[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Precursor to the Digital Camera

November 26th, 2007 by Benj Edwards
Canon RC-470 Still Video Camera Advertisement

Before the digital camera, there was the “still video” camera. Sony began closing the gap between the analog world of film photography to the realm of digital computers with the release of its Mavica still video camera in 1981. By 1989, Canon marketed systems like the RC-470 (seen here) as desktop publishing accessories designed to be used in conjunction with a computer.

How did they work? Think of a CCD video camera without motion. Still video cameras captured single frames of electronic video and stored them on removable magnetic discs in an analog video format. In order to get the images onto a computer (assuming that’s what you wanted to do), each video still had to be digitized with a computer video capture device (much like today’s TV tuner cards). But it wasn’t long until fully digital consumer cameras made this cumbersome process — and analog electronic cameras — obsolete.

[ From MacUser – December, 1989 ]

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2 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Precursor to the Digital Camera”

  1. Merman Says:

    Commodore/MOS engineers were apparently experimenting with videophones and digital picture transmission back in the late 1970s…

  2. c0ldfr3ak Says:

    wow… i never knew they had a ‘digital’ camera back in 81… thats pretty sweet

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