Analog electronic cameras

Handheld electronic cameras, in the sense of a device meant to be carried and used like a handheld film camera, appeared in 1981 with the demonstration of the Sony Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera). This is not to be confused with the later cameras by Sony that also bore the Mavica name. This was an analog camera, in that it recorded pixel signals continuously, as videotape machines did, without converting them to discrete levels; it recorded television-like signals to a 2 ? 2 inch "video floppy".[17] In essence it was a video movie camera that recorded single frames, 50 per disk in field mode and 25 per disk in frame mode. The image quality was considered equal to that of then-current televisions. Canon RC-701, 1986 Analog electronic cameras do not appear to have reached the market until 1986 with the Canon RC-701. Canon demonstrated a prototype of this model at the 1984 Summer Olympics, printing the images in the Yomiuri Shinbun, a Japanese newspaper. In the United States, the first publication to use these cameras for real reportage was USA Today, in its coverage of World Series baseball. Several factors held back the widespread adoption of analog cameras; the cost (upwards of $20,000), poor image quality compared to film, and the lack of quality affordable printers. Capturing and printing an image originally required access to equipment such as a frame grabber, which was beyond the reach of the average consumer. The "video floppy" disks later had several reader devices available for viewing on a screen, but were never standardized as a computer

rive. The early adopters tended to be in the news media, where the cost was negated by the utility and the ability to transmit images by telephone lines. The poor image quality was offset by the low resolution of newspaper graphics. This capability to transmit images without a satellite link was useful during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the first Gulf War in 1991. US government agencies also took a strong interest in the still video concept, notably the US Navy for use as a real time air-to-sea surveillance system. The first analog electronic camera marketed to consumers may have been the Canon RC-250 Xapshot in 1988. A notable analog camera produced the same year was the Nikon QV-1000C, designed as a press camera and not offered for sale to general users, which sold only a few hundred units. It recorded images in greyscale, and the quality in newspaper print was equal to film cameras. In appearance it closely resembled a modern digital single-lens reflex camera. Images were stored on video floppy disks. Silicon Film, a proposed digital sensor cartridge for film cameras that would allow 35 mm cameras to take digital photographs without modification was announced in late 1998. Silicon Film was to work like a roll of 35 mm film, with a 1.3 megapixel sensor behind the lens and a battery and storage unit fitting in the film holder in the camera. The product, which was never released, became increasingly obsolete due to improvements in digital camera technology and affordability. Silicon Films' parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2001.