It would be fair to say that digicams – point-and-shoot compact cameras, hold the lions share of digital sales today. Quality has gone up, prices have come down (considerably), and this all bodes well for the consumer (that’s you). Digital camera sales have now overtaken conventional film sales, and it may soon be hard to justify any film camera sales at all.
Nikon D70 Digital SLR, from a Nikon Canada ad. Click for a large front view of the D70
But digital technology certainly didn’t start out this way – all those many years ago. Digital images started getting noticed only at the very top end of the market, with digital SLR’s aimed at the working pro. These were hybrid cameras produced in partnerships with Kodak, Nikon and Canon. They were bulky, heavy, and very, very expensive.
The convenience of shooting digital couldn’t be denied however, and as demand for the technology increased at the consumer end, digital point-and-shoot cameras were quickly developed. The rest, as they say, is (very recent) history.
To a large extent, digital SLR’s remained the domain of the working pro. While they have reduced down in size and price, they are still considerably more expensive than their digicam consumer counterparts. Or at least they were.
In 2003, Canon dropped a bombshell when it introduced the 300D – the first digital SLR aimed squarely at the consumer. At around NZ$2500 for the body and lens kit, the 300D was still a relatively expensive camera, but early supply could not keep up with demand, although Canon sold bucket loads of them.
|The question on everyone’s lips now was "What will Nikon’s response be?" Well, we didn’t have to wait long, for in December 2003 Nikon announced the introduction for 2004 of their consumer-directed digital SLR – the 6.1 megapixel Nikon D70.|
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