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About Mavica Digital Cameras from Sony

Smartphones are equipped with image technology, making it possible to take a photograph with a few swipes of a touchscreen. Before digital technology was widespread, however, tech companies experimented with many different image recording options. In the '80s, the Sony Mavica made waves as the first electronic still camera.

What is an electronic still camera?

The electronic still cameras released in the early '80s were designed as video recording devices, and they worked by storing sequential still frames. They usually had enough space to store about 50 frames, and these images were saved on a two-inch floppy disk. These devices often featured SLR technology and were compatible with multiple lenses. As the technology was still in its earliest days, the cameras tended to have a quarter-megapixel resolution and one shutter speed.

What is a digital still camera?

In the '90s, still imaging technology progressed further. While the '80s models relied on analog technology, the devices released in the late '90s embraced the updated digital technology. The resolution was improved, variable shutter speeds became standard, and zoom capabilities increased.

What storage options were offered?

In the early days of digital photography, the Sony Mavica line sold among consumers, in part due to the accessible memory media storage technology. From 1997 to 2003, the line was equipped with the following storage options:

  • 3.5-inch floppy disk
  • Memory stick
  • 8-centimeter compact disc
What other features did these cameras have?

As photographic technology transitioned from analog to digital, devices were equipped with features like:

  • CCD: CCD or charge coupled device refers to the image sensors used to detect light. Cameras made in this time period were usually equipped with 640 x 480 pixel CCDs or higher.
  • Zoom: Some of these devices featured lenses capable of 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, or 14x optical zoom.
  • Recording capabilities: These devices were designed to capture up to 15 seconds of 16fps MPEG-1 video.
  • USB interface: Some CD-based devices were equipped with USB interfaces, which functioned as a way to read CD images that were not yet finalized.
  • Lens options: Lens options varied by device. The earliest devices had fixed focal length lenses, and later options had optical zoom lenses. Some were equipped with a single-lens reflex component, which was bolstered by interchangeable lenses. Others had lens mount adapters.
What parts came with these cameras?

Mavicas came with several component parts, including:

  • AC adapter charger
  • Rechargeable battery pack
  • Additional lenses
  • Floppy disks
  • Carrying strap and/or case
Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sony.
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