by Gerald Boerner

For some of us, we remember when… Grace and I finally sprung for a Canon ZapShot still video camera that stored 50 images onto a 2" optical disk. We were so jazzed at this that we showed it off at several conferences for local educators. It was a far cry from the Canon XTi that I use now or the Canon 5D that I use in… my Studio Lighting class… The folks today getting their first digital camera for $100 (with preview screen, memory card, and 12 Mpixels) don’t know what they missed. BTW, I still have the ZapShot and it works!

    

My First Digital Cameras | Digital Photography insights 
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Xapshot 150

Until the early 90s photography and computing managed to work together using a scanner to digitize prints. My first electronic still camera, the Canon Xapshot (left), wasn’t digital but it did record 50 images to a 2-inch disk. I’d view them on my TV, but I needed a capture board to transfer them to a computer. My first erasable shots were of retired San Francisco trolleys returned to active service one Labor Day weekend.

The Xapshot’s analog technology more closely resembled the way my VCR recorded video rather than my next camera, the Logitech Fotoman. Unlike the color Xapshot, the Fotoman stored up to 32 pictures in black and white, but they were digital, transferrable by cable to a serial port — which almost every PC contained. It took about 1.5 minutes to download each picture or 48 minutes to dump a full load from its internal memory. (Memory cards were still a way off.)