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1984 - 1985

FIRST INTERNET (USENET) MENTION  OF ELECTRONIC CAMERAS - 1984.  Dejanews.com pioneered research into past articles on the web. Later, Google acquired Deja assets and continued the program. A web search by DigiCamHistory.Com in March of 2002 found a 1984 message mentioning electronic cameras.  The message was by Debbie Byrd on 27 October 1984, on the net.astro newsgroup.  Debbie discussed the use of an electronic camera on a telescope in Chile used to photograph the planet Neptune.

   

Canon RC-701 Still Video System                                                              Canon D413 Still Video System camera                                                         1984 Olympic photo taken with D413 camera

CANON AT OLYMPIC GAMES - 1984.  In July, 1984, Canon conducted a trial of a professional color still video camera (the Still Video System D413, prototype developed into the RC-701, camera shown in middle images) and an analog transmitter at the Los Angeles Olympics.  The images were transmitted back to Japan via phone lines in less than 30 minutes.  They were then printed in the Yomiuri newspaper (image on far right.  Immediately before the Games, Canon announced its successful development of a color electronic still camera designed for commercial broadcasting use.  Using a regenerator and transmitter developed at the same time, the company conducted practical tests at the '84 Olympics.  The color electronic still video camera with a 400K pixel CCD used in the tests was the first practical application for public use.  With the cooperation of the Yomiuri Shimbun, a leading Japanese daily newspaper, images taken by the still camera were experimentally transmitted to Japan over telephone lines, and proved to be supremely successful.  Based on data and experience from those tests, Canon began product development, culminating in the Canon Still Video System of 1986.  Popular Photography, October 1984, p48.  For more information about Canon still video cameras and other early digital technolgy visit D. van Hall's excellent digicammuseum.com site below.

http://www.digicammuseum.com/history.html

http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/history/index.html

 


COMMODORE AMIGA A1000 - 1984.  (First shown in 1984, marketed 1985) The Amiga was the very first personal computer with superior graphics and sound capabilities with a GUI (graphic user interface) environment.  It provided multi-tasking capability with driver-and-library-using design.  There were two versions of the Amiga 1000. The first one sold only in the USA, had a NTSC display, and no EHB video mode.  Later versions would have this built in. The second version had a PAL display, the enhanced video modes (EHB), and was built in Germany.  It could digitize pictures, video, and display still images with 4096 colors when in the HAM mode (static display).  The Amiga A1000 was a significant advance over other systems at the time as it included a 32bit pre-emptive multi-tasking GUI, 4 channel stereo sound, 880k 3-1/2 inch floppy disks, and video modes which provided 4096 colors as standard equipment when other systems were monotasking at just 16 colors. The Amiga could simultaneously  display multiple windows at different resolutions on a single monitor.  It became a favorite of artists and animators because its multiple co-processors allowed it to do complex images and animations that other systems of the time could not handle (with the exception of expensive workstations).  The Amiga A1000 has the signatures of all of it's designers cast into the inside of it's case, including the paw print of Jay Miner's (Amiga developer) dog Mitchy.  MSRP $1300.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=28
http://oldcomputers.net/amiga1000.html


 
 



COPAL PROTOTYPE - 1984.   The Copal CV-1 electronic camera prototype had a  2/3-inch CCD and a 9-27 mm zoom, f/1.2 lens.  It was Shown at Photokina in 1984 and in Popular Photography, January 1985, p55.

 


HITACHI STILL VIDEO CAMERA PROTOTYPE - 1984.   This camera had a 2/3-inch MOS image sensor with horizontal resolution of 300 TV lines.  Shutter 1 to 1/500 sec.  Framing rate of  3.5 fps.  25 frame capacity.  Popular Photography, October 1984, p35.

