Those early cameras did have one odd advantage, which was the fact that their image sensors were tiny and focusing an image on them required very short focal-length lenses. Due to the physics of the situation, this meant that the cameras possessed huge depth-of-field, much like a pinhole camera. In other words, the lens would bring any object from a few inches away to infinity into focus simultaneously. This made it possible to shoot interesting photos that would be difficult to capture with a conventional 35mm film camera.
One of the illuminating aspects of my switch to digital was that, with no film to buy, I could experiment freely in order to understand better how a camera sees, and how to make use of the unique qualities of a particular type of camera. Of course the computer and camera cost money, but unless I made prints it cost nothing extra to shoot as many images as I desired. With digital cameras the possibilities of what a camera can record are considerably beyond what was possible with film cameras. In the process of playing with digital images I learned some lessons, as I did with depth-of-field, above, that have not only expanded my repertoire of possible imagery, but have encouraged me to create images that would have been difficult or impossible to attain with film.
Here's an example of a technique I've tried with my digital camera that often brings interesting and surprising results, while educating my eyes to see subtleties that were previously not apparent.
If you try this, it's best to choose low-contrast, minimally colored subjects. However look for any patterns and textures that might not be apparent due to the low contrast inherent in the scene. Boulders, rocks, and geological formations are good possibilities to investigate. The soft light of a cloudy sky makes for the right sort of illumination. It's color neutral and just the opposite of the sort of lighting you might conventionally wish for such subjects. When you increase the contrast of the image, you may have to tone down the brightness in order for the highlights not to "burn out," that is go completely white.
After playing with this or other means of digital transformation you might ponder this question: What do you think are the advantages and liabilities of digital photographic process compared to the old days of film and chemistry, and how do you feel about digitally modified images as an art form? These are ideas I still contemplate quite a lot and will probably discuss in future postings, along with a few other ideas for modifying digital images. Meantime, have fun experimenting.