Okay, so the original Digital Harinezumi, ones with firmware V1.1 had this thing which has become known as the “colour hack”. Basically, if you held the OK button and shutter down when you turned the unit on, you got access to a debug menu. In this menu, among other things, you could mess with the red/green/blue colour settings, so that you could mess with the colour balance whenever you wanted. Check out Mijonju’s blog for more details (plus, it’s also just generally a good read)
The Harinezumi cameras released after that, however, don’t have access to the colour hack. Reports say that trying that combination of buttons on later models causes it to freeze. Keeping this in mind, I’ve come up with some methods to get similar types of effects with my Digital Harinezumi 2++
Method 1: Taking Advantage of the Automatic Colourbalance
This is a bit hard to explain clearly, but I’ll try my best. Like I said in my review, the Harinezumi 2++ has an inbuilt automatic colour-balance. As the name suggests, it tries to balance out the colours as best it can. With a bit of experimenting, I worked out a nifty method of exploiting this colourbalance to get cool tinted photos like the ones at the top.
What you’ll need:
Any object with (preferably one) colour. Seriously, that’s it.
How to do it:
Step 2: Hold the Harinezumi 2++ up relatively close to an object that is predominantly one colour. Almost anything will work – the shirt you’re wearing, your bag, a coloured mug, anything, really. In this case, I’m just using a very normal, blue binder folder. If possible, use an object of a vivid colour. Now, I said to hold it relatively close – basically you want it close enough that all you see on the Harinezumi’s screen is a single colour, but you don’t want it so close that the camera’s shadow blocks out everything. Hold this for a few seconds. You might start to see some colour change in these moments, but don’t worry – that’s supposed to happen.
Step 3: Lift the camera, point it at your desired target and shoot. You have a few seconds to take the photo. Notice how, compared to Step 1, everything is now bathed in a red hue? The colour tinting effect is much greater when outside, under the sun (as you can see in the photos at the very top).
Now, I have a theory on why this happens. The Harinezumi 2++ has that autobalance, which tries to even out the colours as best it can. When you point it at something that’s completely one colour, it will adjust the R/G/B controls to try to adapt. In this case, it evidently turned the red way up, to compensate for the overpowering blue (which we want). What this means is that, in this case, when I lifted the camera up to my actual target, it remained with the turned up red for a few seconds. If you just take a photo before it adjusts, you can have all sorts of cool-looking photos!
I’ll be putting up a couple of other methods I’ve developed in order to get similar colour-tinting effects with my Digi Harinezumi 2++ photos, but I thought this one was the easiest and coolest. I often use this method to just shoot opportunistically, using the colours from objects around me – my shirt, my plate, cups, books, and so on. That is, after all, the point of toycams, isn’t it? Just go out and shoot for fun!
PS: I forgot to mention that this colour hack method tends to work the best when the object you’re using is in direct sunlight. In this example, I would’ve ideally been under direct sunlight outside when I was focussing on the blue folder.