I usually don’t post much about hardware-related things here, but today I decided I should make an exception. Today I bought an old Sony FD Mavica digital camera, which is one of the first digital cameras ever made. The model in particular I bought uses a 3.5in floppy disk for storing and transferring images, and sports a 2 megapixel image sensor.


The Mavica next to some floppies.

The camera model in particular is the Sony Mavica MVC-FD200. Sony marketed it as a “dual media” camera, meaning it supported using both a traditional 3.5in floppy drive, as well as a Memory Stick, which is a proprietary memory format that Sony created in 1998. This model in particular is not the first of the Digital Mavicas, as it came out in 2002, but it still does use the same floppy disk design as the older Digital Mavicas used.

photo example

An example photo. It's not great, but by using a floppy drive you have limitations in photo quality and resolution.

The camera can shoot up to 1600x1200 JPEG photos, and record MPEG video at 320x240 and 160x112. As a 3.5in floppy disk is 1.44MB in size, you are really limited to the amount of photos you can take with it. According to dcresearch.com you can only take 30 photos at 640x480 resolution before you run out of storage space.

Looking back, it’s amazing how far the quality of photos taken with digital cameras has come over the years. In only about 20 years time, we have come from bulky digital cameras that use 3.5in floppies, to smartphones like the iPhone 7 that have up to 256GB storage, while still being tiny enough to fit in your pocket.

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