Photo Look back 7 Years

The Toronto Camera Club was getting rid of some of its old books and magazines – if you take it you must keep it type deal. A bit leery, nonethless I scarfed up a couple of copies of PC Photo magazine from September/October 1998. Their motto was “Your guide to better photography using computers”. And the issue was quite good.

Quick Quiz: before going into what was to be found roughly 6 1/2 years ago in PhotoPc try to guess what was the most popular digital camera, software, printers and topics of the day ? No fair peeking below.

Got your guesses. Well then lay off and read on, MacDuff.

First and foremost, this was a subscription copy. One could rarely get PC Photo on the newstands here in Toronto. I know because already being a digital camera-phile I was constantly on the lookout. In this issue the topic of choice , the Special report was on scanners and the prices for 1000x2000dpi scanners were $2500 to $4000 – anew bargain level! PaintShop Pro 5 had just made the transition from shareware to boxed commercial software. Altimiras Genuine Fractals could already enlarge software by a factor of 3-5 with very good fidelity (again I can testify to this because I have and still use the software). MGI PhotoSuite II was one of the more popular digital photo finishing programs.

On the digital camera front there were three camera in the CALL! pricing and IN STOCK NOW! category we are using to judge the most popular cameras of the day:
Kodak DC260 Zoom at 1536 x 1o24 pixels, 3X optical zoom, and burst mode operation;
Nikon CoolPix 900 at 1280 x 980 pixels, 3x optical zoom, swivel head;
Olympus D600L at 1280 x 1024 pixels, 36mm to 110mm optical zoom.
However, lurking all over the ads and the favorite of all my buddies was the Sony Mavica MVC-FD7 with storage to floppy disk drive, and 10x optical zoom lens. Two of the above cameras remain in use in our houshold.

On the printing front I expected to find just a flood of printers – if memory serves me right there were dozens of different models. Well apparently Als and Heimer were already taking up residence upstairs. Alps MD_1300, Epson 700, HP deskjets dominate the pages. No sign of my Canon Bubblejet … and thank blocked-nozzles heaven. But the most surprising thing to me was that Photoshop was already at version 5.0. For seven years hence Photoshop has held sway as number one photofinishing software. Not bad for a company committed to type fonts and DTP.

(c)JBSurveyer 2005

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