Revisiting the Mavica, Sony's 1997 floppy disk digital camera


Originally published at:


What a fantastic historical oddity; like finding a wax-cylinder walkman.


Inevitably, hipsters will get into using these things.


There was also the Mavica MVC-CD200-500s that burned images directly onto a CD, which naturally created some pretty funky-looking cameras.



I coveted one of these so much. Could never afford one, I still think they are cool.


The very first digital picture I took was on a Mavica!


I used one of these for taking pictures for a web page back in the day. The floppies were actually a pretty slick move on Sonys part. Everybody had these laying around free from AOL and many others. There was also a CD-R version IIRC it took about a half hour to initialize the CD-R. Since the web was low rez back then these cameras were quite useful.


My first digital camera was one of the earlier Mavicas, and could only get 640x480 - but it had a 10x optical zoom, and the picture quality was consistently great, for that resolution.

Fond memories…


giving me memories of my Sony Mini-Disc data drive…


Oh man, my brother and I were into MiniDiscs — what a great media format!


I have a friend who still uses her Mavica to sell items on eBay. It has held up amazingly well.


The one we had at my office would eat batteries if you didn’t use rechargeable ones. I think we would only get 10-20 pictures on standard AAs.


I have an old CD-500, that burns the image directly to a rewritable miniature CD, that I actually still use sometimes at work, although it gives me a little trouble formatting sometimes and will only work with a Sony brand CD. The images are passable for what I’m doing with it, and shooting video is much easier than with my Nikon. It’s like having a giant phone that doesn’t connect to the internet, make calls, or get texts, but has a tripod socket.


If memory serves, the legacy of these lived on in some of Sony’s early ‘memory stick’ based cameras(or maybe it was just the dual floppy/memory stick ones, memory does not entirely serve): the firmware would balk at individual files that were too large to fit on a floppy, even if shooting to a larger medium.

They obviously got that sorted out reasonably quickly; but it was a slightly awkward transition.


Ah, the Ghost of Internet Past…

My first digital camera was this:


I’ve still got one of these in storage, with complete accessories:

(If anyone is interested…)


I had a mini disc recorder/player too - still have a pile of them with music on them that I have not touched since the player died.


It would have been polite to have given LGR a credit in your text rather than just precis-ing his work.


He does a whole lot of really great work.


I had one of these. Took hundreds of photos of my 1999 honeymoon in Italy. Drove my wife crazy but she loves that I have all these images, still, from that trip. They still just fine, a bit Impressionistic, but often perfectly fine.

Here’s Venice, 18 years ago, seen from a Mavica.