DIGITAL STILL CAMERA - 1984.   MegaVision designed a 1000-line digital camera (a scanline, vidicon tube camera) to be used with their 1024XM image processor.

www.mega-vision.com/about/about.htm



JVC GR-C1 - 1984.  First  VHS single-unit video camcorder.  This camcorder used Compact VHS  tape which JVC introduced in 1982.  This was the same tape as standard VHS and the same recording format, but in a cassette which was only 1/3 the size. This compact cassette could be inserted into in a full-sized VHS adaptor shell so that it could be played back in any VHS machine.  In this way, JVC achieved miniaturization without compromising compatibility with older equipment. Immortalized in the movie 'Back To The Future' (photo above on right), it is the original, definitive camcorder.

http://www.totalrewind.org/ 

KONICA CV-301 - 1984.  The CV-301 was the world's smallest video camera at that time, but still used a image pickup tube rather than a CCD or CMOS chip. It was unusual for its pistol-grip shape which was made possible by the clever placement of the pickup tube - in the handle! The CV-301 could be used with portable VHS, VHS-C, CVC and some other types of recorders, but not Betamax. Information provided by Total Rewind. http://www.totalrewind.org/ 

GE 1CVC4030E - 1984.  One of many early model video cameras which required an external tape recorder. Playing a tape onto a TV also required a power supply for the recorder. The camera shown above was obtained on eBay in excellent condition with original case and manual for $1.


CANON CI-10 - 1985.  Color video camera with 9 mm lens.  508 x 466 pixel CCD.  Image sensor of 8.8 x 6.6mm.   Images could be recorded on still video floppy discs (with proper equipment). See reference below. Popular Mechanics, December 1985, page 14.
http://www.geod.ethz.ch/p02/projects/dapcad/examples/DDD_giova.html


MACINTOSH COMPUTER - 1984.  Apple introduced the Macintosh computer in January 1984 with an emphasis on graphics and user friendly interface.  The first Macintosh didn't have a model number - it was simply the Macintosh. There was no name on the front.  Early 128Ks said "Macintosh" on the back, while later ones were marked "Macintosh 128K" to distinguish them from the Macintosh 512K. MSRP $2,500.   Digital Photography, Mikkel Aaland, 1992, p11.  http://lowendmac.com/compact/128k.shtml


 
 

PANASONIC PROTOTYPE ELECTRONIC CAMERA - 1984.  This camera had a 500 x 600 pixel CCD with a 14-42mm zoom  f/2 lens.  Shutter speed was 1/15-1/1,000 second.  It was shown at Photokina 1984 and appeared in Popular Photography, January 1985, p55.  It was an analog still video camera and recorded to two-inch floppy disks.  Click on image to see enlarged photo and parts drawing.
 

 

SONY DISCMAN (D-5, D-50 PORTABLE CD PLAYERS) - 1984.  Sony introduces portable CD players.
 http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/CorporateInfo/History/sonyhistory.html

 

 

ATARI / MITSUBISHI PICTURE PHONE - 1985.  The Lumaphone began as a division of the Atari Video Game Company. The division was called Ataritel. This particular phone was developed in 1983. Atari Sold the division to Mitsubishi in 1984. The "Lumaphone", the Atari Videophone in its finished form, was advertised in 1985 and sold by Mitsubishi Electric of America in 1986 as the Luma LU-1000. The Lumaphone could transmit an image in 3-5 seconds and could have a parallel printer attached for printing out small black and white images (Mitsubishi P60U). Also, a TV could be hooked up to the unit for conference room meetings. If a larger video image was desired for the home or office desk, the optional VisiTel LU-500 could be attached. This Lumaphone, VisiTel (in new condition) and information were kindly provided by Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia.

Mitsubishi P60U and Mitsubishi VisiTel LU-500

http://www.atarimuseum.com/ataritel/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/user/JeepersMedia

SONY CCD-V8 - 1985.  World's first camcorder capable of recording video on standard 8mm videotape. 250K pixel CCD. 6X zoom. 1.97kg. c.$1175 in Japan. The photo on is the original CCD-V8 which was manually focused. This model is very rare as production ceased as soon as the AF model was made available.

SONY CCD-V8AF - 1985.  The cased camera is an improved model, the CCD-V8AF, which as the name suggests, incorporated auto-focusing, the first 8mm camcorder to do so. Collectors, you missed out on this one. The CCD-V8AF shown above in new-from-factory condition with carrying case and all accessories was obtained on Yahoo Auctions for a winning bid of just $40!

