Flashback Friday:Sony MAVICA Digital Camera (1981)

by Gina 05/14/2010

1981:  More than 700 million people watched a wedding,  people traded radio for watching music videos on TV and the first space shuttle took flight. To keep up with this new generation of technology and pop culture, you could snag a Sony MAVICA camera, the first still video camera.

Headlined “Pictures without Film” by Amateur Photographer in 1981 “  The MAVICA digital camera, was considered a large breakthrough in photographic technology.

The MAVICA (Magnetic Video Camera) recorded images on the old school discs similar to the ones you might find in your or your parent’s junk drawer – it was a disc developed by Sony which was only 1.7” . For the first time, this camera took away the need for purchasing and developing film. Simply insert a new disc, and away with you’re snapping. To do this a microchip was behind the camera’s viewing reflex mirror but in front of the disc. The chip converted the light into an electronic signal which was then recorded as an image onto the disc.

Three lenses were offered with the camera: A 25mm f/2, a 50mm f/1.4 and a 16-64mm f/1.4 zoom lens.

It’s fascinating to think now the space shuttle is soon to be retired. Not to mention going from the MAVICA camera to the TX7 that captures panoramic photos and full HD video. So have fun with all this improved technology because it could make your weekend better. Weekend you say? That’s right. It’s Friday and a Flashback Friday to boot.

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  1. Dale Sullivan wrote: May 14, 2010 10:48pm

    I think I have one of these; do they still make battery packs or charger for them? great camera, but the guy I bought it from did not tell me he kept the charger…

    1. Gina wrote: May 14, 2010 11:29pm

      Hi Dale – thanks for coming by and sharing. I’m sorry to hear about what happened with the charger (not cool). If you have the model number I can look but here is a link to our parts & accessories if this helps.

  2. Anonymous wrote: May 16, 2010 11:05am

    Hello Sony, my Alpha 100 does weird sounds when turning it on and trying to clean the sensor. It takes a few seconds longer than normal. When I take pictures the resulting file shows a different field of vision than what the viewfinder showed me. Even worse, there is a black right upper corner in every one of my pictures. Please get in contact on how so solve this, your website is of no help. Thanks

    1. Gina wrote: May 17, 2010 9:48pm

      Hey Guest, Yikes, that’s no fun. Let me get you to our technical experts who can troubleshoot with you. They can be reached below:
      or by chat by clicking this link:

      I hope this info helps and let me know how it goes!

  3. Anonymous wrote: May 17, 2010 9:40am

    i want a new model home theater how can i get it direct from the company

    1. Gina wrote: May 17, 2010 9:55pm

      Hi Guest, You can buy directly from Sony via – hope that info helps – happy shopping :-)

      1. Anonymous wrote: May 18, 2010 10:50pm

        I think Sony recently stopped production of floppy disks ouitside Japan. I need an order adress before I buy the Mavica ;-)

  4. Anonymous wrote: May 17, 2010 10:01am

    Well from Sony MAVICA Digital Camera to New NX Series…. Great Work.

    1. Gina wrote: May 17, 2010 9:49pm

      Ha – thanks :-)

  5. Kevin Barrett wrote: May 17, 2010 2:23pm

    So, 16-64mm f/1.4 zoom lens anybody?

  6. Scott Lewis wrote: May 27, 2010 6:39am

    a 16-64mm f/1.4 zoom lens…. wow I would love to see that remade so the Sony Alpha camera

    1. Scott Lewis wrote: May 27, 2010 9:34am

      and the 25mm f/2 :)

  7. Anonymous wrote: August 30, 2011 5:57pm

    I can’t believe how much the new NEX-7 looks like the Mavica!


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