The Earliest Digital Cameras Used Floppy Disks

By Bryan Menegus on at

It’s 1997 and digital cameras were just coming on the market. Native support didn’t exist on Mac or PC, USB ports weren’t standard, and the miniSD card wouldn’t exist for another six years. The best storage option for the time was the humble floppy disk.

As The 8-Bit Guy shows in a walk down tech’s memory lane, the very first digital cameras — like the Sony Mavica — were enormous, because they had to fit an entire floppy disk in them. The Mavica also took awful photos in two flavours: crap resolution where everything that moves is blurry, or apocalyptically bad resolution with less motion blur. Digital would surpass film in only a few years’ time, but when the Mavica first launched the only obvious perk was the ability to delete photos.

The last iteration in the Mavica line made the even stranger storage decision to use mini CDs, requiring the thing to be turned on while resting on a flat surface... because CDs spin. But best of all, it supported USB so removing the disc was almost never necessary, as the 8-Bit Guy notes.

Many people might remember the Mavica line or its competitors — after all, this was only 20 years ago. Still it’s nice to give credit to some of the pioneering models in digital photography that helped to standardise many of the features we take for granted today.