EEVblog #625 – Retro Teardown: Sony’s First Digital Camera


Dave tears down Sony’s first digital camera that used removable media, a 3.5″ floppy drive! The 640×480 resolution 0.3Mpixel 1997 vintage Sony Mavica MVC-FD7

Original photos form the camera are HERE
Datasheets:
MB88146AP
UPD72069 Floppy-Disk Controller
AD9801 CCD image sensor processor
MB90089 OSD
SH7032 32 Bit Microcontroller:
MB3785A Switching Regulator

Forum HERE

High resolution teardown photos:

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    • My school had one of these in 2001 or so, so not a bad productl lifetime really.

    • Hans

      I put my Sony Mavica to rest in 2009 when I got a Nikon D40, and I did use the Sony regularly until then.
      Biggest problem at the end of my Mavica active live was to get battery’s and floppy’s to an acceptable price, as I remember the last battery was around 90 USD.

    • refreak

      I sencond what Dave said about the lenses. Those older Cameras often have a lot better optics than newer models.
      My old 5MP Olympus still beats most cheap pixel giants of today in terms of image quality.

    • Worf

      The chunkiness was due to the floppy drive. Contemporary cameras of the time that used flash memory were much smaller – typically the size of a 35mm compact camera. They’re a lot tinier now, but back then, you could get tiny cameras.

      And there were two common storage formats of the day – CompactFlash and SmartMedia. Both of which were horrendously expensive at the time – 32MB of either was roughly… $200. A 10-pack of floppies was… $10 regular price. Cheaper on sale. And you didn’t have to ante up for a $50 parallel port card reader (because USB wasn’t all that common) and it was as simple as taking the floppy out and sticking it into your PC.

      The downside was, each disk could only hold around 6 images or so. But the economics of it were such that buying a flash card and a reader and all that still would run you through plenty of floppy disks. It’s why it was an extremely popular camera.

      Of course, 10 years later and it made no sense anymore because prices tumbled and you could get 128MB+ cards for $30 so they became really, really, really affordable.

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    • Kostas

      The part at 30:30 is a shock sensor similar (or the same) to those used on Hard Disks PCBs

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    • Excellent post! I must thank you for this informative read. I hope you will post again soon.panasonic lumix zs20 digital camera

    • Kupsta

      Dave,

      Can you post the pictures you captured? I know you don’t have easy access to a floppy, but could you try!? I would love to see the image noise, if any, and image sharpness.

      Thanks for the video!

      • Kupsta

        I will learn to read the forum first before posting.

    • VK2UPK

      The Sony Mavica; I remember doing the training course at Sony in Talavera Rd many, many years ago…
      Their engineers used to get trained in Japan and they used to hold courses in Sydney.

      Making me feel old…

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    • blipton

      What’s the name of the HDMI capture card you’re using for this?

    • the price sounds right – I had a Nicon Coolpix also at vga rez (640×480) which cost $1000NZD about 1997 or 8

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