I'm a sucker for old tech. Not any old tech, of course. When I push the 'on' button it has to light up. My previously most recent experience was finding and restoring a $5 Dell laptop which was about fifteen years old. Today, I found a Kodak EasyShare digital camera for $2 at the same thrift shop that the computer came from. Kodak introduced this model in 2004, so it is pretty much a contemporary of the laptop. In fact, this Kodak closely resembles the Olympus D360-L which I was using a couple years before the EasyShare made its debut.
The first digital cameras came out of the Kodak labs, and by 2004 they were producing some pretty sophisticated instruments for the consumer market. The EasyShare has a nice 4X zoom lens, a 2.2 inch display, and a lot of the other features which are today incorporated in the latest digital offerings.
What was lacking in the EasyShare, of course, was the capacious image sensor of today's digital cameras. The CCD in the 2004 Kodak could only capture 4.0 Megapixels. Any cheap cell phone these days will typically have several times that capacity. However, three or four megapixels was perfectly adequate for attaching a picture to an email, or uploading to a photo sharing site like photo.net.
I was pleased to find a ring binder in the plastic bag with the camera containing the EasyShare user manual. Unfortunately, there was no charger for the lithium-ion battery, so I'll be reluctant to put the camera to much use until I can locate a charger. I did run by a couple other local thrift stores to look for accessories and surprisingly found the docking station/charger which was made for this camera. The dock had a $10 price tag on it, however, so I passed up that opportunity. Back home, I checked ebay and found I could get a charger from Hong Kong for less than five bucks -- shipping included -- so I went for it.
I did briefly light up the EasyShare to check funtioning, and I pressed the 'review' button to inspect the memory. I found that the SD/MMC memory card was pretty much filled up with some pictures that had been made just a few months ago. Someone had made a series of pictures of a nice house which was up for sale in an upscale east-side Albuquerque neighborhood. The location was obvious from the southwest style of the house, as well as a view of the Sandia Mountains in the background of one shot. They weren't pictures to stir the imagination, but it is still nice to make some connection -- however tenuous -- with a previous user of the camera. I've found film in several vintage cameras previously, but all came up blank, so these EasyShare found images are a first in my experience.
And, lastly, the obligatory camera initiation shot of Richard. He is eight years older than the EasyShare, but still lights up and doesn't require batteries.