MiniDisc MD-Data Product Table

Sharp MD-PS1Digital Camera
Intro: 3/1997
street: ¥103,800
in: mic, line, optical (in 1 connector!), out: video, PC parallel port, headphones120x111x51mm 550g w/batt.

Features: Digital still camera which records 2000 (1000) 640X480 images in standard (resp. high) image quality on MD Data discs. Can also record images and audio (stereo/mono) together, holding up to 365 images and 40 (80) minutes of stereo (resp. mono) audio. Also functions as a normal audio MD recorder/player with MD Audio discs, including titling and editing functions. Includes 2.5" TFT LCD finder (plus small optical finder), interval picture playback (5, 10, 30s), time lapse recording (20s to 24hr), 350,000 pixel progressive scan CCD, standard / 2X / telephoto / macro and flash phography modes, auto/manual shutter speed (1/2-1/4000s), 2X zoom playback (doubles size of sections of recorded images), date search function (can find all pictures shot on a single day). Data can be uploaded and downloaded through parallel port at 130Kbyte/s, can serve as normal MD Data storage device for PCs.

Specs: Dual focus Lens: Standard: F4.0 f=6mm (35mm camera f=43 equiv.)/ Telephoto F5.6 f=12mm (35mm camera f=86 equiv.). Pan focus (45 cm to inf.) or Macro (20cm to 24cm). CCD: 350,000 pixels.

Links: Sharp's Electronics Show Report, a PC Watch review (translated), Sharp's Comdex Page. Sharp's comprehensive MD-PS1 digital camera pages. Sharp's Japanese page announcing the unit. Sharp showed their MD camera at Electronics Show '96.


Sony DCM-M1MD Data2 Camcorder
Intro: 11/1999
Composite video, Ethernet

Features: Camcorder employing MD Data2 discs (650MB variant of original 140MB MiniDisc) to store up to 20 minutes of MPEG2 video (10 minutes in HiQuality mode) as well as still photographs. Editing and video clip assembly can be done in-camera without the use of a PC or workstation. Stylus-touch sensitive backlit LCD panel displays thumbnails of opening scenes, scenes can be spliced together with fade-in and fade-out. Built-in Ethernet port allows camera to be controlled via TCP/IP using a web browser. Unit was shown in Prototype form at IFA'99 (International Consumer Electronics Exhibition), Berlin. [From the Newsbytes coversage: Sony is said to be starting a wireless Internet service. When this happens, since the Discam itself will be accessible from the net, it will be possible to send images to people far away. With this camera pictures of children could be viewed with a WebTV terminal by Grandparents. Size is somewhat bigger than the small, already available handy DV camcorders.]


Specs: MD Data2 data rates: read: 9.6Mbps, write: 4.7Mbps Laser wavelength: MD2: 650nm, (cf. normal MD: 780nm).

User Comments: I had a chance to use the SONY MD Digital Camcorder DCMM1 in high-detail at the CES 2000 show in Las Vegas. This is truly a work of art in the optical-disk-based video recording environment. The only other camera out there is the NEC disk-cam costing almost 20 thousand dollars!! Panasonic will be releasing a few DVD-RW Video-Cameras but they will most-likely be close to 3-5k. Although the camera could use a bit more storage time on the ten (10) minute disk (high quality mode is the only acceptable option), the ability to record in this fashion is truly State-of-the-art. You are essentially burning an optical DISC at 4x speeds on a MOVING piece of equipment. Any computer GEEK knows that this is INCREDIBLE! Another awesome feature of this camera which is seldom mentioned is that the AC adapter comes with an Ethernet jack which plugs directly into this unit allowing you to set up an INSTANT web-site to publish your goodies. AWESOME!! In terms of camera feel and ruggedness, the casing is very high-quality using Sony's award winning magnesium quality external case-molding techniques. I love this toy but the PRICE has to seriously come down to about $1500-1800 before I'll touch it. Considering the technology, it is very much worth the price tag now, but I can get MUCH better resolution and functional-options from a MiniDV for about 600 bucks from JVC or ironically, SONY. SONY.. DROP YOUR PRICES and add an IEEE 1394 PORT !!!! Are you listening!? -Fabian La Maestra


