DSi Camera Impressions

An obvious addition to the DS platform is the DSi's embedded cameras. Like most cell phones, the DSi handheld an external camera and an internal clamshell camera. This makes for easy picture-snapping.

The pre-installed camera software seems like bare bones image software stuff — things like altering images, changing colours, etc. There are some nice flourishes like blending two separate photos together and face recognition software. The face recognition software did have problems with recognition on several occasions, though.

As opposed to the confusing interface that plagues more Japanese cell phones, the DSi's camera interface is straightforward, clean and easy to use. (The portable's overrall interface music, though, does not get high such high marks. It's every Pure Moods-style CD you have ever hated. I quickly turned off the sound.)

The grossly underpowered camera is a mere 0.3 megapixels. There doesn't appear to be a zoom, either. It is possible to zoom slightly on pics you have already taken. On the DSi's screen, 0.3 megapixels does not look a grainy and horrible as the megapixel count would suggest. For tooling around on the DSi, the camera seems to suffice. For any pictures for posterity, use your cell phone or digital camera.

Both bumpers can be used to take pics, which actually seems confusing as cameras tend to put the snap button under where one's right trigger finger goes. I accidently snapped off several countless pics getting the hang of it.

When the DSi was first announced, Crecente mentioned how his son very much wanted one because it has a camera. Likewise, my son seems fascinated with the DSi's camera. For everyone else who already has a camera and isn't as excited about making distorted portraits, the appeal could very well wear off quickly.

It will be exciting to see how Nintendo integrates this camera into gameplay, because as a stand alone, it doesn't have much more to add than the camera equivalent of PictoChat.


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