My first digital camera was purchased circa 2000, about a year after our first child, Shaan was born. It seemed like almost week Bhavna was handing me a single-use 35mm film camera to get developed at CVS. Sometimes she wanted prints, and sometimes she wanted the negatives scanned to CD. She wanted to capture every special moment of our child’s journey and wasn’t shy about “pointing and shooting”. It was getting quite expensive. If I remember it correctly, I think we had spent almost $1000 on film, film developing and prints but the spring of 2000.
Digital cameras were still an expensive novelty in 2000 but manufacturers such as Sony were making easy to use and fairly capable point-n-shoots. I wanted one but Bhavna though they were too expensive. That year Sony had announced the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70 for about $800. The features and price seemed right. I had read somewhere that a 3.3 megapixels sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 8 x 10 prints, so I expected this was enough to get the 4×6 and 5×7 prints that Bhavna liked.
I put together a spreadsheet showing how much Bhavana had already spent on purchasing, developing and printing single-use 35mm cameras. If we purchased the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70, it would pay for itself in under a year.
I used my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70 for many years before upgrading to a Nikon D40 in 2006. Last year, I was organising a box of photo gear and found the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70 along with some memory cards. I thought it might be cool to try it out after all this time. The battery was shot, but that problem was quickly solved with a few clicks on Amazon.com.
The S70 has a Carl Zeiss 7-21mm (24-102mm FF equivalent) autofocus lens with an aperture range from f/2 to f/8.9. I remember being impressed that the lens was made by Carl Zeiss. Tha hast shutter speed of 1/1000 sec compares well to the film camera that I had at the time, a Pentax P3 with a maximum exposure of 1/1000s. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70 produces TIFF and JPEG images, but the TIFF images are 9 times the size of the JPEGs. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70’s 1/1.8″ CCD sensor has an impressive 3.3-megapixel resolution and produces 2,048 x 1,536 images but the low ISO limits it’s usefulness for photographing low light subjects. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S70 has a Shutter Priority Mode and an Aperture Priority Mode but I didn’t use these much. I used the camera in auto-mode most of the time.
Here are some of the specs:
- Image Sensor – 3.3 megapixel CCD sensor
- ISO Sensitivity – Auto or selectable from 100 – 300
- Lens – Optical: Carl Zeiss 3x (35mm equivalent : 34-102mm). Digital Zoom: 6x
- Aperture – F/2.0 (Wide), F/2.5 (Telephoto)
- Shutter Speed – 8 seconds to 1/1000th of a second
- Exposure Modes – Centre-weighted, Spot
- Shooting Modes – Aperture, Shutter, Panfocus, Landscape, Twilight, Twilight Plus, Spot Metering
- Movie Mode – Quicktime with audio
- Viewfinder – Optical: Real-image viewfinder
- File Formats – TIFF,GIF,JPEG,Movie (Quicktime Motion JPEG)
- Storage Media – Memory Stick
- Weight – 420g
But enough of that; time to show some photographs. A 128 MB Sony Memory Stick, the largest Sony made in 2000, holds about 34 images, two frames less than a 36 exposure roll of film. I shot a “roll” of 34 in varying lighting situations, indoor and outdoor, and picked the best images. Most of the images were out of focus or too dark, but I did get some keepers. I shot these images in programmed mode; auto ISO, auto aperture and auto exposure. The maximum ISO is 300 so the best images are the ones I shot outside.
The images from the S70 have vivid bright colours; maybe a bit too bright. I included the SOOC JPEGs and images with minor Lightroom edits.