Apple’s 29-12 months-Outdated Landmark QuickTake 100 Digicam Falters in 2023

Launched practically three many years in the past in 1994, the QuickTake 100 was Apple’s first digital digital camera and among the many very first digital cameras out there to common customers. However as a lot of an impression because it had again then, it hasn’t aged nicely.

Photographer Gordon Laing of Camera Labs has reviewed the iconic QuickTake as a part of his “Retro Review” collection.

Earlier than trying on the QuickTake 100, it’s worthwhile to think about Apple within the early to mid-Nineties. It’s simple to consider Apple as a large, extremely profitable firm, given the ubiquity of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple silicon-powered Mac computer systems in the present day. Nonetheless, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Apple practically 30 years in the past.

In the summertime of 1993, Apple laid off practically 15% of its worldwide workers. It additionally launched the Newton private assistant, a product that in the end flopped. That very same summer season Apple additionally misplaced its copyright infringement case in opposition to Microsoft, a crushing blow that was 4 expensive years within the making. Though Apple was hitting spectacular gross sales marks with its computer systems, the corporate was within the early phases of a difficult interval that culminated in a traditionally awful quarter in 1997 that worn out practically your entire firm’s income of the Nineties.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

The explanation for that stroll down reminiscence lane is to emphasise that Apple wasn’t swimming within the money reserves it has in the present day and the Cupertino-based tech large wasn’t fairly as free to embark on dangerous enterprise ventures as it’s now. Nonetheless, Apple launched the QuickTake collection in 1994 with the QuickTake 100, getting into a brand new product section for the corporate.

Among the many first of its variety, the digital digital camera was in-built collaboration with Kodak, which had been creating CCD-based digital cameras for the reason that Nineteen Seventies, albeit primarily for skilled and industrial utilization. The QuickTake 100 and 150, each made by Kodak, helped kickstart what would finally grow to be a revolution within the pictures market. Time journal named the QuickTake 100 among the many most influential devices from 1923 to 2010.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

The QuickTake 100 was made particular by its emphasis on ease of use. The digital camera launched in June of 1994 for $749, about $1,500 in in the present day’s {dollars}. Apple’s industrial design chops had been totally on show with the QuickTake 100. Regardless that it appears dated by in the present day’s requirements, it was modern and classy in 1994. The digital camera launched in two fashions, one for Macintosh and the opposite for Home windows, and shipped with bundled software program and serial cables particular to the host working system.

On the coronary heart of the QuickTake 100 is a Kodak CCD picture sensor with a whopping 640 by 480 decision; it’s a 307-kilopixel sensor, which sounds higher than 0.37 megapixels. Nonetheless, in 1994, a digital camera that price $750 and produced full-color pictures wasn’t simply uncommon, it was wholly distinctive. Digital pictures had by no means been so accessible.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

Storage is a matter. The digital camera options inner reminiscence, which is handy, however there is no such thing as a approach to broaden it. The digital camera holds 32 “normal” (320 by 240-pixel) pictures or a mere eight of its 307-kilopixel pictures. When the digital camera is full, photographers have solely two choices, neither of that are particularly interesting. The digital camera could be plugged into a pc to obtain the pictures or your entire reminiscence should be wiped. Selectively deleting pictures is not possible.

The QuickTake 100 has a hard and fast focal size lens, equal to round 50mm. The lens can solely focus as shut as round 4 ft (1.2 meters), ruling out arm’s size selfies, though admittedly, these had been much less fashionable three many years in the past than they’re now. The digital camera dealt with automated publicity, together with shutter velocity, starting from 1/30 to 1/175 second, and aperture, spanning from f/2.8 to f/16. The digital camera’s fastened ISO is equal to round ISO 85 movie velocity.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

As Laing observes, essentially the most difficult facet of utilizing the Apple QuickTake 100 in the present day isn’t its lackluster picture high quality, paltry reminiscence, or comparatively ineffective rear show (photographers can solely use the display to view info, not pictures). The difficulty with the QuickTake 100 in 2023 is discovering a approach to entry photographs, their iffy high quality apart. The digital camera solely works alongside its unique software program, requiring anybody utilizing it to seek out a pc that may run the software program. Laing couldn’t get it to work utilizing emulation and was as a substitute compelled to trace down previous {hardware}.

By the way in which, the QuickTake 100 doesn’t file JPEG recordsdata, both. The QuickTake’s pictures are shot in a proprietary QTK format, which trendy software program received’t acknowledge even in case you by some means handle to maneuver the recordsdata by means of a series of more and more trendy computer systems. It’s essential to as a substitute convert the recordsdata to JPEG utilizing the unique software program.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

As groundbreaking because the Apple QuickTake 100 was in 1994 and as spectacular of an accomplishment it represented to customers practically 30 years in the past, it’s a ache to work with in 2023. Laing’s “Retro Assessment” collection has featured many elderly cameras, most of which have oddities and quirks, however as he says, “utilizing the QuickTake 100 within the modern-day proved to be essentially the most irritating expertise I’ve had on this channel, filled with caveats and catch-22s.”

The digital camera itself is okay, however its restricted capabilities and extreme impracticality render it a classic digital camera price skipping. Typically merchandise are higher left in folks’s recollections. With the advantage of nostalgia, the QuickTake 100’s blemishes are much less noticeable. The digital camera belongs prior to now, the place it’s simpler to concentrate on what made it particular then fairly than what makes it terrible now.

Retro Review Apple QuickTake 100

Laing’s full written review on Camera Labs contains extra pattern pictures. Extra digital camera and know-how movies can be found on Laing’s YouTube channel, DinoBytes.

Picture credit: Gordon Laing