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Digital Camera history.


Good grief, was it only as recently as 1991 that we saw the first consumer grade portable digital camera, the 1.3 megapixel Kodak DCS 100? (on the left above) Astonishing isn’t it, a mere 14 years from clunky to camphone? Price of the whole system including storage unit – $15,000.00. Wow!

 The DCS 100 has to be connected to its Digital Storage Unit, ‘DSU’, by an umbilical cable. The DSU is a battery operated 200 megabyte recorder which can store about 150 uncompressed or 600 compressed images. Motor-driven exposure bursts can be made at a rate of 2.5 per second, in from six to twenty four image bursts, depending on how much RAM (Random Access Memory) the DSU has on board.


  • Lots of history on this camera.

  • I was in the military in the late 80’s and spent a couple days playing around with an early digital camera prototype. I forget who made it (probably Kodak) but it was about as big as the one pictured. Came with a little computer unit like that that took a 3.5 inch disk I believe. We’d hook it up to a mobile communications unit, snap some pictures and could send the images via sattelite uplink back to a recieving unit that could then print the pictures out on fax paper. This was probably 1987 or 88. The pictures were black and white and very grainy. But we were evaluating it for a Special Forces unit. Now they’re watching live video on their wristwatches.

  • The strangest thing to my mind is how far behind Kodak has fallen in the digital camera market (WiFi cams notwithstanding!). It really shows how fast things can change for even the most dominant market leader.

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