This article is about still cameras. You may be looking for other uses of the term.

A camera is a device used to take photographs. Traditional cameras capture light onto photographic film, while digital cameras use electronics to store digital images in computer memory inside the device.

Use by the KGB

During the 1960s, a button-shaped camera was developed by the KGB as a means of covertly taking pictures for espionage purposes. It was a small, lightweight, F21-type camera that was concealed behind a coat button, and also was connected to a thin cable leading from the camera itself to the pocket, to allow the camera to take pictures remotely.[1] EVA, while disguised as Tatyana, used it to take pictures of areas within Groznyj Grad, the Shagohod, Colonel Volgin, and Major Raikov.[2] Before returning to Groznyj Grad from Tikhogornyj, she also used it to take a picture of Naked Snake, for both personal reasons and as "insurance" in case Snake betrayed her.

Use by Big Boss

Big Boss used a rangefinder camera to photograph the Chrysalis unmanned weapon, during the Peace Walker Incident, which could focus just as well as any other camera and doesn't leave much picture blur behind, also necessitating two images to overlap to take a clear picture. According to the child soldier Chico, the camera was of the same model as the one that Che Guevara used. Big Boss later gave the picture to Chico, who then sold it on to a magazine where it was published as a UFO photo. The Militaires Sans Frontières also used it in some reconnaissance ops.

Use by Solid Snake and Philanthropy

A digital camera was briefly put into storage on Shadow Moses Island during the takeover by the renegade FOXHOUND unit. Solid Snake later procured this camera, and used it during and after the incident prior to 2007.[3]

Solid Snake utilized a digital camera during his mission on board the USS Discovery in 2007. Its purpose was to capture images of the newly-developed Metal Gear RAY for the anti-Metal Gear NGO Philanthropy. This camera was specifically designed for sneaking missions, with very limited storage capacity. After a picture was taken and stored into the camera's internal memory, it would be automatically processed via various algorithms to protect against tampering, as well as electronically stamped and distinctively encrypted as a safeguard. Snake took a picture of Sergei Gurlukovich with the camera and sent the photo to Otacon via Codec for him to ID. The photos of RAY were originally intended to be uploaded via Codec to Otacon, but after discovering that their transmissions were being monitored by an unknown party, Snake was forced to upload it via an IC router on the Discovery.

In the 2010s, Philanthropy possessed an MGS 004 236169 single-lens reflex digital camera, made in Japan. The image receiver employed a low power consumption CMOS module, and picture data was stored using a unique, ulta-high compression system developed by Sunny. The camera was equipped with high capacity flash memory for data storage.

Unconfirmed usage

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

The digital camera stored on Shadow Moses Island was specifically developed to investigate claims that the disposal facility was haunted, according to several members of the Genome Army. The camera contained various filtering techniques to discern auras, ectoplasm and other psychic emanations.[4]

Behind the scenes

"Take photos wherever you like!"
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid.

The Camera is featured in several 3D games in the Metal Gear series as a hidden bonus item, which is procured during gameplay. It is used to capture images of interest to the player, which can be saved onto a memory card (PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo GameCube) or the console's hard drive (Xbox, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), for later viewing. As the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable allow copying of game data onto a USB drive, photos taken in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection can be transferred to a computer.

Metal Gear Solid


The camera/scope in Metal Gear Solid.

The camera can be used to photograph ghosts in the original Metal Gear Solid, when used in certain locations. The ghosts are images of the game's development staff. If desired, these images can be removed from the photo by selecting the "Exorcise" option in the game's picture browser, accessed from the "Special" menu. If the player looks into a mirror with the camera, it is seen to be visually identical to the scope, as it utilizes the same polygon model.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Substance

In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the Camera serves as a standard item in Solid Snake's inventory, required for completion of the Tanker Chapter. The Digital Camera can be procured as a bonus item, during both the Tanker and Plant chapters, and will automatically appear in the player's inventory during subsequent playthroughs. In addition, because of the nature of the Tanker Chapter, the player could only take a limited amount of photos during the chapter. In addition, a ghost of Hideo Kojima can be photographed during the Tanker Chapter. The method of procuring the Digital Camera in the Plant Chapter requires either the use of a certain cardboard box or a level 5 card key, as it is in a room on Strut E that is behind a level 5 door.

