When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gary Edstrom, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Gary Edstrom

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?

    I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    came close to replacing my film camera.

    Gary
    --
    Gary Edstrom <>
    Visit my Midway Island home page at http://gbe.dynip.com/Midway
    I am Yoda of Borg. Futile is Resistance. Assimilate you, I will!
    The above tagline is number 212 in a series of 549. Collect them all!
    Gary Edstrom, Nov 27, 2007
    #1
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  2. Gary Edstrom

    Scott W Guest

    Gary Edstrom wrote:
    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    > Gary


    This might be some help
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/timeline.asp?start=1996

    Logitech had their Photoman out much earlier but it was pricey and took
    bad b/w photos.

    I remember in 1997 the company I worked at debated whether to get the
    0.8MP Olympus D-500L or go for the high resolution one at 1.3MP, we went
    for the 0.8 MP one. You could buy a good DSLR and lens for what we paid
    for a 0.8 MP camera back then.

    Scott
    Scott W, Nov 27, 2007
    #2
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  3. Gary Edstrom

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <>, Gary Edstrom
    <> wrote:

    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?


    I believe it was 1996 when Apple introduced the QuickTake 100.
    Mr. Strat, Nov 27, 2007
    #3
  4. Gary Edstrom

    Ali Guest

    Nothing to do with your question, but my first digital camera was a 1.2MP
    Kodak DC240. I sold it after a couple of weeks and stuck with film.
    Although is wasn't the reason for selling it, but it used batteries like
    they were going out of fashion! I don't know the date as there is no EXIF,
    but must have been around 1999.

    As Scott said, maybe the Logitech Fotoman was the first, which was very
    early 90's.



    "Gary Edstrom" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    Ali, Nov 27, 2007
    #4
  5. Gary Edstrom

    Gary Edstrom Guest

    Just like in the early days of my film photography, I made a couple of
    mistakes that I have always been sorry for.

    Back in my film days starting in 1974, I used a polarizer on most of my
    outdoor pictures. The pictures looked fine as long as I was only
    projecting them on a screen, but when I started to digitize them, I
    realized what a big mistake it was using the polarizer so much. So many
    of my outdoor pictures look completely unnatural.

    Back when I started digital photography, I didn't know about the EXIF
    header and didn't know that the camera was storing the date & time in an
    information block, so I had the camera imprint the date-time in the
    lower-right corner of every picture. It sure spoils the picture!

    Gary

    On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:43:40 GMT, Gary Edstrom <>
    wrote:

    >When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    >I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    >is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    >very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    >came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    >Gary

    --
    Gary Edstrom <>
    Visit my Midway Island home page at http://gbe.dynip.com/Midway
    Sign at nudist colony - "Clothed for the winter."
    The above tagline is number 376 in a series of 549. Collect them all!
    Gary Edstrom, Nov 27, 2007
    #5
  6. "Mr. Strat" <> writes:
    >In article <>, Gary Edstrom
    ><> wrote:


    >> When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?


    >I believe it was 1996 when Apple introduced the QuickTake 100.


    The QuickTake 100 came out in 1994. It was a truly awful camera
    photographically: no focus adjustment, 640x480 images with colour
    artifacts. Fixed FL lens, optical tunnel finder, but no image preview
    or review. There was a built-in flash.

    It had enough memory for 8 of these "high res" images, or 32 images in
    "low res" 320x240 mode. Memory was soldered in, so you couldn't add
    more, and you couldn't remove it to install a blank card. Nor could you
    get the data via an external card reader - you had to connect it to a
    serial port on your computer to transfer the data. The Mac's serial
    ports were capable of 1 Mbps (or so) at that time (they were also used
    for Localtalk networking), so it didn't take that long to download all 8
    images. But a later version (the 150) supported Windows, and used the
    PC serial port. Transfers were much slower via it.

