Dawn of the Digital Photography Era
March 28, 1995: Kodak Releases the DC40
Kodak DC40 was among the first consumer digital cameras sold. Kodak releases the DC40 camera, which is only the second digital camera for the consumer market. While introduced over a year after Apple’s QuickTake 100 camera, Kodak’s marketing was largely responsible for popularizing digital photography.
Kodak developed the world’s first digital camera in 1975, but it was not until 1995 that the technology became widely available to consumers with its groundbreaking DC40 camera. This trailblazing innovation paved the way for the digital camera phenomenon that has resulted in more than 40 percent of American households owning at least one digital camera by the end of 2004.
The first digital cameras for the consumer-level market that worked with a home computer via a serial cable were the Apple QuickTake 100 camera, the Kodak DC40 camera, the Casio QV-11 (with LCD monitor), and Sony’s Cyber-Shot Digital Still Camera (1996).
Codenamed project Venus, the Apple QuickTake 100 was launched at the Tokyo Mac World in February 1994, and available that May for $749. It was made jointly with Eastman Kodak and built by Chinon Industries. Kodak’s self-branded version (not consumer friendly) had already been on the market for over a year.
The DC 40 changed that. Kodak entered into an aggressive co-marketing campaign to promote the DC40 and to help introduce the idea of digital photography to the public. Kinko’s and Microsoft both collaborated with Kodak to create digital image-making software workstations and kiosks which allowed customers to produce Photo CD Discs and photographs, and add digital images to documents. IBM collaborated with Kodak in making an internet-based network image exchange. Hewlett-Packard was the first company to make color inkjet printers that complemented the new digital camera images.
BTW: The first digital camera was 8.5 lbs and the size of a toaster
Steve Sasson, digital camera inventor, speaks of developing the digital camera and the development of ideas