The Digital Cameras of 2000 Look Awfully Good For Their Age

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This Canon PowerShot G1, released in 2000 and listed at Best Buy for $800 in 2001, has held up well. Sure, 3.34 megapixels isn't much, but spec for spec, this codger can almost hang with the kids.

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Seriously, you could just post this spec sheet next to a Canon in a retail store now, and most people wouldn't bat an eye. They sure as hell wouldn't buy it, but they probably wouldn't say anything, either:

Image for article titled The Digital Cameras of 2000 Look Awfully Good For Their Age

In ten years, what have we gained? More megapixels, higher-quality video, some more ports, better low-light performance, smaller memory cards, better battery life, and a little compactness. Canon's cheapest P&S, the 10-megapixel Powershot A480, handily outspecs the $800 G1 for just $110 (though it doesn't have video). Today, if you hand Canon $800, they'll hand you back a DSLR that shoots HD video:

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What's amazing, though, is that if you did spend $800 on this camera back in 2000, you could still use it today. It'd be beaten to hell, the zoom motor would sound like it had gained sentience and learned to experience real, mammalian pain, and the 16MB CF card would have been replaced with something a little roomier, but damnit, it would work—and your Facebook friends wouldn't know the difference. You can't say that about many gadgets from 10 years ago, so here's to you, Powershot: You were great, or your category moves slow. Whichever makes you feel better.

DISCUSSION

By
OpenSourceDWORD

The G1 was a remarkable camera - but as to what have we gained in the past 10 years?

If you look at the evolution of cameras over the past 30+ years you'll see that the ubiquitous compact went from being a real camera to a cheap plastic thing in a blister pack for $10 at your local drugstore.

Digital compacts were seemingly headed down the same road - the G1 (and Nikon variants) proved that picture quality does rely on premium features like 'glass lenses' + people do care about picture quality even if they aren't professional photogs + people are willing to pay a bit extra for higher quality images.

10 years later we are not floating in a sea of $10 plastic digital cameras as we were with their film loaded cousins in the 80's ... instead we have an array of fascinating digital options where spending $400+ on a digital camera is 'normal'.