Nintendo’s 3DS can perform a variety of tasks that go beyond playing video games. In fact, the device comes with three cameras (two on the front, one inside) that let you take photos and enhance images using a variety of effects that range from adding sparkles to merging two people’s faces together. You can even shoot 3-D pictures.
That said, the software comes with 82 tips and tricks that’ll help you channel your inner photojournalist. In fact, Nintendo created a cute little parrot that, when clicked, automatically displays a random tip; you can view the full list of tips by activating the camera, then pressing Settings and Usage Tips, though you’ll need the bird’s help to unlock them all.
Here now, are some fun ways to enhance your pictures, taken straight from the parrot’s beak.
-The inner camera takes 2-D photos. The outer cameras take photos that can be viewed in both 3-D and 2-D. So, if you want to take a photo of yourself in 3-D, use the timer function and the outer cameras.
-If you want to make the subject of your photo stand out, think about the background. Using simple backgrounds, such as plain walls, will ensure that the subject is the star of your photo.
-The sparkle effect is an easy and glamorous way to decorate photos. Simply aim the camera at a face, blow on the mic and whoosh! It’s like fairyland. You’ll find Sparkle in the Camera Mode menu.
-Did you know you can press Y to switch between taking and viewing photos?
-Taken a photo using the outer cameras, but it’s not appearing in 3-D? Check that the 3-D depth slider isn’t down. If you still aren’t getting 3-D images after moving the 3-D depth slider up, 3-D images may be restricted by Parental Controls. Kids, ask a parent or legal guardian about this.
-A road leading into the distance, a tree in the foreground with a building behind it, a hand raised toward the camera. Capturing objects both near and far in the same picture make for a great 3-D photo.
-The Mystery effect is…well, mysterious. There’s no preview, so you have to take a photo to see what you get. You can take all kinds of photos with Mystery and you might make some new discoveries. They say that some Mystery photos even show things from other dimensions.
-If you feel like a change, select Interface colour in Settings to give Nintendo 3DS Camera a new look. Not sure which colour to go for? Just give the selection cursor a flick and leave it up to luck. Select Reset to return to the original colour.
-Thin objects and groups of differently sized and shaped objects look good in 3-D photos.
-The Merge effect can produce some weird and wonderful photos, and get some funny reactions out of your friends.
-Why not try setting up your own original camera effects? There are four different settings you can change freely in Manual Controls. You can return the settings to their original values by tapping Reset, so feel free to tinker with them as much as you like.
-You can take photos while choosing the camera mode. Press L, R or A.
-Photos of children or pets taken from a low angle can make for some interesting shots. Try changing your viewpoint and see what it does for your photos.
-For a beautiful portrait shot, try using the Dream effect. Photos taken with this effect have a lovely, soft atmosphere. Food will also look like it’s steaming hot and delicious.
-Let me tell you about the types of film available in Manual Controls. Each type of film gives your photos a different atmosphere. Try using the B/W film. It’s like stepping onto the set of a silent movie.
-To ensure the best 3-D effect, frame the subject of your photo so that it fits fully within the photo without being cropped.
-A 3-D icon is displayed on the upper screen while an image that can be shown in 3-D is on the screen. If the icon is white, the image is being displayed in 3-D. If the icon is grey, the image is being displayed in 2-D.
-Want to get in the frame for a group shot? Try using the timer feature. You can set the countdown after which the system will take a photo for you. You can also use the voice-activation function to take a photo when you say “OK!”
-Ever had the camera move ever so slightly right when you press the photo buttons? The timer might be pretty helpful when it’s easy to get camera shake, like when shooting in dark rooms. Just set the timer, then hold the system firmly in your hands. You won’t have to press the photo buttons this way, which could help prevent movement that causes camera shake.
-The Low Light effect can help you when taking photos at night or in darker rooms. It increases the exposure time slightly in order to capture more light, so press your arms in tightly when taking the photo to avoid camera shake.
-3D autofocus is where I take care of focusing the image for you, behind the scenes. The thing is, sometimes I can’t tell what to focus on. For example, photos taken in dark places are difficult for me to work with. If you find that the image on the upper screen isn’t appearing properly in 3-D, help me by adjusting the 3-D focus yourself. Just touch the red tool lever to display the adjustment icon.
-Have you ever tried adjusting the Contrast setting in Manual Controls? This setting lets you adjust the range of colours. Move the slider to the left for a calmer range of colours. Move it to the right for a brighter and vivid range of colours. When taking photos at special events and parties, try using a vivid contrast setting.
-Even hazy bodies like steam or smoke can look good in 3-D photos. Just be careful that you don’t get too close to anything hot.
-Try combining different settings in Camera Mode and Manual Controls. For example, if you try combining Sepia film with the Sparkle effect, the Sparkle effect you know and love will come to be even more magical.
-You can use the Pinhole effect to give your photos an old-fashioned, nostalgic look.
-Have you tried adjusting the Brightness setting in Manual Controls? This setting lets you adjust the brightness of the photo. Move the slider to the left to go darker, to the right to go brighter. Master the settings in Manual Controls, and you may learn to take photos exactly the way you want them.
-Including vertical lines, such as doors or pillars, in your 3-D photos will enhance the 3-D effect.
Have a 3DS? Find out how to get more StreetPass friends.