Hack lets you control a DSLR camera from a Nintendo DS

Here's how to use a Nintendo DS to program new features on DSLR cameras made by Canon, Olympus and Sigma.

The folks at the HDR Labs have released the Open Camera Controller (OCC), a system that uses an older Nintendo DS handheld to provide more options to photographers seeking to get the most out of their DSLR cameras.

After trying other hardware and firmware hacks for DSLR cameras and finding them unsatisfactory, HDR Labs set out to create their own system and thus was born OCC.

With a battery life of eight hours and sized small enough to fit into your jeans, the fully user-programmable OCC system promises to bring new shooting features and options to the DSLR community. The required hardware (beyond the Nintendo DS) requires some skill with a soldering iron and the Arduino development board. Install a small circuit board and an Atmega microcontroller into a DS game cartridge housing (WarioWare: Twisted is big enough to hold the microcontroller), modify a shutter release cable, program, and start shooting.

What's the point of hacking a DSLR to play nice with a handheld gaming console? Most consumer and professional-grade cameras have numerous capabilities that are either difficult or impossible to access: expanded high-dynamic range bracketing, time lapse shooting, and basic scripting for shooting a slew of images.

If you own a multi-thousand-dollar camera, shouldn't you be able to program new features and abilities to your DSLR? OCC's range of homebrew software lets you not only control your camera's exposure bracketing, but also trigger the shutter based on sound (clap or yell to take a photo) or a specific interval, and even allows for scripting suitable for astrophotography. An online forum encourages future development of OCC, and there's also a devkit (linked at the bottom of the software page).

HDR Labs via Electronista

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags slr camerasgamesdigital camerasnintendo dsphotography

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alessondra Springmann

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?