User Manuals: DCM-M1guide, DCM-M1

Service Manuals: DCM-M1, DCM-M1

Sony DPA-300MD-Data still video recorder
Intro: 01/1998
MSRP: US$1895
In: Video (Composite: RCAx1, Y/C: Mini DIN 4-pin S type), Audio (RCAx2) Stereo. Out: Video (Composite: RCAx1, Y/C: Mini DIN 4-pin S type), Audio (RCAx2) Stereo. DC IN: 12VDC (w/Sony AC-DA300 adapter) 11 1/8" x 3 1/4" x 11 1/2", 5 lb, 8oz (2.5kg)

Description: Still video image recorder that uses MD-Data blanks to store up to 2000 images

Manufacturer's Description: The Sony DPA-300 still image recording and management system is designed to meet the needs of the Medical and Dental Professional. Compatible with most intraoral camera systems, the DPA-300 captures and records 24-bit color images from a variety of analog video sources and displays these images at high resolution on a standard analog video monitor. The DPA-300 stores up to 2000 images in albums (folders) on a single convenient and cost effective 2.5" MD DATA magneto-optical disc. Images can be archived along with patient records or accessed in a variety of different methods for applications including pre and post patient review, presentations, or education.

  • One button, front panel, image recording
  • Image playback on a standard NTSC TV monitor
  • Choice of image capture mode (standard or fine)
  • Album management system for easy access to stored images
  • Album browse function
  • Choice of playback methods (sequential or random image access)
  • S-Video and composite video I/O
  • Stereo audio I/O
  • External capture and record control with a wireless remote control or a wired footswitch (Footswitch Model #FS-A8, available separately)
  • Automatic Time/Data stamping
  • Image caption and audio annotation capability
  • Image enlargement capability
  • Infrared transmission and receiving capability


Supplied Accessories: Manual, AC Adapter (AC-DA300), Wireless remote (RMT-DA300), AA batteries x 2)


  • Recording Media: MD-Data disc
  • Data Compression (Recording): JPEG Fine mode: 128KB (1,000 images max), JPEG Standard mode: 64KB (2,000 images max).
  • Sampling Freq: Audio: 44.1khz, Video: NTSC 12.273MHz
  • Digital Interface: Sony original IrDA (Based on IrDa Ver 1.0) 1.152Mbit/s (max)
  • Horizontal Resolution: More than 480 TV lines
  • Image information: Disc title: up to 9 alphanumeric letters, Album title: up to 6 alphanumeric letters, Data/Time stamp: year/month/date/hour/min, Caption: up to 125 alphanumeric letters.
  • Power Consumption 20W
  • Operating Temperature: 41F to 95F


Service Manuals: DPA-300, DPA-300

Photo: AV Watch Japan
Sony DSC-MD1MD digital still camera
Intro: 10/1997
MSRP ¥125,000
AV out: minijack. Digital i/o: highspeed rs232 (minijack). Audio analog i/o: line (minijack). Infrared: IrDA 1.1 (9.6kbps-1.152mbps)87x116x56mm, 490g (600g w/battery, MD, lenscap)

Features: Stores up to 2000 images (fewer if audio narrations are also recorded) in ``Picture MD format'' (using MD Data discs), it can also function as an MD audio format recorder/player through analog line i/o ports.

User Comments: Having owned the Sony DSC-MD1 digital camera for a number of years, I was always disappointed and frustrated by the decision of Sony not to release this to international market. One of main gripes as a result of this decision was with the interface software for the camera. It does not install on anything other than Windows 9x. Even then, it was written for the Japanese windows version and menu items are gibberish as a result. But it did work. I recently got given from work a Dell laptop running Windows 2000. I tried to get the camera to talk to the laptop and actually got it to work without any software. You just have to enable the IrDA port and send the pictures from the camera. W2K automatically creates a folder in "My Documents" with today's date & presto!. --Mark Janssen ([email protected])



