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Video: a Retro Evaluation of Sony’s 24-year-old Mavica FD5 digicam, which used floppy discs for storage: Digital Images Evaluation

Gordon Laing has shared one other episode of Retro Critiques, this time reviewing the 24-year-old Sony Mavica FD5, one in every of Sony’s earliest digital cameras that recorded cameras straight to three.5” floppy discs.

The Mavica FD5 was launched in 1997 and retailed for round $600. Whereas not the primary Mavica digicam, it was the primary digital Mavica digicam. As Gordon explains within the 13-minute video, the promoting level of the FD5 was its use of the ever-present 3.5” floppy disc as a storage medium. Whereas most different digital cameras within the mid-to-late Nineties both used built-in storage or costlier (and typically proprietary) storage options, Sony opted to go for an answer that didn’t require most customers to exit and buy further {hardware}.

Naturally, this answer made for a reasonably giant, square-shaped digicam. However, except for its brick-like ergonomics [insert Sony ergonomics joke here], Gordon suggests the digicam is pretty intuitive and simple attributable to its nearly completely auto nature (the one adjustable setting was publicity compensation +/- 1.5EV in .5EV increments). Nonetheless, there are a number of person expertise quirks, such because the digicam displaying solely the numbers of pictures captured, not what number of stay till your 1.4MB of storage is used up.

Beneath is a group of pattern images captured by Gordon with the Mavica FD5, used along with his permission:

On the coronary heart of the FD5 was a CCD sensor that was carried over from Sony’s line of digital video cameras and supplied a whopping .3MP (640 x 480 pixels) of decision. Gordon notes the digicam applies reasonably aggressive JPEG compression to the pictures with the intention to match 20–40 60KB images onto a single 3.5” 1.4MP floppy disc. The mounted focal size lens on the FD5 is a 47mm equal with a slider on the entrance of the digicam for activating a macro lens that popped in entrance of the primary lens.

The FD5 makes use of Sony’s FP-530 batteries, which have been rated for as much as 500 pictures per cost. Nonetheless, reviewing pictures and holding the rear LCD show on for prolonged intervals of time dramatically cuts into that shot depend.

As at all times, Gordon’s video coincides with a written Retro Evaluation of the digicam, which you’ll be able to learn over on CameraLabs. Yow will discover extra of his Retro Critiques on Gordon’s DinoBytes YouTube channel and discover his different pictures work on his digicam evaluate web site, CameraLabs.

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