Recently I was asked what my first digital camera was. It was the Kodak DCS 200. I started using this camera back in 1994. This was really the bleeding edge of photography technology at the time. It was made by Kodak but was based on a film body, the NIKON 8008S. At the time my main body was a Nikon F4 and I had a N8008s as a backup.
The Kodak DCS 200 images were a massive 1.54MP each. Not much by todays standards but it was incredible back in the mid 90's. The Nikon body and the Kodak back were 2 completely separate pieces. The body could be easily separated from the back and a standard film back could be attached and the camera could shoot film again. Also this is before there were LCD’s on the back to check focus and exposure. It was common to return from a shoot and see my images come up on the screen and they would be purple or black because of the buggy software. Images that were missing because of a hardware error was also a common problem. A Kodak dye sublimation printer was hooked up to my Mac workstation for producing 8 x 10 prints. The prints were limited by the low resolution of the camera but they got the job done.
I took to digital like a fish to water. I had a great deal of experience at custom printing color and B&W negatives. I am still comfortable in total darkness, kinda miss the old days. As much as I miss the nostalgia of film once you got a taste of digital it was obvious the film workflow was limited. With analog imaging making a comeback I have jumped on the bandwagon and I occasionally shoot film and have been shooting a lot of polaroid.
If you have less then ten years in photography you might have trouble realizing just how the early days of digital were so earth shattering. Being able to have a print just a few minutes after a shoot was unbelievable. But I must say the equipment was very unreliable. Batteries never seemed to last as long as advertised. One of my cameras the battery would occasionally go from full to dead in seconds. The hard drives in the cameras always seemed to have bad blocks of data that ruined the images.
If you have a digital camera that is over 10 years old I say get it out and shoot a few images with it and compare it to your latest camera. We have come a long way in a short period of time.