A TALE OF TWO CAMERAS by Jack Carter (a dickens of a different sort). The CCD-V8 video camera was manual focus only and radically different than the following CCD-V8AF model. The CCD-V8 did have distance markers on the lens to aid in focusing manually, a feature retained by the CCD-V8AF. The CCD-V8 had no internal auto focus parts, circuit boards, or manual / auto focus switch on the outside. However, the early CCD-V8AF camera which replaced the CCD-V8 model had a hunting problem, not being able to decide where the correct focus point should be. The auto focus motor would operate continuously and cause the battery to run down. Professionals would habitually turn off the auto focus in order to conserve battery life. The CCD-V8AF had two types of auto focus: infrared and through-the-lens. The infrared model would measure distance by sending out an infrared beam which reflected back to a sensor. It had two major flaws: 1) difficulty in focusing on a dark object, the dark object adsorbing the infrared beam completely with no return to the sensor; 2) the beam would reflect from glass windows causing the lens to focus on the glass rather than on the intended subject. The through-the-lens system operates similar to the human eye, adjusting the focus for finest detail. The early through-the-lens AF models also had hunting problems, never being satisfied as to the sharpest focus point and then shutting down the auto focus after a few seconds, the solution at the time if the camera wasn't moved. The CCD-V8 and the CCD-V8AF were quite different internally and the lens of the CCD-V8 was long enough so that you could easily focus it by hand. Later cameras didn't have a lengthy protruding lens because the auto focus system worked very well, focusing as rapidly as the human eye.

http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/CorporateInfo/History/sonyhistory-f.html

SONY CCD-M8 - 1985.  World's first 'pocket-book' 8mm camcorder - lightest weight (1.0kg) and smallest size. Record-only function. 270K pixels (Gross) CCD .

http://www.rewindmuseum.com/history.htm

SONY BETAMOVIE BMC-220 - 1985.  Similar to the BMC-100/110 of 1983, but with auto-focus.

http://www.betainfoguide.net/BTMpage.htm

 


CANON 8 VM-E1 - 1985.  Canon releases the Canovision 8 VM-E1, its first integrated (all in one unit) 8mm video camcorder. Canon was second after Sony in releasing an 8mm camcorder. MSRP $1,400. http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/history/index.html


FUJI  ES-1 - 1985.  STill video camera.  2/3-inch 640 x 480 pixel CCD.  3X 50-150mm manual zoom SLR. Above photos provide by adfans@hotmail.com. Also see: Understanding Electronic Photography, John J. Larish, 1990, p34.

 

 

KONICA SVC-20 - 1985.  Prototype still video camera.  2/3-inch, 300K pixel CCD.  Through the lens viewing with 9mm-27mm zoom lens. Up to eight frames per minute. Understanding Electronic Photography, John J. Larish, 1990, p35. Popular Science, October 1985. Photo provided by Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia.   http://www.youtube.com/user/JeepersMedia

KONICA SVC-40 - 1985.  Prototype still video camera.  2/3-inch 300K pixel CCD.  Auto-focus, 12-38mm f/1.4 zoom lens. Recorded on mini floppy dics. Understanding Electronic Photography, John J. Larish, 1990, p35. Popular Science, May 1987.


TOSHIBA DIGITAL STILL PICTURE RECORDER - 1985.  The first report of recording still images on an audio cassette tape digitally was made by Toshiba in 1980, and they then produced a prototype of this recording technology in 1985 as published by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).  A video camera or other analog device could feed data into the Digital Still Picture Recorder where the images were digitized and stored on ordinary C90 audio cassette tape.  The Digital Still picture Recorder is the bottom piece of equipment shown in the photo with an audio recorder on top. The system was never placed on the market.

http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/STARS-Proposal:Digital_Still_Cameras

http://sts.kahaku.go.jp/diversity/document/system/pdf/039.pdf


PIXAR Digital Imaging Processor - 1985.  Pixar introduces a digital imaging processor.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blkidprimer6_12photo.htm

http://www.eastmanhouse.org/

1984 - 1985
 

1800s
1900 - 1920
1920s
1930s
1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980-83
1984-85
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995 A-C
1995 D-Z
1996 A-C
1996 D-N
1996 O-R
1996 S-Z
 1997 A-D
1997 E-H
1997 I-O
 1997 P-Q
 1997 R-S
1997 T-Z
1998 A-D
1998 E-F
1998 G-K
1998 L-N
1998 O-P
1998 Q-R
1998 S
1998 T-Z
1999+
   



Useful Info
History Sites
FINDER