Friday, December 24, 2010
In 1995, I learned about CCDs as the underlying technology for Landsat satellite imagery. My professor was a former defense mapping agency employee and a great teacher. We were taught a lot about lenses, parallax, and all kinds of optical stuff as it relates to remote sensing. Two years later, I was working under a former Apollo Mission scientist. I borrowed and pored endlessly over a wonderful tome called the Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon, by Bowker and Hughes (NASA SP-206). The book detailed the remarkable feat of remote sensing and analog/digital technology to inform our space program. Nowadays, you can easily see the same book (pages 5-9) in this pdf. I marveled at the film technology used in the Lunar Orbiter missions. These satellites generated the foundation imagery for the manned lunar missions. They used a film camera, and an onboard, in orbit film developer, digitizer, and transmitter. This was before the Apollo missions flew, 1966-67. The digitized bits were returned to earth and were re-analoged onto strips of film and mosaics were composited.
A friend had this old Sony MVC-FD91, and after my recent look into the history of CCDs, I was surprised it turned up when it did.
The big goofy floppy drive is a good match for my old Powerbook 1400.
I used a pretty crappy camera of similar vintage years ago, but this relic is fun to shoot with. I'm transported to a time when seeing a digital image was new. The floppy disk spins and the letters "MAVICA" scroll through like a slot machine and writes the image. The camera has 1024x768 resolution and an amazing lens; 14x optical zoom that is pretty snappy. Here's a test shot, with it's younger brother ('06 H1) take on the right.
The battery lasts about 5 minutes, but that's all it takes to fill up the disk: 6-15 shots! It is fun to shoot with, but can you imagine the $999 this thing went for in 1999? This camera would have been a bit of a let down in image quality, but it has the feel of a polaroid with a real digital image. I wonder how many early ebay auctions were shot with this model.
FD91 & H1:
iphone & d5000:
For it's time, the MVC-91 must've been a breakthrough. Indeed, the 2006 DSC-H1 inherited the same general feel and camera body symbols. It's like driving around an old car. Not quite as nice, but you can appreciate it for what it is: a cool old digital camera.
More evidence that the Hipstamatic can make anything look kind of cool:
I was glad I had my H1 out, because I caught this:
The surf was as high as I've ever seen it, rushing up through the mouth of the creek to the eroding bank.
Rifling through a box of stuff to find the floppy drive for my old laptop to download the FD91's pictures, I had an idea: a geologist's hand lens TOTALLY works as an iphone macro lens. Bausch & Lomb hastings triplets are great hand lenses in their own right. I should've remembered. Check out the with and without shots:
I didn't move the phone, but took out the hand lens.
The lens of the iphone camera is tiny enough that it fits well inside the hand lens.
I tried for the dog's eye, but it was on a long exposure. This trippy image came out.
I recently consolidated my older blog here. It's a lot of work to reprocess the photos, but I did one: December 27, 2007.
- ► 2013 (46)
- ► 2012 (85)
- ► 2011 (176)
- Black and White 2010
- Pistil Thursday / All Night / Sunrise
- Rolled to Blanco
- Reformat notice / Film Photography Podcast
- Sunday randoms
- Friday experiments
- Thursday experiments
- Why ask why?
- Rainbows / eclipse
- Gold Beach afternoon / Stormy morning
- Youtube performances
- Another Day Gone By
- Polaroid / Port Orford evening
- Cape Sebastian
- Photomerge / iPhone / Humbug
- Great Sun
- Ophir Nesika Sunset
- ▼ December 2010 (19)
- ► 2009 (10)
- ► 2008 (41)
- ► 2007 (53)
- ► 2006 (23)