A Little Camera History

With the addition of my most recent camera system, I thought it might be interesting to list my camera gear. Obviously, this is not every last little accessory, just the main items.

Dating back to the “golden age of film”, I still have both a “pre-enjoyed” Canon A1 system and a Canon EOS 100 system. (For any youngsters who have just tuned in, Canon’s original autofocus film cameras bore the EOS name, long before they began producing digital cameras.) I also had a Canon Sure Shot Z115 compact film camera in those days. In fact, each of those cameras is still sitting in a cupboard not far from where I’m sitting writing right now! They’ve not had film put through them for many years now but, nevertheless, they’re there…

My first serious digital camera was the PowerShot G2 – a marvellous compact camera which at the time was referred to by many as a “pro-sumer” camera. In other words, it was a camera sold into the consumer market, but which had the quality and some of the features of professional gear of the time. The two key features that I recall were the ability to shoot RAW images and what Canon dubbed the “vari-angle” display. In other words, it had a “flippy out” display. I was pretty happy with this camera and got a lot of use out of it.

After a few years, prices had dropped somewhat so I upgraded to a full digital SLR – the EOS 350d. I also got a Canon IXUS 40 – a very compact camera which I carried everywhere with me in a small discrete case on my belt. I also got a Canon MVX250i camcorder at about the same time as the IXUS. Then I got a new PowerShot – the G9. I didn’t like it so much.

Once entrenched, photographers don’t tend to leave their adopted camp. This is often because accessories bought for one part of the system can be used with other parts. For example, I could still use the lenses I bought for my old EOS 350d if I upgraded the body to the current “equivalent” model, the EOS 450d. (Amazingly, I discovered that I was able to use the old infra-red remote release from my original EOS film camera with my digital EOS camera – some 15(?) years after it was first made!) Even if you don’t have an investment in equipment, your investment in learning how a product works can often be carried over to a newer model, due to the manufacturer using similar aspects of the design. ie buy a new camera from the same manufacturer and it’s likely to feel somewhat familiar straight away. Like buying a pair of comfy trainers. But buy from a different manufacturer and their “alien” way of doing things is akin to finding that your new trainers are too tight and dig into your heels – you’ve got to wear them for a while to break them in.

Digital Cameras

Fuji FinePix F200EXR
(released: Feb 2009) Acquired July 2009
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
Acquired December 2008
Canon PowerShot G9
(released: September 2007) Acquired April 2008
Canon EOS 350d
(released: March 2005) Acquired May 2006
Canon IXUS 40
(released: October 2004) Acquired October 2004
Canon MVX250i
(released: April 2004) Acquired summer 2004
Canon PowerShot G2
(released: September 2001) Acquired November 2001
Agfa ePhoto 307
Introduced 1997(?) Acquired 1997 or 1998.

Film Cameras

Nikon Nuvis mini
(released 1996) Probably acquired 1996.
Canon Sure Shot Z115
(released: September 1993) Probably acquired 1995.
Canon EOS 100
(released: August 1991) Acquired around 1993.
Canon A1
(released: April 1978) Acquired in the late ’80s.
Minolta 7000 AF
(introduced 1985) Acquired 1985.
Minolta X-700
(introduced 1981) Acquired 1985.
I have a vague memory that I had this camera for no more than a week or two. I was working in the trade and was able to return it, trading up to then new Minolta 7000.
Minolta XG-M
(introduced 1981) Acquired in the early 1980’s.
Konica pop
(introduced 1982) Mine was red and I only finally got rid of it to a jumble sale in something like 2005, I think.

Phew! The details are a little fuzzy once you go back 20 years or so, but I’m pretty certain that I’ve got the right models and, at least roughly, the right dates.

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