Digital Classic Camera Archive!

Whilst older 35hunter readers will recall the days I delighted in 35mm film, my needs evolved, and I haven’t shot a full roll since May 2017.

I’ve used digital cameras since my first attempts at shooting with intention around 2006-2007, and my love has continued to grow – prior to, alongside, and eventually beyond – my film photography years.

More recently, this has combined with the bargain lover in me revelling in finding discarded and unloved cameras from 5-15 or more years ago for next to nothing, and giving them a chance to capture a little beauty on their ageing, yet willing little sensors once again.

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So it made sense to gather together a page for my growing collection of thoughts and experiences with specific digital cameras I’ve used.

Check out the new page here – www.35hunter.blog/digital-classics – or just click on the Digital Classics link at the top right of the page.

I hope it might encourage you to take another look at the photographs these “digital classics” are still capable of, and the immense fun to be had experimenting with them.

What’s your favourite digital classic – either from your past, or that you still own and use today? 

We’d love to hear from you in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what I’m into right now.

18 thoughts on “Digital Classic Camera Archive!”

  1. I have to say I think the light in your photo’s is stunning – that flower is beautifully shot. Can I assume that’s pretty much straight from camera?

    I don’t hold much truck with the Megapixel arms race either. For years my main DSLR was an 8MP Canon EOS 350D that produced wonderful colours and pictures. I only replaced it last year with a mint 10MP EOS 40D which I love, although I’m still learning how to use it.

    As for compacts, Asides from the a relatively new IXUS, I have owned and used a lot of the old Olympus Camedia cameras and have still got my Nikon 4.1MP coolpix from when it was the brand new model. I’ve also recently picked up a 4.0MP Canon Powershot G3, a camera I’ve always wanted. Both of these cameras are superb and are capable of taking much better pictures than I can get out of them, although I have posted images from both on my blog recently.

    One of the things I like about the oldies however is the veiwfinder – I’ve always disliked using the LCD to shoot with. Quite often I’ll have the screen switched off, which is great as it saves the battery. This is pretty easy on the G3 as it has a proper info LCD on the top-plate as well as the main one.

    Interesting subject Dan – looking forward to reading more.

    1. Hi Stuart, thanks for your comment – and compliment on the photos.

      This tulip one I’m pretty sure I shot with one of my Ricohs, either the GRD III or GX100. I remember using exposure compensation to mute the light a little as otherwise the petals were blowing out too much with the strong sunlight. A common theme with digital compacts with small sensors (compared with DSLRs) is blown highlights. I usually start with -0.3 exposure comp as the default set up. With those cameras, as with most compacts, I shoot using the b/w mode they have, then edit with Snapseed afterwards with one of the three presets I have for b/w. So the tulips photograph is not a pure point and shoot shot, but still, it doesn’t have any major processing except a contrast tweak.

      I expect your Canons had one of the CCD sensors too, like my Pentax and Samsung DSLRs. Lovely colours and a kind of natural organic look that modern CMOS high MP sensors don’t seem to give. I’ve read that the sensor look and colours with earlier DSLRs were optimised to give photos that looked more like those made with the film SLRs they were replacing, so it was a more natural progression visually for film users. Or, looked at another way, this was done to sell more DSLRs, more quickly!

      I had an Olympus Camedia last year, the c4040, which really impressed me image wise. It was a bit quirky to use and I don’t like those fragile feeling SmartMedia cards, but I could certainly shoot it for a month and be confident I’d get some lovely pleasing photographs. That was just 4MP.

      I have very recently come across an old Coolpix, one with the swivel body, which I bought and is on the way. It might be the next camera I use for my One Month Once Camera project. I think it’s only 1.3MP, but highly equipped and I think their top compact on its day, and quite a ground breaker. Very curious about what it’s like in 2019, I think it was made in 1999!

      I’m very interested in the Canon Powershot G series, especially the earlier ones. But I have enough cameras to use for now – one for the wishlist.

      Unlike you, I prefer the screen for composition. Not least of all because on many/most cameras the VF only gives a cropped view (some I’ve researched it’s as low as 75%!) and I don’t like having to guess where the edges of the frame are – I like to know so I can frame how I want and not chop anything out or need to crop afterwards. Plus my eyes get more tired than they used to using a VF, but this probably wouldn’t be the case with an AF compact camera as you’re not straining to focus manually. I would have thought the G3 though, being quite a high end compact, has a 100% viewfinder?