    Images were stored in a proprietary compressed format; you needed a
    special QuickTime codec to decode it. I've still got some images from
    it around, but think "bad 640x480 cellphone camera" and you'll have the
    general idea.

    It was $1000 US when it appeared. Despite the price and image quality,
    people apparently bought lots of them.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Nov 27, 2007
    #6
  7. Gary Edstrom

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <fii0om$ush$>, Dave Martindale
    <> wrote:

    > The QuickTake 100 came out in 1994. It was a truly awful camera
    > photographically: no focus adjustment, 640x480 images with colour
    > artifacts. Fixed FL lens, optical tunnel finder, but no image preview
    > or review. There was a built-in flash.


    Yup...pretty basic.

    > It had enough memory for 8 of these "high res" images, or 32 images in
    > "low res" 320x240 mode. Memory was soldered in, so you couldn't add
    > more, and you couldn't remove it to install a blank card. Nor could you
    > get the data via an external card reader - you had to connect it to a
    > serial port on your computer to transfer the data. The Mac's serial
    > ports were capable of 1 Mbps (or so) at that time (they were also used
    > for Localtalk networking), so it didn't take that long to download all 8
    > images. But a later version (the 150) supported Windows, and used the
    > PC serial port. Transfers were much slower via it.


    And it looked like a pair of binoculars.

    > Images were stored in a proprietary compressed format; you needed a
    > special QuickTime codec to decode it. I've still got some images from
    > it around, but think "bad 640x480 cellphone camera" and you'll have the
    > general idea.


    My RAZR takes better pictures. But I still have a QuickTake 150 around
    here somewhere. Used to have a QuickTake 200 and sold it on eBay.
    Mr. Strat, Nov 27, 2007
    #7
  8. Gary Edstrom

    frederick Guest

    Gary Edstrom wrote:
    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    > Gary


    I still have a cheap and nasty Kodak "DC20" here. Cost was about US$200
    in 1997 (I bought it in LA). This had fixed lens, internal memory for 8
    or 12 shots (resolution 493 x 373) optical viewfinder, no LCD, and only
    a series of blinking led lights on the back to indicate how many shots
    were left.
    It used one CR123 lithium battery, and the cost of batteries with short
    battery life probably exceeded the cost per shot of 35mm film.

    A full resolution sample image from the camera is here:
    http://i14.tinypic.com/81u0qqa.jpg

    There were better consumer level compact cameras available then, IIRC
    Casio had 640x480 model with a rear LCD at about double the price of the
    Kodak. To put it in perspective, I had a "top of range" laptop at the
    same time, with 800x600 active matrix LCD, 16mb ram, ~500mb HD. It cost
    more than US$3,000.
    frederick, Nov 27, 2007
    #8
  9. Gary Edstrom

    John Navas Guest

    On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 19:34:48 GMT, "Ali" <> wrote in
    <sj_2j.44082$>:

    >Nothing to do with your question, but my first digital camera was a 1.2MP
    >Kodak DC240. I sold it after a couple of weeks and stuck with film.
    >Although is wasn't the reason for selling it, but it used batteries like
    >they were going out of fashion! ...


    You must have been using alkalines. NiCd would probably have made a
    huge difference.

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas
    Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
    John Navas, Nov 28, 2007
    #9
  10. 1990 Logitech and I think Ricoh.

    The Spider
    The Spider Formally Seated Next To Little Miss Muf, Nov 28, 2007
    #10
  11. Gary Edstrom

    ray Guest

    On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:43:40 +0000, Gary Edstrom wrote:

    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    > Gary


    Really! I still have my DC210+ which I bought refurbished. I loved that
    camera. Pulled it out a couple of months ago to do a little gig at the
    local library where they didn't need much resolution on some snapshots
    they printed out for Haloween - worked great. I now have a P850 which is
    my main camera.
    ray, Nov 28, 2007
    #11
  12. Gary Edstrom

    Steve M Guest

    1994 Epson PhotoPC. 230k sensor. Really crappy pictures. But it worked
    and I loved digital photos. Even started printing them on my Photosmart
    Printer. It was awesome lol


    --
    L8tr....
    Steve M.

