Sony ProMavica MVC-5000 camera
This formidable weapon is one of the earliest digital cameras to be put on the market. It’s a Sony ProMavica MVC-5000, released in 1989. It’s not really a “digital” camera, since the image is not recorded in pixel photosites, it’s really a “still-video” camera because the recorded image is magnetic like on video tape.
“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. 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.” (http://www.digicamhistory.com/1989.html)
The camera sold for $10,000 – about $20,000 in today’s money. That should buy a lot of camera, yet its 2-inch floppy disc stored images of only 720,000-pixels. That’s less than one megabyte! Despite that the camera was often used by the press as images could be sent internationally over phone lines – this is before the internet. Click here for a history of digital camera technology.
The camera no longer costs $10,000. It can be yours for only a few hundred dollars here on ebay.