History of digital cameras
One of the first digital cameras was SONY ProMavica MVC-5000
It has appeared in 1989. The word "MAVICA" stands for Magnetic Video Camera.
The camera worked as follows: it recorded images as magnetic impulses on a compact 2-inch still-video floppy disk.
The images were captured on the disk by using two CCD (charge-coupled device) chips. One chip stored luminance
information and the other separately recorded the chrominance information. This camera provided a 720,000-pixel
image. The images could be stored on the floppy disk either in Frame or Field mode. When Frame was selected,
each picture was recorded on two tracks and up to 25 images could be recorded on each disk. When Field was
selected, each picture was recorded on only one track, allowing up to 50 images to be recorded.
When recorded in the Field mode, images were less detailed as compared to images recorded in the two-track
Frame mode. The MVC-5000 was considered to be the leader in image quality during its time.
Another significant model of camera,
was a Hi-band still video camera. The XapShot had a built-in flash, self-timer, and an unusual
rechargeable lead acid battery.
Also required was a kit which included
one floppy disk, the battery, and computer interface card with software.
The USA version of the
XapShot could send a NTSC signal to a TV/VCR for playback and recording
of images. There was also a very basic software utility that worked
under System 6/7 for the Mac in conjuction with the Computer Eyes NuBus
video capture card that the camera connected to. Later, a Plug-in
shipped that worked with Letraset's ColorStudio and then Adobe Photoshop
to capture the images.
DYCAM MODEL 1
(Logitech FotoMan) - 1990. Dycam
Model 1 B&W digicam was the world's first completely digital consumer
camera. It stored 32 compressed images on internal 1MB RAM.
1/3-inch, 376 x 240 pixel CCD at 256 gray levels. TIFF or PICT 2
format. 8mm fixed-focus lens. Shutter 1/30 to 1/1000 second.
Built-in flash. The Dycam worked similarly to the Canon XapShot except
that it included the digitizing hardware in the camera itself. The
camera was attached to a PC to transfer images.
- 1992. The DCS 200 had
a built-in hard drive for image recording. There were five variants of the
DCS200: DCS 200 ci (color and integrated hard disk), DCS 200 c (color without
internal hard disk), DCS 200 mi (black and white and integrated hard disk),
DCS 200 m (black and white without internal hard disk) and the 'Wheelcam'
(color by a triple green red and blue exposures). Resolution with
the Kodak DCS 200 Digital camera was 1.54 million pixels, providing four
times the resolution of still-video cameras at that time. Kodak's fully
digital systems used a Nikon body and optics to capture the image. The
image was then transferred to a CCD that converted the image directly into
digital information. The CCD in the Kodak DCS camera system only used a
small portion of the angle of view compared to conventional cameras; for
example, a 28mm lens on the Kodak DCS Digital Camera was equivalent to
an 80mm lens on a 35mm camera. The exposure index (EI) of the DCS
camera equated to 50 to 400 IS0 for color images and 100 to 800 IS0 for
- 1993. Amateur camera with built-in
thermal copier. No image storage capability. Printed on thermal
QUICK TAKE 100
– 1994. The first mass-market
color digital camera. 640 x 480 pixel CCD.
Up to eight 640 x 480 resolution images could be stored in internal memory.
Fixed-focus 50mm lens. Built-in flash.
- 1994. The VC-1100 was
the world's first digital camera with built-in transmission capabilities.
Photojournalists and other photographers could connect a modem to the VC-1100
and upload digital photos over cellular and analog phone lines.
The camera, which had a built-in zoom lens and an image-capture resolution
of 768 by 576 pixels, stored images on PCMCIA cards. Its color LCD
viewfinder let you preview photos on location. The VC-1100's transmitter
enabled pictures to be sent over phone lines or a cellular network to a
second camera or personal computer. The Deltis transmitted at the
rate of one frame every one to six minutes, depending on the picture quality
- 1995. The RDC-1 was the
first digital camera to offer both still and moving image and sound recording/reproduction.
Its recording capacity on a 24MB PC card was 246 still pictures in standard
mode, or 492 in economy mode, or 246 still images in economy mode each
with 10 seconds of sound, or 173 still images in standard mode each with
10 seconds of sound, or four video scenes of 5 seconds each with sound,
or one hour and forty-five minutes of sound only. The DM-1 removable
2.5 inch color LCD monitor provided a live viewfinder image.
MP-EG1, MP-EG1A, MP-EG10
- 1997. World's first digital camera which could output
moving pictures to a personal computer in the MPEG format.
- 1997. Although
the CD1000 (a year 2000 model camera) was Sony's first digicam to use a
three-inch CD-R as the recording media, it wasn't Sony's first still image
digicam to be marketed using a laser and a small plastic disc to record
In-Printer Camera, Instax Mini Printer, and FinePix PR21 - 1998. Prototype digital camera with built-in printer. In-Printer
Camera and Mini Printer shown at Photokina '98. The In-Printer
Camera stored images on SmartMedia memory cards. Both the In-Printer
Camera and the Instax Mini Printer utilized the Fuji Instax Mini film and
produced credit-card sized prints. An improved version of the
In-Printer Camera was marketed in 2000 as as the FinePix PR21 (camera on the
right above), world's first digital camera with an integral printer.