    "ray" <> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:43:40 +0000, Gary Edstrom wrote:
    >
    >> When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >>
    >> I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    >> is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    >> very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    >> came close to replacing my film camera.
    >>
    >> Gary

    >
    > Really! I still have my DC210+ which I bought refurbished. I loved that
    > camera. Pulled it out a couple of months ago to do a little gig at the
    > local library where they didn't need much resolution on some snapshots
    > they printed out for Haloween - worked great. I now have a P850 which is
    > my main camera.
    >
    Steve M, Nov 28, 2007
    #12
  13. Gary Edstrom

    JohnR66 Guest

    "Gary Edstrom" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    > Gary
    > --
    > Gary Edstrom <>
    > Visit my Midway Island home page at http://gbe.dynip.com/Midway
    > I am Yoda of Borg. Futile is Resistance. Assimilate you, I will!
    > The above tagline is number 212 in a series of 549. Collect them all!


    I bought an Epson Photo PC in early 1996. 640x480 resolution, no LCD screen,
    but better than the casio QV10 or whatever it was that had a much lower
    resolution, but did have a screen. I think I paid $500 for this toy. Look
    what you can get for $500 now!

    Years before that, at work, we bought a Canon. It was very expensive, had
    640x480 resolution and acessories including a film reader. It saved files to
    a mini floppy disk format.
    John
    JohnR66, Nov 28, 2007
    #13
  14. I would consider the Nikon Coolpix 900 (March 1998) the first digital
    consumer-level camera which was versatile by taking advantage of what
    digital could offer. It was 1280 x 960 pixels, and had both optical and
    LCD viewfinders. The lens was superb, and allowed great macros. The
    twist in the format was the separation of taking and viewing sections,
    with a swivel lens assembly. This made the camera very versatile, and
    offered something no film camera could. The next generation, the Nikon
    Coolpix 990, did upgrade to 3.2MB (and can provide 10 x 8-inch A4 sized
    prints), and removed many of the quirks of the 900.

    I still have both the Nikon 900 and 990 - batteries removed for safe
    storage.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 28, 2007
    #14
  15. Gary Edstrom

    nospam Guest

    In article <GVd3j.54471$>, David J
    Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk> wrote:

    > I would consider the Nikon Coolpix 900 (March 1998) the first digital
    > consumer-level camera which was versatile by taking advantage of what
    > digital could offer. It was 1280 x 960 pixels, and had both optical and
    > LCD viewfinders. The lens was superb, and allowed great macros. The
    > twist in the format was the separation of taking and viewing sections,
    > with a swivel lens assembly. This made the camera very versatile, and
    > offered something no film camera could. The next generation, the Nikon
    > Coolpix 990, did upgrade to 3.2MB (and can provide 10 x 8-inch A4 sized
    > prints), and removed many of the quirks of the 900.


    you skipped the 950 :)
    nospam, Nov 28, 2007
    #15
  16. Gary Edstrom

    tomm42 Guest

    On Nov 27, 1:43 pm, Gary Edstrom <> wrote:
    > When did the first consumer level digital cameras hit the market?
    >
    > I was sort of a late arrival in digital world. My fist digital picture
    > is dated May 18, 1999 and was taken with a Kodak DC-265. I was never
    > very happy with that camera, but I used it for about 2 years. It never
    > came close to replacing my film camera.
    >
    > Gary
    > --
    > Gary Edstrom <>
    > Visit my Midway Island home page athttp://gbe.dynip.com/Midway
    > I am Yoda of Borg. Futile is Resistance. Assimilate you, I will!
    > The above tagline is number 212 in a series of 549. Collect them all!



