Bill Buxton's Notes

The first digital camera that I used was the Apple Quicktake 100, which was released in 1994. I have no idea where that camera ended up. My second digital camera was this one, my Nikon Coolpix 100. This was released in 1997, and I got it as soon as it came out. While not as high resolution as the Quicktake 100 (512 x 480 vs 640 x 480), the convenience, size and simplicity of the camera really appealed to me – and in many ways, still does.

One of the main reasons is that it is self-contained. It is the only digital camera that I have had for which I didn't have to carry around extra cables to connect it to my computer, or power supplied with which to recharge the batteries. While not small by today's standards, it nevertheless fit in my briefcase or pocket and was there to use. And, because it had an integrated PCMCIA card, one just slid it into the card slot on one's computer and the images were immediately accessible. In so doing, it introduced many of the characteristics that made the more recent ill-fated Flip video camera so appealing.

Yes, it only had .3 megapixel images, and had no zoom, no LCD to review images taken, was expensive, and only held 19 full-resolution images. But it was also 1997. It was great for the time – and given that my briefcase today has more than 4 times this camera's volume in cables and power supplies for the various gadgets that I "must have" with me to do my job, I wish that some of the attributes of this camera (cables and power supplies) were more prevalent today!

Excerpt from a Review PC Pro magazine, October 1997

Leaving aside the vagaries of PC Card, the Nikon CoolPix couldn't be much easier to use, both to take pictures and to get them into your PC (provided you have a PC Card). As with all cameras in this price range, the resolution means any images printed in sizes much above 5 « 3in are going to show their digital origins. Some compression artefacts are visible, as is the dither pattern, but for newsletters and Web sites the Nikon provides good results with excellent build quality and ease of use, all at a good price.

Nikon is marketing the CoolPix as a computer peripheral and not as a camera. Image quality for holiday snapshot-size prints won't match a half-decent compact camera at a fraction of the cost. You're paying for the ease and convenience of digital photography and, if the resolution and PC Card limitations of the CoolPix suit your needs, it's a worthwhile product.


Bill Buxton
April 2011

Device Details

Company: Nikon | Year: 1997 | Original Price (USD): $199