      Off to check out your samples on your blog…

      1. Hi Dan, Thanks for taking a look at my blog – I think photography wise I still have a way to go but I want to use my own work rather than use a photo service – that just feel false to me.

        SmartMedia cards – now there’s nostalgia – they’re like a modern VHS tape.

        The G series take great photos and I’m sure you’ll love them if you get one. Take my examples with a grain or tow of salt – they’re capable of much more than that. In regards to the VF though, you’d have thought it was 100% but it’s not, its about 85-90% AND had the barrel of the lens blocking the bottom left corner when on wide. I just like to use it as it feels like an old 35mm compact. I do use the screen as well – it flips out and rotates thus making it very useful.

  2. You’re making me think about charging the battery for my Canon S80 and taking it out for a spin. It’s from 2005. It was my main camera until I got the S95, which itself is a bit of a classic now.

    1. Ha, don’t think about it Jim, do it! : )

      Just had a quick look at the spec of the S80, it’s great!

      The 1/1.8″ 8MP CCD sensor is big for a compact and will deliver great images.

      The lens starts at 28mm so useful for slightly wider shots than the standard 35/38mm of most zooms. Then there’s the f/2.8 lens, shutter speeds 15s to 1/2000s, multiple shooting modes inc Av, Tv, P. Jim it’s almost too well spec’d for my current One Month, One Camera project!

      Shoot it, review it!

      1. Great colours! I know you’ve been updating some of your camera reviews – this one is a great candidate for an update with some new pics and thoughts… : )

  3. Dan, I’m not sure if they qualify as “Classics” or not,but I am enamored of the two Panisonic Gf-1’s I own. These could be my only digital cameras I need for my personal snaps, but unfortunately they are not good at all for the kind of photography I need to do at work, so I continue to haul around the big Canon 40D for that. That feels like kind of a classic actually, but I don’t love it, its just a tool.

    1. Well I have a GF1, which I’m pretty sure you know, bought after my good experiences with the LX3.

      I still haven’t really given the GF1 a fair run. I have mostly used M42 lenses, which gives stunning results, especially with that Dynamic Mono mode. But then it makes it a far more cumbersome camera, with a lens plus adapter.

      The only native lens I have is the 12-32 zoom, which is good for what it is, and very compact and light. But nothing special compared with either the M42 classics like Takumars, or the lens on the LX3, which is so much smaller overall.

      I’ve thought about a later Lumix M43, like the GM1, which is far more compact. But still not as compact as the LX3, and again with an M42 lens and adapter it’ll still be far from pocketable, so there’s no real point.

      But the GF1 is a fabulous camera, just almost too fabulous for my needs!

  4. Nice article Dan. Besides my Coolpix 995 I recently fired up my Moms Sony Cybershot 3.2mp. I was pretty excited to get I going again but the leafs on the lens cover have jammed so I’m really bummed. Have you shot your Coolpix yet?? What do you think?

    1. Hi Lisa, perhaps you could give the shutter eyelids a little encouragement with a needle or something? I would except the images to be pretty decent, I’ve had great times with Cyber-shots. The DSC-L1 I have is only 4MP and punches well above its weight, plus gives very characterful images in b/w.

      I just received the Nikon in the post today! Much bigger than I expected but very impressed with the handling, build quality and range of features and settings. I think it’s the most likely candidate for March in my One Month One Camera project… Not least of all to see what I can get out of a mere 2.11 MP camera that’s 20 years old!

      1. Let me know about the Cyber-shot. Even if the eyelids were stuck open and everything else worked it wouldn’t really matter.

        Yeh the Nikon already feels like a class act and very quirky compared with any other digital compact I’ve used. And the lowest res I’ve ever used, aside from a tiny little camera I bought to photograph vintage Star Wars figures to sell on eBay about 18 years ago!

      2. Maybe a drop of lighter fluid and a wiggle with a needle will loosen those lids up again. If not those old Sonys are all over eBay dead cheap. : )

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