Reviewing Canon’s First Consumer Digital Camera 25 Years Later

    Canon’s first consumer digital camera was the PowerShot 600, released in 1996 and featuring a fixed 50mm-equivalent lens, half-megapixel resolution, and an amazingly large body. It had a hefty price tag at the time and was the first of the PowerShot line.

    The PowerShot 600 isn’t Canon’s first digital camera, though. A year earlier in 1995, Canon had partnered with Kodak on the DCS1 and DCS3 digital SLRs, both of which featured hard disk storage built into the giant portrait grip that stretched below. their main body. That same year, the CE300 attached a small rotating camera to the top of a PCMCIA card, designed to be plugged into a laptop computer.

    But in the consumer world, the PowerShot 600 was Canon’s first model.

    The PowerShot 600 uses a one-third-inch CCD sensor that records a resolution of 832 × 608 pixels, or about half a megapixel. The one megabyte built-in memory can store about four images using the best compression, but what makes the camera stand out is the inclusion of a PC Card slot that can hold Type II and III cards, class II and III cards. The latter supports miniature hard disks. So at a time when many cameras are limited to a handful of shots that only use built-in memory and require cables to access them via a computer, you can plug a 170-megabyte PCMCIA hard drive into the PowerShot 600, shoot 1000+ photos, then just push it out to share.

    The PC card slot, giant battery, and dock port all contribute to the camera’s mass, but the company doesn’t stretch the LCD screen: instead, Canon forces you to compose with just the optical viewfinder. learn. However, you can record short audio memos or switch to monochrome for document capture.

    I initially evaluated the PowerShot 600 for the February 1997 issue of Personal Computer World magazine in the UK, where it won the recommendation award as part of a group test. 25 years later, I delivered a phone and took it for a spin in the latest retro video review on Dino Bytes!

    Information about the Authors: Gordon Laing is Editor of Cameralabs, where he presents equipment reviews and photography tutorials. He recently launched Dino Bytes, a new channel to satisfy his love of classic technology and classic games, with videos about vintage cameras, computers, consoles, phones and more. so more! He’s been a journalist for a long time so he actually reviewed most of this stuff for the first time. Gordon is also passionate about food, drink and travel, and is the author of “In Camera,” a book that covers the art of capturing JPEGs without post-processing.

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