There was a brief period back in the day, when men still wore frilly shirts and dueled each other with rapiers, Casio, then Sony, then Canon (and I think Nikon got involved too) released a slew of “mini-cameras”. They were, in effect, the netbook equivalent of the P&S at the time.
These cameras would have tiny, tiny screens of about 1 inch, a fixed length lens, moth-lifespan-like battery life but would also be really, really small and relatively cheap. I was enchanted by the little things and bought two. One was a Sony that reminded you of a big pill and delivered crap results, and the other was the subject of today’s post, the Canon SD10.
All things considered, the SD10 was not a bad camera. The lens was pretty good, 4 megapixels meant at low ISO, noise was pretty tolerable and although the battery life sucked, you could usually tease one more shot out of it by warming up the battery and turning it on again. It was small, no-nonsense and took pretty good pictures.
In the end, I’m not quite sure what happened to this fork of camera evolution. The Casio range turned into the under-appreciated Exilim range. Sony has those superthin cameras with touchscreens. Canon decided if they are going to make a small camera, it needed to be more capable, with zoom etc. I guess on top of that, we have modest cameras in our phones, iPods, laptops so the mini-camera has gone the way of the do-do. There is one direct descendant though, the little video-camera, but that’s too far out of my field.
Enjoy some photos of the SD10 and its somewhat distant great, great, great grand cousin, the Panasonic GF1. Appreciate that although we have made progress, they were built on the shoulders of really, really small giants.