Toshiba MC200 (1990)

After having allegedly marketed the IMC-100, Toshiba continued to develop digital cameras. A rather odd looking prototype called IC-100 was shown in 1989 but never marketed. A more serious attempt was made in October 1990 when Toshiba announced the MC200 and showed it at the Photokina '90. It was a digital memory card camera that more or less resembled a still video camera like the Mavicas. The optics of it's predecessor, the IMC-100, were provided by Fuji but for the MC200, Toshiba was asked to use a third party to provide the optics. Along with the camera Toshiba introduced a series of peripheral devices like a Memory Card Interface (a Fujix CR-500 OEM model called PI101), a Memory Card Player (MP101), a Portable Image File (this was a T-1000XE Notebook called DI200), a Colour Video Printer (HC-1600U) and a dedicated flash strobe. The handgrip contained the internal card drive! You may have guessed it, this camera won a Good Design Award in 1991.

The camera could store either 6 or 12 color images on the 18Mbit SRAM card (depending on the compression ratio). The camera had a self-timer, exposure compensation, a zoom lens and would power-off after five minutes of inactivity. It was powered up by a rechargeable battery (BP-100). Please note the vintage Toshiba logo on some parts of the camera.

There are rumours on one particular site that Toshiba announced an upgraded version of this camera in 1993, called MC200A. So I asked an acquaintance over at Toshiba Japan to do some digging and it turned out that there are absolutely no records whatsoever about this camera. So I showed Toshiba Japan the picture from that particular website and Toshiba stated that it was a regular press shot of the 1990 MC200 camera. So there you go! That happens when you don't do your homework, you end up with a website full of errors!

Some sources, including Toshiba, claim this to be the first digital camera in the world that was commercially available. This could be true but is hard to believe as several digital cameras were marketed in 1990. So one would have to find the exact date the camera was available on the market to determine which camera should claim that title ((Toshiba MC200, KingJim DaVinci DV-55, Rollei Scan Back, Kodak DCS and the Dycam 1).

All images © digicammuseum.com except the promo shot © Toshiba Corporation

Specifications

  • Brand: Toshiba
  • Model: MC200
  • First mentioned: 1990
  • Marketed: yes (in Japan only)
  • MSRP: $26,700 (set)
  • Imager Type: 0.4MP 2/3" FIT-CCD
  • Resolution: -
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: SRAM cards IC-9S and IC-18S
  • Lens: f=9-27mm /F2.0
  • Shutter: 1/32s - 1/512s
  • Aperture Range: F2
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 159 x 136.5 x 98mm
  • Weight: 1,110 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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