1998).

Subway car in motion. Sidenote: you can see here that rolling shutter has been dogging photographers for a long time. © David Friedman

"I was doing some general Lightroom file maintenance and was looking at some of my oldest digital images, and there they were," David recounted to Business Insider. He'd originally bought the Game Boy to take color photos, but before putting his new camera to that use, he toured Manhattan for some good-old B&W street photography. We're just impressed he's managed to keep all his digital files stored neatly in Lightroom after 15 years of different photo management applications and computer moves.

New York Public Library. © David Friedman

These GameBoy photos prompted us to take a look at our archives to find other cameras of a similar vintage. Higher-end consumer cameras were mostly limited to 3 megapixels, with Olympus' C-3000, debuting for $700, which we noted was a "fantastic bargain for a camera with such an exceptional level of image quality." David, for his part, shot mostly film at the time, but used a Sinar 4x5 camera and Dicomed or Leaf DCB II digital backs while he was a staff photographer for Christie's auction house from 1997-2000.

Oh, and he helpfully demonstrates that 'food porn' and selfies both predate cellphone cameras...

Pizza. © David Friedman
Selfie. © David Friedman

Take a look at the full photo series on David's blog. All images courtesy David Friedman.

(via hacker news, story details from David Friedman and Business Insider)