Even though they didn’t really start to take off as a camera manufacturer until after they bought Minolta in 2006, Sony’s been in the digital camera game for quite a while. They were one of the first companies to release one to general consumers and if memory recalls, they actually weren’t too bad for their time. This one even has a selfie mode!
Of course, the 25-year-old Sony DSC-F1 can’t keep up with their new A1 flagship, as evidenced in this retro-review by Gordon Laing. He puts the camera through its paces to see how it performs and points out some of the issues with using proprietary tech and connections in hardware, making things somewhat inaccessible for future generations.
The Sony F1 contained a 1/1.3″ CCD sensor capable of capturing a whopping 307.2-kilopixels. Yup, that’s right, kilopixels – terminology so old that Grammarly thinks it’s a typo. This thing wasn’t even a third of a megapixel offering a maximum resolution of only 640×480 pixels. Fortunately, it didn’t use any kind of proprietary Sony memory stick, as it included 4MB of internal storage, which allowed for 108 photos in snapshot mode, 58 in standard mode and 30 in fine mode.
These sound like very low numbers today, but compared to the 24 or 36 exposures you got on a roll of 35mm film back then, 30 seemed pretty normal and 108 seemed quite outlandish!
The first (and last) Sony digital camera I owned was the Sony Mavica FD83. By this point, Sony more than doubled their camera resolution from the F1 to 1024×768. And it actually had removable storage media – 3.5″ floppy disks! For what I needed back then, shooting quick photos just for the web, it was fantastic. But then Nikon released the D100 in 2002 and I never looked back.
I almost wish I still had that FD83. It was a fun, if somewhat clunky camera.
What was your first digital camera?