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Nostalgia Nexus - early and pre-digital discussion Want to discuss the really early days of digital and even film - here is the place for you.

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Old 19th February 2018
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Embarrassing digital past

I think we have now reached the point where our early digital cameras merit some discussion. They may not be classics exactly, but they will soon have faded to the recycling bin of history.

I waited a long time before I bought my first digital camera. At the time in 2003 or so, they were about 2Mp and the general public were aware and buying them.
I stuck with slide film and manual style Nikon cameras to the bitter end, but eventually folks expected me to take a picture and get it to them the next day

So here are my early digital cameras by date:



Oh, that first Fuji S2800. I felt it was the equivalent of a cardboard disposable camera* However, there was that instant gratification of a picture on the screen immediately. The results were however lamentable.

*Which you can still buy!


The second Fuji - the S602 - was rather more serious. Today the images look lifeless, and close up they like a Farage speech, full of a load of nothing. It ate batteries.

The Olympus 8080 had a cracking lens but the jpeg images were once again, somewhat lacking. Perhaps shooting raw might have saved the day, but the camera was so slow I'm not certain I ever saw a raw image appear from the thing.

Finally, the E400. At last a half decent DSLR. All it needed was more resolution and some nicer lenses...

What happened after that dear reader? Well, an E510, E600, E620 and an E1. Then came the decision to go micro4/3 and commit to electronic viewfinder.
Cue an EPL-3 as an experiment. I didn't like the add on viewfinder TBH.

Finally we come to the modern world with the E-M5, GX7 and Pen F. All these recent cameras are fully worthy and have all the resolution I need.

But oh dear, those early digitals... It is only by talking about it that I can put it all behind me.
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Last edited by snaarman; 19th February 2018 at 09:25 AM. Reason: I've forgotten, again.
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Old 19th February 2018
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Re: Embarrassing digital past

My first 'proper' DSLR was the E1, which in good light and cool conditions provided remarkably high quality images with beautiful colour rendition that would still put some modern cameras to shame.

However, once the ISO reached the dizzy heights of 400 ASA image quality started to nosedive, and noise became a real problem. I also found that warm conditions made noise much worse. I then bought an E5, which was better but still noisy, and it was only when I bought an E-M5 that noise was kept under proper control.

But like Peter I too have a murky digital past; possibly even murkier than his!

It is here that I must confess that around 1998 I succumbed to a Panasonic NV DS15 'Digital' video camera similar to the one below, that recorded to miniature DV cassette tapes similar to digital audio tapes. Not only did it record video, but it also had a 'Still Photo' button that allowed the user to capture still images whilst recording video.

In my defence the video quality was remarkably good by the standards of the day (certainly compared with VHS video), but the still image thingummy was flaky and didn't always work properly. Worse still, you had to use a horrible, clunky Panasonic app to extract the still images, which IIRC had the massive resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. If that didn't work you had to extract individual frames from the video file, which were truly horrible.


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