Monday, May 30, 2011

Old Digital Camera Vs. Cell Phone: Sony Mavica Edition

Pause for a minute and try to remember 1997. It is very possible that you will not be able to remember everything about 1997 because it was a long time ago, but these things happened, among others: Bill Clinton started his second term as President of the United States, Dharma & Greg premiered on ABC, and everybody's computer came with a floppy disk drive.

Also in 1997, people started wondering if maybe this newfangled digital camera thing had legs. Turns out it did, but there are times in retrospect that you have to wonder how it managed to survive those early years. This is one of those times.

Sony's Mavica series of digital still cameras goes back to the mid-80s, but the MVC-FD5 was the first to record on a commonly-available consumer format.

No, it's not an SD card, or a CF card, or even a SmartMedia card. See that little floppy disk icon on the from of the Mavica? It's there because the Mavica records on these:
So this is a camera that makes floppy disk sounds whenever you take a picture, and we're probably only a few years away from that becoming ironically cool. Let's try to get ahead of the curve and see what this Mavica can do.

Sony Mavica MVC-FD5
  • c. 1997
  • CAD $700-800
  • 1/4" 0.3 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 4.8mm f2 fixed-focus lens
Apple iPhone 4
  • c. 2010
  • CAD $659
  • 1/3.2" 5 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3.8mm f2.8 autofocus lens

Line Art

Cell Phone 
Cell Phone
Cell Phone

Cell Phone
Generic Cat Photo
Cell Phone

The Mavica images were saved as "HI" JPEG images at the camera's "FRAME" setting; the cell phone images are straight out-of-camera JPEGs with the Auto HDR mode turned off.

Conclusion? The Mavica MVC-FD5 is awful. Just super bad.

Winner: Cell Phone


Brian Van Wyk Photography said...

Superbad... But it uses a floppy disk, which is Super-rad.

reid said...

The ugly truth is that a lot of cell phones even today have specifications and results virtually identical to the Mavica and people can't understand why they don't make nice prints.

Firdaus said...

i would better use the modern Sony Dgital Camera.

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