Agfa ePhoto 1280 (1997)

The futuristic looking ePhoto 1280 was made by Sanyo and designed by a german company called Industrial Design Rubner. So Agfa never really was a digital camera manufacturer. The swivel lens fitted perfectly into that time era because Casio was successfully marketing them since 1995. Also because it was very tpyical in those days to incorporate the resolution into the camera models name, it was called ePhoto 1280 (1280x960 resolution interpolated). The stories that float around magazines and the internet that camera manufacturers used the number 1 in model names to distinguish their first camera or technology milestone is completely made up and does not apply to the history of digital cameras.

The camera did not have an optical viewfinder, instead everything was done by using the 2" TFT display. Most common 35mm users were not too comfortable with it's design but on the plus side, the picture quality was extremely good for it's time thanks to the PhotoGenie software inside the camera that could enhance the quality and remove unwanted artifacts. Even today, the ePhoto 1280 is a sophisticated digital camera and somehow seems to stand the test of time. For example, a Casio QV digital camera really looks old and cheap by today's standards but the ePhoto 1280 somehow manages to look classy after almost two decades. Even thoug processing an image took 14 seconds and playback of an image 10 seconds!

Whilst browsing through my vast collection of digital cameras I noticed something odd. I did have two ePhoto 1280 digital cameras but one had a glossy body texture and one had a matte body texture. Apart from that they are both completely identical. The serial numbers revealed that the matte body camera had a very low serial number. Maybe this was one of the first batch and later models had the glossy finish? I would love to hear someone's opinion on this.


  • Brand: AGFA
  • Model: ePhoto 1280
  • First mentioned: 1997
  • Marketed: ja
  • MSRP: $899
  • Imager Type: 0.8MP 1/3" IT-CCD
  • Resolution: 1024x768
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: SmartMedia
  • Lens: F2.8
  • Shutter: 1/4s - 1/500s
  • Aperture Range: F2.8 - F3.5
  • LCD screen size: 2" TFT
  • Size: 156 x 92 x 51mm
  • Weight: 380 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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