Flashback Friday:Sony MAVICA Digital Camera (1981)

by Gina 05/14/2010, in Flashback Friday

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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