I remember, we bought our first digital camera when my folks were there in the US – back in 2000 I think.
It was a Nikon Coolpix 4300 and it was awesome!
Yes it was slow to boot and I had to wait for a few seconds for it to be able to click the second snap.
And yes, its view finder cut off around 20% of the final photo it would take – but it was awesome.
As first cameras always are.
It was a 4 MP odd camera with 3x optical zoom, a plethora of features and a 256 MB card.
I remember doing tonnes of research comparing shutter speeds, ISO settings, scene settings, video record times and memory speeds – before I asked my dad to get this. The camera cost us around $400 / $450 odd at that time which was around Rs. 20K – $25K in Indian money then. A substantially large investment for us.
I think I spent almost 2 weeks researching which camera to purchase.
It gave decent indoor pictures – but the outdoor photography and macro mode images were terrific.
I purchased a second camera recently – not for myself – as a gift for someone else.
Walked into Croma, asked them for their options – researched the ones in our budget on CNET and picked one up.
The camera cost us around 12k – it is a Canon Ixus 12 MP camera.
And took me around 30 mins to research and compare (from within the store itself).
I could not believe the number of options that were available in Sony, Nikons, Kodaks and Canons for under 8k.
Almost the same price as their US counter parts.
Just goes to show that digital cameras have become such an everyday commodity in the 10 years since I owned my first camera.
And even then, with memory sizes quadrupling and magapixels increasing and photographs for a single event running into thousands, the quality of digital photographs has gone down – and the joy of flipping through a photo album on a rainy day with a cup of coffee is going to be restricted to the pages of history of our parents’ generation :)