I love picking up neglected discontinued cameras in second hand stores.
I've been collecting 80's and 90's premium prime compacts for years. It's how I got into Ricohs. There's something special about the feeling, whether discovering something rare at a yard sale, a memorable camera at a thrift store, or buying a once unaffordable/unobtainable camera in a Shinjuku or Tsimshatsui. I got most of my buying done before others caught on and made out like a bandit. Somehow, my eccentricity has kept me ahead of the curve.
What intrigues me now is the legendary and definitive digital cameras of years past. Right now, few people consider them collectible and prices are dirt cheap. The moment cameras become discontinued, their prices tumble and if their specs fall behind, they may actually end up in a landfill.
My first digital camera was a Casio QV-10A, which still sits on my shelf above the PC. It was one of the very first referred to as a "LCD digital camera". Most people on the street had never seen a digital camera. The pros called them "Still video cameras". It was very memorable. It shot 320 x 240 resolution and used two sets of AA batteries every 36 shots or so. I loved it. I bought my wife a Sony DSC-U20 or something after I broke her Mju film camera by dropping it on a wind turbine blade. The camera was about the size of a mini Mars bar and made lovely images. We got an early digital IXUS when that died. It was a lot better and you could really get good daylight prints from it. Then I made the step up to DSLRs and more or less forgot about digital compacts. I certainly didn't buy anything exciting. Some people did. They spent more than my 400D kit cost on compacts. I thought that crazy.
Now I have come full circle. I look back at those 'crazy' compacts and suddenly they look interesting. Especially for a few tens of US dollars each, which they often sell for. A GRD is barely $130. Let's look back and list some digital compact cameras that we owned, lusted after, or long discontinued cameras that now look pretty attractive at today's second hand prices.
Sony Mavica and Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD5. The original and (at the time the best LOL)
Nikon Coolpix 950, a people's camera that popularised digital in the late 1990's
Canon PowerShot G7 - suddenly every DSLR enthusiast wanted a compact again.
Epson R-D1, gave Leica a wake-up call.
Fuji F10/11/30/31 and the Super EXR sensor. That was the high ISO king for at least a couple of years. The gold standard.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. Needs no introduction (partly because it was only recently superceeded).
Contax U4R/i4R/SL-300RT. All desireable, and sadly all still pricey.
Ricoh GRD and GX100. Obviously!
What am I missing?
Collection: GR1 GR1S GR1V(date) GR10 GR21 R1 R1S R1S(gold) R1E R10 RX60 GRD I-IV GRD Ltd GX100 GX200 GXR A12-M G4-Wide 500ME