In my previous article, I chronicled a falcon sighting in New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. I took several normal, full-color photos of the falcon with the somewhat-lacking camera of my Teracube 2e phone. After having taken a good selection of photos of the falcon, I thought about whether my regular camera app (a fork of Open Camera) was the only camera app I had to take falcon photos. On my home screen, I noticed my second camera app: Retroboy.
The Retroboy app is a free and open source application for Android (and any related operating systems which can run Android apps). Its app page on F-Droid describes it as follows:
Retroboy provides vintage imaging technology not seen since the digital cameras and monochrome screens of the previous century. A series of real time filters implement various image processing algorithms, to emulate the graphic experience of classic hardware.
Unsurprisingly given its name, the first camera emulation it offers is that of the legendary (I am stretching the meaning of legendary) Game Boy Camera. Those who had Game Boy Cameras, like me, will surely remember it. For the rest of you, it was a strange cartridge with a camera lens which could turn one’s Game Boy into a poor camera. The pictures were a bit lacking, but that gave them their charm.
The Retroboy implementation of the Game Boy Camera is a bit more flexible than the original for obvious reasons, including the fact that it can access a phone or tablet’s front and back cameras (the original Game Boy Camera had a swivel). Another one of the app’s exciting features and improvements is that it has different resolution settings. The original Game Boy Camera had a whopping 128 x 112 resolution. Retroboy’s implementation can go up up an insane 960 x 720.
While I cannot say for sure, I doubt that anyone took a photograph of a falcon with the Game Boy Camera. It is perhaps even less likely that anyone has tried to take a photograph of a falcon with the Retroboy’s implementation of the Game Boy Camera. While we are a small and humble online writing magazine, I am not averse to making history. We do not always have the opportunity to be a legend. Let us seize the moment. Below, you will find three Retroboy Game Boy Camera photos of the falcon at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
I took the photos at 960 x 720 resolution. They were saved on my phone as .png images, but I converted them to .jpg because I care about your bandwidth (mobile visitors). I reduced the size to 800 x 600 and 600 x 800 and I used my local image compressor to reduce their size (I doubt optimization has too severe of an effect on grayscale Game Boy Camera images in any event). All things considered, I think the falcon Game Boy Camera images came out well.
I made history in this article. If you want to make your own Retroboy history, the source code for the app is available on GitHub and the app itself is available on the free and open source F-Droid application repository for Android (it should also work on all Kindle Fire devices). For those of you with older phones and tablets, note that RetroBoy is compatible with Android versions as low as 4.1. It has several other vintage cameras available in addition to its flagship Game Boy Camera setting.