Videk Megaplus (1986)

The Videk Megaplus is a machine-vision digital camera built around Kodak's first megapixel sensor. Videk was a subsidiary from Kodak. The Megaplus imager was a monochrome CCD. Color images could be made by using a color filter wheel attached at the front of the camera. The camera itself was a solid block of metal. Almost indestructible. It was powered by an extremely bulky external power supply (15 pounds!!). Contrary to popular belief not one Videk Megaplus model was built but several different ones. Probably for different applications. Making it also difficult to determine what the first Videk Megaplus camera model was. I have attached a picture of the rear sides of two different Videk Megaplus units.

To the right you can see a staged shot of how product inspections with a Megaplus were conducted and a Videk Megaplus with a different camera body.

Needless to say it was one of the first commercially available one megapixel cameras back then and even JVC, Sony and Nikon marketed this type of camera. The image sensor used was the KAF 1400. Presented by Kodak at the Photokina 1986. A monochrome full-frame CCD with a resolution of 1340 x 1037 pixels. The initial production cost for one such "super chip" was $50,000! Apart from the high cost there was also a high error rate in production. From an average 300 produced CCD's one was faulty.

The high resolution was achieved by making the CCD pixels square rather than rectangular. So there were no gaps between them. The Megaplus could record 10 frames per second. It took an external processing unit and a computer to store, export and produce images. To handle that kind of data back then, a fast 14 MHz computer was needed. For instance the Megavision 1024XM computer. It is often called a digital camera because it had a digital output, rather than an analog output like most machine vision cameras at that time. These cameras sold between $10,000 and $40,000 and were essentially the first camera with enough resolution to produce a 5x7 photo quality print.

Specifications

  • Brand: Videk
  • Model: Megaplus
  • First mentioned: 1986
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $10,000 - $40,000
  • Imager Type: 1.4MP full frame monochrome CCD (Kodak KAF-1400)
  • Resolution: 1320x1035
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: external hard disk drive or image processor
  • Lens: interchangeable lenses F-mount
  • Shutter: -
  • Aperture Range: -
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: -
  • Weight: 1,500 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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