OCC hack turns Nintendo’s DS into a DSLR camera controller

A tone-mapped photograph taken with the Nintendo DS Phat and an Olympus E-P1 with 17mm pancake. Photo: hdrlabs.com

The Nintendo DS is a fantastic little gaming machine. To this day, I still enjoy playing Mario Kart DS on it, not to mention all the great titles that are offered as DSiWare through the Nintendo DSi. As it turns out, it can also be a great peripheral for shutterbugs too.

Open Camera Control (OCC) "Jailbreaks" your Nintendo DS

Sure, the Nintendo DSi already has a couple of low-resolution cameras embedded in it, but not many the pictures taken from it are really worthy of your public portfolio. However, it turns out that you can use the DS to control your DSLR. The software, called the Open Camera Controller, was created by Steve Chapman from Gentle Giant Studios and HDRLabs and is an incarnation of the ultimate HDR-panorama-bracketing machine.  The hacked DS software will work with Canon DSLR cameras, as well as cameras from Olympus and Sigma. With the Open Camera Controller (OCC), you actually gain additional features like timelapse shots, intervolometer, built-in alarms, and “clap” activated shutters. They also got the software to use as many as 11 stops to bracket their metered exposure.  They have used a few Nikon cameras that have MC-DC1 connectors, but Nikon’s firmware limits shots faster than 1/10th of a second.

HDRLabs is not selling OCC on the open market, but they do offer instructions on how enthusiasts can build their own. Once ready, users can then get up to five open-source apps to go along with OCC.


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