    I lost a lucrative contract photographing a meeting to the VP of the
    company with a Sony Mavica in 1998. I used to shoot slides on a Leica
    M2 for them to document the meeting then process the slide film in the
    bathtub in my hotel room for the last morning meeting. Was fun paid
    well, I thought it was funny with the VP running around with his
    pockets filled with floppy disks. He got the last laugh.
    My first digital was a Fuji 1400 I bought for my wife after she lost
    and old Olympus Stylus. This camera had amazingly accurate color, and
    not a bad lens, just with 1.3mp the files would fall apart above 5x7,
    I even tried Genuine Fractals on them. Still have the camera and for
    4x6 snaps you can tell the difference between the photos reduced from
    my D200 files and the Fuji's but they are surprisingly close.

    Tom
    tomm42, Nov 28, 2007
    #16
  17. nospam wrote:
    > In article <GVd3j.54471$>, David J
    > Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> I would consider the Nikon Coolpix 900 (March 1998) the first digital
    >> consumer-level camera which was versatile by taking advantage of what
    >> digital could offer. It was 1280 x 960 pixels, and had both optical
    >> and LCD viewfinders. The lens was superb, and allowed great macros.
    >> The twist in the format was the separation of taking and viewing
    >> sections, with a swivel lens assembly. This made the camera very
    >> versatile, and offered something no film camera could. The next
    >> generation, the Nikon Coolpix 990, did upgrade to 3.2MB (and can
    >> provide 10 x 8-inch A4 sized prints), and removed many of the quirks
    >> of the 900.

    >
    > you skipped the 950 :)


    Yes. I didn't mention a whole range of cameras which came after the 900,
    and those which came after the 990. My view is that the 990 was the peak
    of that range, but of course the 950 was a step along the way.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Nov 28, 2007
    #17
  18. Gary Edstrom

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article
    <>,
    tomm42 <> wrote:

    > I lost a lucrative contract photographing a meeting to the VP of the
    > company with a Sony Mavica in 1998. I used to shoot slides on a Leica
    > M2 for them to document the meeting then process the slide film in the
    > bathtub in my hotel room for the last morning meeting. Was fun paid
    > well, I thought it was funny with the VP running around with his
    > pockets filled with floppy disks. He got the last laugh.
    > My first digital was a Fuji 1400 I bought for my wife after she lost
    > and old Olympus Stylus. This camera had amazingly accurate color, and
    > not a bad lens, just with 1.3mp the files would fall apart above 5x7,
    > I even tried Genuine Fractals on them. Still have the camera and for
    > 4x6 snaps you can tell the difference between the photos reduced from
    > my D200 files and the Fuji's but they are surprisingly close.


    Must have been a bitch to keep temperatures within the close specs
    required for slide processing.
    Mr. Strat, Nov 28, 2007
    #18
  19. Gary Edstrom

    nospam Guest

    In article <MIe3j.54486$>, David J
    Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk> wrote:

    > > you skipped the 950 :)

    >
    > Yes. I didn't mention a whole range of cameras which came after the 900,
    > and those which came after the 990. My view is that the 990 was the peak
    > of that range, but of course the 950 was a step along the way.


    agreed, the 990 and slightly improved 995 were the peak.
    nospam, Nov 28, 2007
    #19
  20. Gary Edstrom

    Scott W Guest

    nospam wrote:
    > In article <MIe3j.54486$>, David J
    > Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >>> you skipped the 950 :)

    >> Yes. I didn't mention a whole range of cameras which came after the 900,
    >> and those which came after the 990. My view is that the 990 was the peak
    >> of that range, but of course the 950 was a step along the way.

    >
    > agreed, the 990 and slightly improved 995 were the peak.


    I had a Nikon 995, great camera for the time and made better looking 4x6
    prints then I was getting from film. But it fell short on 8x10 prints,
    they looked ok but that was all.

    Still I took a lot of photos with it from 2001 to 2004.

    Scott
    Scott W, Nov 28, 2007
    #20
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