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My own first extensive hands-on experience using a digital camera would have to wait almost four years after that, until early 1998, when I had the chance to review a Nikon Coolpix 900. The Coolpix 900 was a 1.25-megapixel point-and-shoot with a 2-inch LCD, a 3x optical zoom (38-115mm), and a funky swiveling body design (priced at $899 in 1998).
Experience with the Nikon Coolpix 900 inspired me to get my own digital camera toward the end of that year, at a time when few people I knew outside the tech industry had them. I eventually settled on a Fujifilm MX-500, which sold for $400 to $500 at the time. I liked the 1.3-megapixel MX-500 because of its relatively compact size and the fact that it used SmartMedia memory cards rather than CompactFlash since I was wrongly convinced that SmartMedia would eclipse the bulkier CompactFlash. The camera's LCD was just 1.8 inches.
I even had a SmartMedia/floppy disk adapter to transfer my photos to my PC.