I noticed a piece on Google the other day where some one remarked that they had seen a Canon DCS3 for sale in an antique shop. An antique shop! Canon DCS3 was the first top end digital camera I ever used, and it took me just one day’s shooting and 71 frames for me to join the digital revolution. Digital was the future! What did it matter that the thing was the size and weight of a couple of house bricks, took a piddling 1.3MP images (1268 x 1o12px), had no LCD, and cost the equivalent of two or three king’s ransoms? Or that it needed a special program just to open the images, or that there was no in camera jpg capability, and the tiff files ate into the 16MB of RAM like a politician dicing the surplus?
Purely secondary considerations. A minute or two after taking a photograph it was possible to have it on-screen for tweaking and another couple for a not too great inkjet, or a very good dye sublimation print. It was simply magic. The icing on the cake was that out of the camera results were good. Not the same as film colour but very good. The photograph of the lady on the Sydney Harbour Bridge is straight from camera, apart from converting from tiff to jpeg.
But the thing that was so impressive was that the DCS3 was just the beginning. The 6MP DCS1 was already on the way and rumours were flying around that 10MP sensors were under development. We all sensed that this really was the start of something that would change the practice of photography for ever. Now it’s just an antique.