The Konica Q-M100 digital camera: From the dawn of consumer digital photography, 01 September 2023

The Konica Q-M100 digital camera: From the dawn of consumer digital photography, 01 September 2023

While we were on holiday I was browsing the Kamerastore website, as you do, and came across an unusual looking camera, the Konica Q-M100. I had never heard of this camera, but it looked old and a little investigation showed it to be from 1997 and therefore one of the earliest compact cameras. With a 1 megapixel CCD sensor, images are stored on CompactFlash cards, much more convenient than the floppy disks of its contemporary, the Sony Mavica, and it's powered by AA batteries rather than the video camera batteries of the Mavica. 

Naturally I was intrigued, and at 19€ it was certainly affordable. The description of the camera was that there was 'heavy corrosion in the battery compartment', the battery door hinge was broken but stays shut and the body was worn overall. But it worked. Of course I bought it, and it arrived the day after our return.

Despite the description that it was heavily worn, in fact this was not too bad. There were numerous scuff marks and scratches on the body work, but for a twenty-six-year-old camera it was acceptable. The problem with the battery chamber was that one of the hinges was broken. If one was careful the chamber closed securely. 

Of greater concern was the corrosion in the battery chamber. There was some residue, but I would not have described it as 'heavy'. I popped in some rechargeable batteries and turned it on by flipping open the lens cover. It powered up straight away, and turning on the LCD display it was jittery but worked perfectly well.

A little bit of vinegar cleaned up the battery compartment quite nicely, and after a gentle clean and installing a 1GB CompactFlash card (which surprisingly worked with this camera when 16MB capacity cards would have been the norm) it was time to take the Konica Q-M100 out for a spin.

The first images taken with the Konica Q-M100 were of a sunset, and quite frankly the results were lovely. The next day I was shopping at Lidl in Oliveira do Bairro and it was a great opportunity to take the camera around the town.

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