While not the very first digital cameras marketed to everyday consumers (that honor goes the Dycam Model 1 camera), the Apple QuickTake was in stores from 1994 to 1997.
There were three models — the 100, 150 and 200 — and offered a 640×480 image resolution. By way of comparison, the Apple iPhone 5 (which is ostensibly first a phone and not a camera) offers a photo size of 2448 x 3264 — 26 times the size of image recorded by the old cameras — and can store thousands of pictures.
Here’s a look back at what journalists and amateur photographers were saying about the various models of Apple’s QuickTake at the time!
The Apple QuickTake 100 (1994)
Until now, costs — prices for high-quality digital cameras begin in the, $15,000 range — have been prohibitive for anyone except professionals or large corporations.
But the recent introduction of the Apple QuickTake 100 has changed all that/This futuristic-looking camera, equipped with automatic exposure and automatic flash, retails for $749 and can take up to 32 pictures that will appear — in 16 million colors — immediately on your Windows PC monitor (provided you are linked electronically to a computer equipped with the special software that comes with the camera).
This instantaneous quality — something that makes even fast-developing Polaroids look sluggish by comparison — is for many one of the chief advantages of going digital. The same picture that appears within microseconds on your own computer screen could also appear on someone else’s screen (provided the computers were linked by modem).
The primary drawback with direct digital photography is image quality. The Apple QuickTake 100, for example, takes pictures with roughly 300,000 pixels (picture elements) in its high-resolution mode. A top-of-the-line digital camera, Allen says, captures about 1.5 million pixels. An image on photographic film, by way of comparison, is composed of about 18 million pixels — so the picture is sharper and more subtle in its gradations of tone and color.
Computer-generated prints — the kind you’d hold in your hand as opposed to what you’d see on a screen — are also not quite as good as photographic prints. But most experts say that only a trained eye could tell the difference. Some, however, express concern about the longevity of computer-generated prints.
From European Stars And Stripes (May 17, 1994)
Apple QuickTake 150 summary (1996)
Number of images: 32 standard-quality, 16 high-quality
Compatibility: Windows and Macintosh computers
Features: A close-up lens that offers 640-by-480 pixel resolution in about 16 million colors. The camera weighs about a pound and has a built-in flash. It supports AppleScript software, which enables you to control the camera with software.
From the Santa Ana Orange County Register (April 7, 1996)
Apple QuickTake 150 (1997)
The QuickTake , one of the first digital cameras designed for the consumer market, remains a competitive model, but its unudual shape and relative bulk might scare off some people. Once you have become accustomed to it, though, it is easy to hold and comfortable to use.
“It has no LCD screen, a noteworthy drawback for any digital camera. It offers onboard storage for 16 pictures at high-resolution, and 32 at standard-resolution.
Pros: Easy to hold and use; has built-in flash; image quality is decent; has fairly accurate optical viewfinder and macro capability with included close-up lens.
Cons: Fixed-focus lens; no LCD screen; somewhat bulky.