Apple’s QuickTake digital camera was super cool in the 90s

Vintage Apple QuickTake digital cameras 1990s

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.


While not the very first digital cameras marketed to everyday consumers (that honor goes the Dycam Model 1), these vintage Apple QuickTake cameras were 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 13 (which is ostensibly first a phone and not a camera) offers a photo size of 4000 x 3000 — 39 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 digital cameras at the time!

Vintage Apple QuickTake 100 digital camera ad (1994)

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).

MORE: When Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer in 1984, here’s what it could do


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)

Cost: $740

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)

ALSO SEE: How point-and-shoot 35mm cameras revolutionized amateur photography in the ’80s

Apple QuickTake 150 (1997)

The QuickTake [150], 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.

From the Syracuse Herald-Journal (March 12, 1997)

The Apple QuickTake 200 camera

QuickTake camera photon by Jared C Benedict. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Apple QuickTake 200 camera box


The Apple QuickTake 100 or 150 user manual page


ALSO SEE: Vintage instant cameras from Polaroid & Kodak: OneStep, Pronto, Colorburst & more

PS: If you liked this article, please share it! You can also get our free newsletter, follow us on Facebook & Pinterest. Thanks for visiting and for supporting a small business! 🤩 


You might also like...

The fun never ends:

Comments on this story

One Response

  1. i have a quicktime 150 and i have to buy batteries and see if i can work out how to drive it… looks new! …… i’ll put in the batteries and see how i go — i must have had it a long time – i’m 76 – so i’ll see if i can manage it…..

Leave a comment here!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.