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  • Greetings and welcome to an LGR thing! And this one right here is

  • the Apple QuickTake 100 digital camera, developed in conjunction with Kodak and sold by

  • Apple Computer beginning in February of 1994. And it was initially sold at a

  • price of $749 US Dollars and was the first color fully-digital camera to hit

  • retail at less than $1000 on launch. And even though there were later releases

  • that connected to both Windows and Mac OS, this original 100 model I have here

  • only came with software to use with Macintosh computers. It was also

  • specifically geared towards taking advantage of Power Macintosh hardware as

  • this vibrant sticker on the front so boldly proclaims. "The freedom to bring

  • the world directly into your computer." Wow, all of the world just, right in there!

  • This was immeasurably exciting in 1994! No need to wait a week or two to get

  • your roll of film developed, now you can enjoy your photos the very same day.

  • And not only that but it did so in 24-bit color, which was still a notable

  • accomplishment. Its nearest-priced competitor the Logitech Fotoman Plus

  • shot in black and white only, and the color Dycam Model 4 cost nearly

  • twice as much as the QuickTake 100. Yeah that's right, an Apple product that was

  • both technically impressive *and* lower in price than the competition!

  • My how times change.

  • I got this particular QuickTake 100 at a local Goodwill a while back, as

  • seen on LGR Thrifts episode 30. I considered it quite a lucky find because

  • coming across these original model 100s can be a bit tough, especially complete

  • in box and as lightly-used as this one appeared to be. Speaking of that box

  • let's go ahead and get this thing open! And starting right off here with some

  • floppy disks, two of them that are just the normal program to work with pretty much

  • any Mac and then a third one to use if you have a Power Mac. You also get a bit

  • of Apple company paper work here: the warranty and their software license

  • agreement. As well as a 70 page user's guide for the Macintosh version of the

  • QuickTake 100 here. All sorts of useful information on how to set it up and use

  • this thing which, again, was kind of a new deal at this point in time. Most people

  • didn't even know digital cameras were a thing, this is all pretty uncharted

  • territory for everything from the software itself to how to use the

  • functions of the camera. New problems like "oh no my camera won't take pictures

  • why might that be?" Well maybe it's cuz the memory is full. "What, a camera has

  • memory, you have to erase it, that's wild." And then in the bottom of the box tucked

  • away in this little formed package are a few different things. Starting with the

  • wall charger for the nickel cadmium batteries, well that was nice of them to

  • include. You can just use normal AA batteries of course, but it came with an

  • official QuickTake charger as well as some rechargeable batteries right here.

  • Which I would have attempted to use, just out of curiosity, had they not been

  • leaking. You also get a cable to connect to the computer and work with the camera

  • and get your images and such. This is a GeoPort serial data cable. And then of

  • course there is the QuickTake 100 camera itself. And yeah it's kind of a

  • charmingly ugly beast, in my opinion. It's about the size and shape of a pair of

  • small binoculars. It weighs 18.5 ounces with batteries

  • installed, so just over one pound or half a kilogram. On the front of it here with

  • this little sliding cover that you move to turn it on you have an 8mm

  • fixed focus lens, the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a

  • 35 mil camera. With an aperture ranging from f/2.8 to 16 and a

  • focus range of four feet to infinity. As well as shutter speeds between

  • 1/30 and 1/175 of a second and an ISO of approximately 85. Yeah this used

  • a cut-down version of the CCD that was used in the earlier Kodak DCS 200

  • digital camera back. That thing was an $8,000 monster so having that kind of

  • capability in something this size and so relatively cheap was pretty neat! And

  • your pictures were stored on one megabyte of internal EPROM flash memory.

  • It's not removable, it's just in there all the time, but the nice part was that

  • your photos were saved even if you didn't have any batteries installed.

