My Gear – Chapter 1
Agfa ePhoto 780c

Agfa ePhoto 780c cameraThere has always been some hardware associated with my road trips. In order to update a website, I needed some sort of computer and, if I intended to include photos in those updates, I needed a digital camera. GPS has also been part of the mix from the beginning. A computer, a camera, and a GPS receiver have been my travel companions on every trip but they have changed at least as much as I have though in different directions. While I’ve gotten weaker and slower and balder, they’ve become more powerful, faster, and more loaded with features.

Noticing changes in electronic gear occurs fairly frequently. It’s unavoidable when something new enters my toolkit but I also think of it at random times like when I upload a decent sized picture in less time than it used to take to upload the tiniest of thumbnails. I thought about it in some detail in August of 2009. It had been exactly ten years since my first road trip post and I was on another one. I commemorated the first trip by posting a picture and some musings on each day’s tenth anniversary. I think the idea for something like this series of articles was born then though I didn’t quite realize it and I had no idea of the form it would take. The “series of articles” I’m talking about will be a set of blog posts talking about the various bits of gear I’ve used in maintaining This is the first. Others will appear, in sequence but not consecutively, as space and time permit.

Arcadia, OK, Round Barn 1999In July of 1999, I bought an Agfa ePhoto 780c from on online outfit called uBid for $185.99. What I got for that nearly two hundred dollars was a zone focus 350 kilopixel (Does that sound better than 0.35 megapixel?) camera that stored JPGs on an included 2 MB Smart Media card. The standard resolution was 320×240 but it also offered 640×480 and 1024×768. That last resolution was produced by extrapolating those 350 kilo-pixels into 0.786 mega-pixels and I’ve always assumed that is where the model number came from but don’t really know. Click on the picture above for one of those full resolution photos from 1999.

I also carried a Nikon 35mm pocket camera for “real” pictures but the Agfa did the job it was hired for giving me a way to post pictures on the same day they were taken. Back in the twentieth century that seemed pretty cool .

The camera came with Agfa’s Photowise software which allowed me to copy photos from the camera and edit them on my Toshiba Libretto (the subject of a future post). The interface was RS-232 serial and none too fast. I soon developed the habit of immediately firing up the copying when I checked into a motel then heading out to dinner while the photos flowed through the wire. On my return, I’d select and edit the photos, prepare the web page, and start the upload — assuming I could actually connect with my 10¢ a minute dial-up.

The journal of that first trip is here. It is the only trip where I truly relied on the Agfa. The ten year reminiscences begin here. Look to the right side of the page.

7 thoughts on “My Gear – Chapter 1
Agfa ePhoto 780c

  1. My ex used to be a pro photographer and in those waning years of the 20th century she derided cameras like this because their resolution was dramatically inferior to what she could get from her Pentax K1000. But you know, that barn photo is a usable image and perfect for its purpose.

    • She was quite right. At that point, digitals were ready for prime time but not play time. Nikon had a pretty good digital at $5000+. The rest of the offerings were pretty dismal but they were still hurting Polaroid sales and they were getting better. And they were generally good enough for a picture that was typically being viewed on a 12 inch 640×480 screen.

  2. Pingback: My Gear – Chapter 2Toshiba Libretto | Denny G's Road Trips Blog

  3. Pingback: My Gear – Chapter 3Garmin GPS III Plus | Denny G's Road Trips Blog

  4. Pingback: My Gear – Chapter 3Garmin GPS III Plus « 1450 LMT GPS Sale

  5. Pingback: My Apps – Chapter 1PhotoWise & FP Express | Denny G's Road Trips Blog

  6. Pingback: My Gear – Chapter 13Nikon D40 | Denny G's Road Trips Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *