10 years ago this month I purchased my first camera. Certainly not the first I’d ever used, but the first I’d owned. Not only was it my first camera, it was the first substantial thing I’d ever bought with my own money, and from my first job.
It was a Nikon Coolpix 990. I chose it after also buying, trying, and returning a Kodak DC290 (which in retrospect should have been a much easier choice than it seemed at the time).
If you’re at all a camera geek, do go check out the specs, especially from page 2 of the linked review.
If you’ve never seen a 990 before mine was was a bit like this one here (photo by Cocktail_Hour over on Flickr)
However mine had a red grip insert (as all Canadian units did.) I also had the 0.66x wide supplementary lens, and power adapter. Good thing too, that camera chewed through AA batteries faster than any other device I’ve ever seen.
Foolishly I sold that camera, about a year ago, I regret it now because I’d like to play with it some times, it was excellent for macro photography as it would focus as close as about 2cm. The swivelling head was also great for self portraits.
It took many, many thousands of photos for me, including something like 13,000 in the production of full length stop-motion animated Lego version of Othello (titled Othlego.) Of which I can no longer find a copy of.
Compared to an iPhone 4 with it’s 0.25” 5MP main camera the 990 had a 0.5” sensor and 3.34MP. The 990 also has a lot more photography related features, like a tripod socket and exposure compensation; but the results were pretty similar in the end. In my observation the 990 had somewhat better dynamic range, a better exposure program and slightly less noise in some situations.
However the iPhone 4 is more portable, useful, faster focusing, and a lot simpler to use. It’s amazing that in 10 years a $1,400 camera could be replaced by the “gosh every phone has a camera” camera in a $660 phone.
Here are some pictures I took with my Nikon Coolpix 990 in those early years.
It always did have a tendency to blow the highlights, although I didn’t know what that meant at the time.