specialized digital camera from 1998

I continue to publish reviews of vintage gadgets that came to me in different ways – from gifts to purchases at a flea market. The vintage camera that is on review today is very unusual – it is designed exclusively for taking passport photos. This is the Sony DKC-2050X model, which was released in 1998. At the same time, the camera is not film, but digital; it has internal memory for storing pictures, which was a rarity for those times. Details about this device are under the cut.

How I got the Sony DKC-2050X

As far as I remember, I wandered around the expanses of the Wallapop Internet flea market in search of interesting things, this is such an analogue of the Russian Avito. I saw the camera, it interested me with its unusualness – it looked rather strange. I bought at my own risk, the seller did not have a power supply, so he did not know if the device turned on.

But he didn’t give it cheap either, at first he asked for 30 euros for it, then, after active bargaining on my part, he lowered the price to 15 euros. I decided not to give up such an interesting device, so I bought it. The camera stood on the shelf for about six months, hands reached to make a review just now.

What is this camera?

As mentioned above, the device is intended for obtaining passport photos of clients, so the device is not for personal use, but for photo studios. Very convenient, compared to film cameras, which were still actively used then. A couple of minutes – and the photo is ready, it remains only to print (there were already inkjet printers then).

The camera has a flash mount, it can be installed in both portrait and landscape format (although why landscape mode is here is not entirely clear). The lens of the camera is non-standard, removable, probably, there were other options, but I did not find information about this on the Internet.

By the way, along with the camera, they sent me two additional lenses rigidly fixed in the metal frame of the lens, plus some kind of metal fixture and a plastic part.

To be honest, I have no idea how and where to connect it all. I looked on the Internet – there are no images of this camera with additional lenses anywhere.

How to fix the flash is clear and understandable, there is an ordinary “shoe”, but here are additional lenses … If you have any guesses, unsubscribe in the comments, then I will connect and take a picture. I’m not entirely sure if these parts are from the Sony DKC-2050X, maybe the photographer was just selling everything he had from old devices, so he put up a camera and some left parts for sale.

In general, this is yet to be dealt with.

The right to repair is a very interesting topic, but we have other articles, check it out – we talk about:
Little “raspberries” in a large data center
→ Apple’s new SoCs – M1 Pro and M1 Max
→ Creating your own server enclosure

Device specifications

I could not find a detailed description, but I came across the characteristics of a very similar camera from Sony, also released in 1998. This is the SONY DKC-CM30 1998 model, which was sold without a lens but had an interchangeable lens mount.

Here are the specs:

• 1/3″ CCD sensor, resolution 640 x 480 pixels, ISO 90.
• Shutter speed up to 1/4000 s
• 4 MB internal memory for 30 images at maximum resolution.
• There is a video output.

Camera lens — S16mm 1:1.4, 2/3″

Lenses that came with her

Fujinon-EV, 1:8 / 145-170, 301618. Manufacturer – Fuji. I found this lens at some Japanese auction, it sells for 6,000 yen, which is about 4,000 rubles.

Fujinon-EV, 1:8/110-145, 291418. Manufacturer: Fuji.

The camera works with flashes, which are attached with a special frame to the “shoe”. In principle, I connected the flash and directly, all flashes that have a connector for the control cable should work with this camera. Those that connect to the camera using contacts at the attachment point are not suitable.

By the way, she also has a color LCD screen that allows you to view pictures and delete what is no longer needed, or delete pictures that did not work out. There were a couple of dozen pictures of people in the camera’s memory, which, apparently, were photographed in the studio, and then the photographer did not delete the images. How to connect this camera to a PC to upload photos is not entirely clear, I did not find a suitable interface.

The camera has very few settings – which is understandable if you keep in mind its main purpose – to photograph people’s faces at a certain distance from the lens, with a certain lighting. Of course, it can be used for other purposes, but there are already difficulties with setting up. Yes, and her lens is special, you can’t take a lot of pictures with it.

In the dry matter

I think that at one time this camera greatly facilitated the work of photographers, it was one of the first attempts to introduce “figure” into the professional environment. Once you could adjust the focal length, lighting and everything else, and then just take pictures of your clients. The presence of video output and internal memory was another factor in favor of purchasing such a camera.

Now, of course, it is no longer suitable for anything, I don’t really have any ideas for what to adapt the device for. If you have such ideas, then write in the comments, we will discuss.

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