"Press PlayStationSquare button for photos. Zoom in w/ PlayStationCircle button, zoom out w/ PlayStationX button."
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PlayStation 2).
"Press PlayStationSquare button to take photographs. Zoom in with PlayStationCircle button, zoom out with PlayStationX button."
―Digital Camera description in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PlayStation 2).

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance features several Alternative Missions under Photograph Mode, in which the player must take photographs of a specific object or character within the time limit, using the Digital Camera. There are six missions for Raiden and seven for Snake, with objectives including enemy soldiers performing certain actions, posters featuring female models, and ghosts.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Subsistence and 3D

Photos taken with the Camera in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence can be transferred to Metal Gear Acid 2 via "Link Mode," and converted to stereoscopic 3D images for use with Metal Gear Acid 2's Solid Eye peripheral. Photo data is sent from the PlayStation 2 system by USB cable to the PlayStation Portable, where the 3D images can be saved.

The camera reappears in Snake Eater 3D, although this time, because of the game being placed on the 3DS, the pictures can be made into 3D images from the get-go. In addition, aside from the usual gameplay related changes between the original and the 3DS version, the description was also slightly altered to specify that the camera found in the game was a "military-grade camera."

"Press PlayStationCircle button to take photos. Zoom in with PlayStationTriangle button, zoom out with PlayStationSquare button. (0.7kg)."
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PlayStation).
"Military-grade camera. Touch Use Icon to take a photo. Use slider to adjust magnification."
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

In Metal Gear Solid 4, the camera can be found behind Sunny's desk on board the Nomad, during Act 1, 2, or 3's mission briefing, or in the kitchen during Act 4's mission briefing. The camera allows pictures to be taken in-game, which can then be accessed from the photo album in the main menu and exported to the PlayStation 3's HDD. Photos taken could also be uploaded to Metal Gear Online's Community Support Page. If the camera is procured during Act 4, pictures of Sunny and Naomi Hunter will be stored on it.


Laughing Beauty poses for a photograph in Metal Gear Solid 4.

Unlike other games, where the camera must be used in first person view, Metal Gear Solid 4 features a third person option. In this view, the camera is controlled by a second controller (reassigning the controller works just as well). If the player completes the game with the camera in Snake's equipment, then it will appear in the inventory during the next playthrough, upon meeting up with the Metal Gear Mk. II.

During Act 4 on Shadow Moses, equipping the Sorrow Doll with the camera allows the player to take photographs of ghosts of certain characters from the original Metal Gear Solid, such as Liquid Snake, as well as members of the development team, including Hideo Kojima.

After the members of the Beauty and the Beast Unit shed their suits, waiting a few minutes will result in the player and the Beauty entering a white, featureless environment. Pointing the camera towards the women will cause them to pose for picture taking, though there is a time limit in which to do so.

"A single-lens reflex digital camera.
The image receiver employs a low-power consumption CMOS module, and picture data is stored using a unique, ultra high-compression system developed by Sunny herself.
Equipped with high-capacity flash memory for data storage.
Photos taken can be uploaded to Metal Gear Online's Community Support Page.
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

A rangefinder camera appears in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker as a selectable item. Any pictures taken are sent to "Photos" in the XMB Media Bar. It is a required item in several optional missions; including, but not limited to, "Ghost Photography," "Papparazi," and "Date with Paz." Chico speculates in a mission briefing that the reason the camera is able to take pictures of ghosts is because it is a machine, and thus cannot be fooled.

"High-quality rangefinder camera. Equip to look through rangefinder, then press PlayStationSquare to press shutter button. Photos taken can be viewed from the XMB™."
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PlayStation)

Metal Gear Solid Mobile

"When equipped, press the Action key to take photos. Press the First Person key to change zoom levels"
―Camera description in Metal Gear Solid Mobile



Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Database ("Button Camera"), Kojima Productions (2008). [1]
  2. ^ The last bit was implied in the commentary.
  3. ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
    Otacon: Here’s the digital camera. Works almost the same way as your old one.
    This conversation took place during the Tanker Incident which takes place in 2007.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
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