  • Unlike certain contemporaries like the Fotoman that used volatile RAM, so

  • you'd lose your pictures if the batteries ran out or they were taken out

  • or whatever. With a whole megabyte you could get 32 pictures stored at 320x240

  • resolution or 8 pictures at 640x480. Yes, a whopping 0.31 megapixel is what

  • you get with this $750 camera from 1994. Oh but hey, they threw in a free carrying

  • strap, that's nice. And before we get to start taking some pictures, let's take a

  • look at a couple of the other little things that are on here. Including this

  • little pop-open side panel which provides the serial connection as well

  • as a place for the optional external DC power supply. Along the bottom you have a

  • standard tripod screw mount and these two spots at the bottom are for hooking

  • up the strap. And around the back is where we have our viewfinder as well as

  • an LCD panel. There are four different functions here, the first one letting

  • you change the flash functionality -- whether you want it on, off, or auto.

  • A button for letting you switch between the high and low-res image capturing

  • modes. A button for enabling the timer shutter release so that you, you know, can

  • do timer-y things. And a recessed button here to let you delete all of the

  • images that are stored on the camera. Yep all of them at once, only press that if

  • you're sure that nothing you've taken is good. And finally when you're ready to

  • take yourself a photo you slide open the front panel and the shutter release

  • button is on the top. Just this awkward plastic button that you

  • smoosh inwards and there you go!

  • *quick and quiet shutter sound*

  • It quietly and rather quickly takes and saves a photo, it's a

  • little quicker than some other digital cameras I've used from this time period.

  • Gets a full resolution image saved in just a couple seconds! And of course to

  • take a look at the photos we need a computer, and for that I have chosen this

  • lovely Power Macintosh 7300/200.

  • *classic Mac startup chime*

  • First things first you'll need that serial cable plugged into the back of

  • the computer, and it's going to be plugged into either the printer or the

  • modem port. And then the other end just plugs into that little opening panel on

  • the side of the QuickTake itself. And that's really it, just make sure it's

  • turned on and you're ready to go! Just stick those floppy disks in there and

  • you'll be installed and ready to go in no time. So the QuickTake 1.0 software

  • is what this comes with and well, it is the most bare-bones of image retrieval

  • and editing tools. In fact there's not much here in terms of editing, it really

  • is mostly just for getting the camera images off of the camera itself and onto

  • your computer in the file format that you choose. Anyway you can view them

  • directly or you can choose to move all of the images to your hard disk. And it

  • does it pretty quickly, only taking about a minute for the full one megabyte

  • transfer. And then it'll ask you if you want to erase all of the images from the

  • camera, "yes or no." And if you say yes it'll bring up this little camera

  • control panel and delete the images straight away. And if you stick around in

  • that camera controls area after that then you can do pretty much everything

  • that you could with the camera. Like switching around the options for flash,

  • resolution, and timer and deletion. But you can also take a picture. You won't be

  • able to see a live image but you will immediately see it quote-unquote

  • "developed" and show up on your desktop. And your results may vary. But yeah at

  • this point you can view your images within QuickTake -- and you do need

  • QuickTake. It actually shoots in its own version of PICT images, that's P-I-C-T.

  • You can save in TIFF or uncompressed PICT formats as well if you'd like, but

  • those are gonna take up more disk space. And yeah just check out some of these

  • shots! As usual I like using older digital cameras and just older cameras

  • in general to take pictures of things where you really wouldn't be able to

  • tell when it was taken. Stuff that's era-appropriate, like buildings and old

  • electronics. Especially technology I just like taking pictures of, with old

  • technology. There's something poetic about that, especially cars. Oh my

  • goodness, cars and appropriate surroundings just make for some really

  • convincing new/old pictures in my opinion. And I did not actually notice

  • until after I had already developed my first set of pictures that

  • a lot of my images were shifted to the left. Like I was trying to center up these

  • coffee mugs and then try to get a shot through this chain-link fence at this

  • cool background going on. But it ended up with other stuff being in the way of the

  • lens, it just wasn't centered. And that is

  • because -- I didn't actually think about this when shooting -- so, you have the flash

