In May of 1991, Eastman Kodak, the inventor of and early leader in digital imaging technology, introduced the first commercial DCS—Digital Camera System—at a press conference in New York City. Utilizing a Nikon F3 carcass (Kodak and Nikon made a virtue of this by claiming it would make the transition to digital easier for photojournalists already used to that camera), six models were offered for sale at prices between $20,000 and $25,000. It was the culmination of years of prototypes and proofs-of-concept.
On Saturday at noon, in Rochester, our friend Todd Gustavson (author of the excellent Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital and several other books of camera history and lore), will be giving a talk at the George Eastman Museum called "The Kodak DCS: 25 Years of Digital Photography" in the Curtis Theater. It's free to Museum members and included with Museum admission.
There's an 80% chance I'll be there (I've been sick this week, hence 17% of the uncertainty—the other 3% would be the possibility of bad weather!). If any friends o' TOP make it to the talk, perhaps we can gather for lunch afterwards at the Museum Café.
There's also a selection of DCS cameras on view in the History of Photography Gallery. And we can go stand under George's elephant (I'll tell the story if you haven't heard it).
P.S. Note that contrary to received opinion, neither Nikon nor Canon had anything to do with the development of the early digital cameras that used their bodies. In fact, some of the bodies used for Kodak's early "newsroom" digital cameras were bought off camera store shelves. Todd will no doubt cover this in his talk.
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