How to Introduce Children to 3D Photography by Adam Leavi

Would you like to sneak an interest in photography into your child’s life?

If you would, the Nintendo 3DS may be just what you need. With a recent price cut and many retailers are falling over one another to sell at a lower price, this is a great time to get your hands on a cheap 3DS.


The 3DS is primarily a handheld videogames system, capable of playing DS games as well as dedicated 3DS titles. It also carries other features, however – including a 3D camera. Once the excitement of a new games console has settled a little, you can gently (but firmly) point this out and encourage them to give it a go. The idea – and indeed, the results – of taking 3D photos with their 3DS is thrilling enough; but there's even more to it.


Nintendo's 3DS comes preloaded with photo editing software out of the box.


Thanks to the user friendly interface and touchscreen controls (with hints and tips on hand if needed), this software is very easy to use for photographers of all ages. They can draw over the photos they've taken, or add clipart-style images; choose from several camera modes for different effects when snapping pictures; and transfer their photos to an SD card (the 3DS comes with a 2gb card as standard) to view or edit their photos on another device.


Finally, there is the Mii feature.

As well as the two 'outer' cameras used for 3D photography, the 3DS also features an 'inner' camera which allows the user to take a photograph of themselves while checking the camera's view on-screen. A 'Mii' is a customisable avatar... the face of which can, if you wish, be created automatically from a photograph!

Your child chooses 'Create from Photo' in the Mii Maker, takes a photograph of their face following the on-screen instructions, and hey presto! A cartoony caricature is quickly created. A few more pages to put the finishing touches to the Mii, and a mini version of themselves is ready to be photographed!

By using the included AR (Augmented Reality) cards, the 3DS camera can 'see' your child's Mii – and a selection of Nintendo characters, if they wish – anywhere they like. In the living room, at the park, on the car... anywhere, with a selection of poses. Best of all, their subjects won't move or blink while they're trying to take the photo! Once they're happy with where the Mii is and what they're doing, they can take a 3D photo of their electronic self in the 'real world'. This is surely the icing on the cake for what is a great way of introducing younger enthusiasts to 3D photography. Not that you'd ever dream of having a go yourself when they're at school, of course. It is important to note, that the auto-stereoscopic 3D effect used by the 3DS is not recommended for children aged six and below. This 3D effect can be disabled in the settings by a parent or guardian if necessary. Children aged seven or older, however, can enjoy the 3D effect to their heart's content.