A look back at the NC2000
April 18, 2007 6:57 AM   Subscribe

A look back at the NC2000, a short history of the one of the first photojournalist-quality digicams. [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
*crosses fingers that two-year-old article really hasn't been posted already*
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:58 AM on April 18, 2007

What a great story. "It had no LCD for playing back the images" Just like a real camera.
posted by tellurian at 7:14 AM on April 18, 2007

It was a real camera - it was a standard Nikon body with a custom backplate and an accessory battery pack.

When these things first made the rounds, I remember college instructors dismissed the high level of noise as moot, as most images were likely to be published as black-and-white halftones. A little software filtering here, some actual whiteout or other physical trickery there, and the shots would be ready to go in less time than it would take to dunk a roll of negatives into the immulsion.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:32 AM on April 18, 2007

"The first thing I said to them was, 'How do you change the battery?' And their comment was, 'What do you mean?' And I said, 'This is crazy. You can't produce a camera with a non-replaceable battery.' And they said, 'Well, it's too late.' And I said, 'Then why the hell are you showing it to me?'"

And then he asked me if I'd like an iPod.
posted by Peter H at 7:35 AM on April 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is a fun read, thanks/
posted by Peter H at 7:36 AM on April 18, 2007

This is pretty amazing, mainly because I don't understand the distinction between a "photojournalist quality" camera and, well, any other camera. So it amazes me that this article is regarding a camera as late as 1999.

1996, in highschool, we had a very sweet digital camera. It actually took 3.5" floppy disks, and could get 5 or 6 images on each disk. The camera the article refers to was 1.3 megapixels - not a huge amount,. And I'm fairly sure our floppy-disk based camera was probably grabbing a similar resolution. Anyone care to set me straight? Is the NC2000 special just because it was an SLR?
posted by Jimbob at 7:42 AM on April 18, 2007

I didn't read far enough. It was much earlier than 1999 apparently.
posted by Jimbob at 7:46 AM on April 18, 2007

mmmm long-format tech pron.

In other news I've been waiting for sub-$1000 DSLR to be Good Enough . . . Canon tempted me but the Olympus E-510 seems to be The Ticket.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:47 AM on April 18, 2007

Jimbob - sounds like your school had a Sony Mavica. At the time, they were also cool - especially for insurance outfits photographing accident claims.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:50 AM on April 18, 2007

I just got my car fixed at a body shop, and they're still using the Sony Mavica. They take photos of the damage, and store the floppy disk with the file. Very handy.
posted by splatta at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2007

Great post. It's nice to see the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into the digital medium.
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:11 AM on April 18, 2007

sub-$1000 DSLR to be Good Enough

They got some great pics with a 1.3 megapixel piece of trash (I say that lovingly). Don't let the tech hold you back!
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:16 AM on April 18, 2007

When I was in a summer internship in the 90s at a medical university my boss had a Kodak DCS 200 which I wasn't even allowed to look at sideways, let alone touch. I believed it to be the pinnacle of imaging technology. 1.3 megapixels.

I love this quote, from the review back in 1993:
The DCS 200 is the second in what is still a unique line of truly portable 'instantaneous' digital cameras from Kodak. Yes, there are other digital cameras but, as yet, they are all tied to the studio and powerful computers. The use of such cameras is also restricted to tripods and still life subjects because of the long exposure times - up to half a minute - required for the three sequential exposures through red, green and blue filters.
posted by LondonYank at 9:04 AM on April 18, 2007

the Olympus E-510 seems to be The Ticket.

it sure does - if the lcd is adjustable like its predecessor and a bit tougher, i tried an e330 and the lcd seemed rather fragile though, theres no 3200 iso either which is disappointing, im looking forward to when they stop trying to copy film cameras altogether and come up with some way of doing incredibly high iso.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:09 AM on April 18, 2007

Great find, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:53 AM on April 18, 2007

I actually interviewed for a job at Kodak's Elmgrove plant back in those days. They were actively trying to get FireWire data transfers to work. I recall being underwhelmed by the size of the cameras. Perhaps if I'd been more impressed I would have gotten the job.

Sadly, Kodak sold off the Elmgrove facility and abandoned the DSLR market.
posted by tommasz at 12:34 PM on April 18, 2007

Man. I still regret having not picked one of these up for almost nothing last year when I had the chance. I'm not even sure if I could get all the stuff needed to ever use the damn thing, but that's not the point; it would have been a cool collector's piece.

I can't recall my reason for deciding not to get it, but boy am I slapping whenever I remember.
posted by Stunt at 5:01 PM on April 18, 2007

Thanks for posting, the hilariously noisy ISO 1600 shot of the hockey game alone was worth it
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:15 AM on April 19, 2007

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