1998 Review of Sony Mavica Shows How Far Digital Cameras Have Come

Back in 1998, PC World magazine published a review of the Sony Mavica MVC-FD71 as the digital camera industry was beginning to pick up steam. He’s what they wrote:

[…] the original model took about 8 seconds to save a photo to a disk, this version averaged a more tolerable 4 seconds. In addition, Sony has added some nifty new features. These include the ability to make copies of floppies using just the camera–very handy if you want to hand out extra disks on the spot. A new quarter-resolution (320 by 240) option also makes it faster to e-mail photographs. (The camera’s full resolution is 640 by 480.) A built-in menu on the MVC-FD71’s LCD screen permits you to easily take advantage of useful new options such as these.

My main complaint? The high price tag. List-priced at $799, the Mavica costs more than many high-quality 35mm cameras. And as with most digital cameras, this model fails to deliver image quality that is comparable to the quality produced by a 35mm.

The reviewer also commends the camera for weighing in at just 1.2 pounds.

Sony Mavica Camera Slims Down, Speeds Up [PCWorld via MetaFilter]

Image credit: Sony Mavica MVC-FD71_0433 by Bobolink

  • Dc5e

    Ah yes. Brings back old memories. Back in Elementary school, I had the Panasonic KXL-600A and always wanted a Mavica because of how popular and easy it was to use with floppies.

  • fahrertuer

    We’ve used a similar one (less or no zoom, not sure) in the electronics lab in school to grab screen pics from the old oscilloscopes via some weird contraption.

  • Samcornwell

    Oh Wow, my Dad bought this camera when it came out and I thought he was the bee’s knees! Wasn’t it recently seen in a Walmart somewhere with a $269 pricetag?

    Edit, yes –

  • Nate Matos

    We used these in our middle school journalism class. I remember thinking how cool it was that they took pictures and saved them right to a floppy that I could easily use to throw them on the computer. Of course this was also in the 90s when we were required to bring a pack of floppy disks at the begging of every school year.

  • Pyrofer

    I had the original Mavica, It was amazing. The quality may have been lower than what you could get from film, but you could take a photo and have it on your PC minutes later, that was amazing.
    I took it to a Motor show and took photos of the cars, wherever I went everybody stopped looking at the cars and looked at my camera! I had more comments and questions about it than almost anything I have ever owned.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    I used to have one of these!!!

  • eraserhead12

    We had a Kodak 1 MP digital camera. That thing was a BEAST. And the LCD was barely an inch big. It was $1000 at the time, and didn’t even use JPG’s. I remember the best part about it was that you could record sound bytes :P. Unfortunately my dad threw it out years ago :P.

    PC’s have also evolved pretty rapidly, especially in the past few years alone. My freshman year, I had a whopping 17″ laptop with a deadweight charger; back then, a lot of kids didn’t even bring laptops to class. Now, in my last year of undergrad, I’m using a slim 7″ tablet and a folding bluetooth keyboard.

  • lindy

    Still have mine in the original box. Used it lots. My first digital camera.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Give it a decade or two, and we’d be thinking the same about today’s Lytro camera.

  • Lenoat702

    At school 2 years ago working in our computer lab I found a box

  • Leonardo Abreu


  • jlaughlin982

    I still have mine, loved this camera!