  • over here and then you have the little hole for the viewfinder to look through

  • and a couple sensors right there. And the actual lens isn't where you would

  • naturally expect it to be in the center or close to it: it's off to the right,

  • when you're shooting that is. So you have to keep that in mind and compensate when

  • you're framing your photos through that little slightly unhelpful viewfinder,

  • just forcing you to get into the habit of moving everything to the left when

  • you're trying to center up images or frame them in a certain way. And let's

  • also talk about the color reproduction because they were so boastful about that

  • 24-bit color. And you know, a lot of these early CCDs like this had very washed

  • out kind of blown out colors, and this one is no exception. I talked about all

  • those specs before with the ISO and the shutter speed being very limited, and

  • indeed it is. But also just the colors that it picks up are really strange. Like

  • this ridiculous scene right here, that's not supposed to be anything pink there.

  • That's like reds and oranges and blues and tans, and it just comes across as

  • bizarre. Anything that's red looks a little more pink and anything that's

  • pink is ridiculously pink. And also you have to keep in mind that this is not

  • good at doing any kind of close-up imagery, like this right here was shot

  • about one foot away from this camera. And of course it's blurry, the minimum

  • distance that it can photograph things sharply is four feet. Which means that

  • unless you have arms that are over four feet long every single selfie you take

  • is going to be a bit blurry. Or just completely washed out because the flash

  • goes crazy and does not know what to do with things that are up-close and blown

  • out by the flash. But hey, instant beauty filter! Also worth noting that that file

  • format that it saves things in by default, you cannot open that in Photoshop or

  • pretty much any modern image editor without a plugin like UFRaw. And this

  • one will take that raw image that's been compressed and you can save it as

  • something else in GIMP or whatever you want to do. Still that QuickTake format

  • does a reasonable job of compression. It makes every image about

  • 116 kilobytes, whereas if you were saving it as TIFF it'd be like 900K per

  • picture. Certainly something that would have been handy back in the days when

  • floppy disks were your primary way of transferring files like this. And really

  • that is it for the Apple QuickTake 100! I think it's a pretty darn neat little

  • camera. It's interesting, if nothing else, because it was so early to the party and

  • really its results aren't that bad for 1994. But at the same time I can

  • absolutely see why it did not become this massive success for Apple, because

  • it just was too far ahead of its time and nobody really knew what to do with it.

  • Granted it still was followed up with a

  • factory updated Plus version, and then two follow-up models the 150 and the 200. But

  • it was still only on the market three years, being discontinued in 1997 when

  • Steve Jobs returned to Apple and drastically simplified their product

  • line. Still, while the QuickTake wasn't a bastion of market success, I don't

  • exactly agree with all of the hyperbole I see online retroactively branding it

  • "an unmitigated disaster" and "one of the single worst Apple products ever made."

  • Yes, it was expensive and low on features, but that's what you get when you're an

  • early entry in a new product category. And if you actually look it up, critics

  • at the time when this was released were praising the QuickTake for being as

  • affordable and capable as it was, compared to the few other competing

  • digital cameras back then. I know pointing out Apple's failures gets clicks,

  • but I don't think the QuickTake is truly the worst. It was, however,

  • absolutely early to the party and expensive, costing more than a good

  • 35mm SLR at the time. It is no wonder that it didn't exactly

  • fly off the shelves but you know, that is exciting and unproven technology for you!

  • No one knew where it was going, photographers were debating whether or

  • not digital could ever replace film. And yeah, cameras like the QuickTake

  • definitely wouldn't replace film, but it was an important step along the way

  • to getting to that point.

  • And if you enjoyed this episode of LGR perhaps you would like to see some of my

  • others! I like talking about old tech and digital cameras, or computers, software,

  • and oddware, all sorts of things every Monday and Friday. So stick around if you

  • like this kind of stuff. And as always thank you very much for watching!

Greetings and welcome to an LGR thing! And this one right here is

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Apple QuickTake 100:1994年デジタルカメラ体験記 (Apple QuickTake 100: 1994 Digital Camera Experience)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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