  • Camera section:
    • Signal output: NTSC color.
    • Imaging: 1/3 inch CCD (640x480)
    • Lens: 3x zoom, f=5.2-15.6mm, f=37-111mm, f=2.0-2.1 inner focus, with macro mode.
    • Auto white balance.
    • Coding: JPEG.
    • Auto flash (0.8-5m).
    • Shutter speed: auto (1/30-1/1000s), manual (1/4-1/4000s).
    • Storage capacity 2000 pictures (standard), 1000 pictures (fine), or 365 pictures + 40 minutes audio.
  • Audio section:
    • ATRAC audio.
    • 2-20kHz +/-3dB.
  • Display size: 2.5inch TFT (280 dots x 220 lines).
  • I/O terminals: AV output: minijackx1, digital i/o: RS-232C (minijack),
  • Infrared: IrDA 1.1 (9.6Kbps-1.152Mbps).
  • Power: external pwr jack: DC 8.4V, AC power adapter.
  • Battery life: picture taking: 60 minutes, picture display: 85 minutes.
  • Audio recording: 105 minutes.
  • Recharge time: 130 minutes.


Sony DPA-1Digital Picture Album
Intro: 11/1996
MSRP ¥118,000
comm adapter (mini DIN8), image input (pin jack x 2), image output (pin jack), svideo i/o (4 pin mini DIN jack), audio i/o (pin jack), mic input (stereo minijack), headphones274x242x65mm, 2.3Kg

Features: Picture MD editing deck that records still images from video, S-video and cordless IR inputs, allows you to add audio clips and compile them into albums, then displays them on a TV or through cordless IR to a Sony video printer. It can also be used as a normal Audio MD recording and playback deck (using audio MDs), but has no digital audio connectors. Playback modes: Album at a time, picture at a time, slide show (with/without sound, with/without comments).

Links: Sony's Japanese page for the unit, includes a nice illustration of how it's connected to other equipment.

Specs: IR interface: IrDA 1.152Mbps. Image output format: NTSC. Pixel count: 640x480. Audio freq. response: 20-20KHz +/-2dB. Image compression: JPEG.


RM-C700 remote
Mayorella leidyi vesicular nucleus (typical image recorded with this device)
Sony DKR-700Digital Still Image Recorder
Intro: 1/1996
MSRP: ¥ 450,000
Input/output: analog (S-Video, RGB, Y/C, Composite), digital (SCSI), rs-232, remote control port, Flash (mini-jack)211 x 128.5 x 385.4mm, 7kg

Features: The DKR-700/2 digitally captures, records and stores color and B&W images from a variety of analog sources, then displays these images at high resolution and color/greyscale depth. Images are conveniently stored on a standard Sony 2.5" (140 MB) magneto-optical type MD DATA disc, and may be retrieved either directly by the DKR-700/2 for review on a standard analog monitor, or by a PC running Arcsoft Photostudiodiscs , Adobediscs Photoshopdiscs , or similar application for viewing on a computer display. Depending on the compression mode selected, the DKR-700/2 can digitally store and play back from 100 to 1000 still images on a standard NTSC monitor.

  • High quality digital recording: 500 TV Lines, quasi-perfect colour reproduction (bandwidth: 3 MHz), excellent signal/noise ratio (S/N: 50 dB), image size: 768 x576 pixels.
  • Storage capacity of 100 to 1000 images per MD Data Mini-Disc depending on the compression mode selected: 100 images in uncompressed TIF ("Fine"), 500 images in JPEG 5:1, 700 images in JPEG 8:1, 1000 images in Sony's "MD Picture" format.
  • Mini-Disc capacity: 140 MBytes, rewritable.
  • Seek time: very fast, less than 0.5 seconds.
  • Recording time: 2 to 12 seconds, depending on JPEG compression mode.
  • Input/Output: analog (RGB, Y/C, Composite) or digital (SCSI).
  • Built-in A/D and D/A converters.
  • Fully compatible with other Mini-Disc computer peripherals.
  • Buit-in 25-image split-picture reader mode.
  • External controls: RS-232 serial-port, foot pedal FS-20, remote control RMC-700.
  • Conforms to IEC-601.1 and CE-Mark medical standards.
  • Camera control modes: Camera 1: Slow-shutter-trigger, Camera 2: REC-control
  • An optional external strobe sensor, when combined with a video camera such as Sony's DXC-950, makes the recorder a useful tool for proofing and cataloging digital versions of studio film exposures.



User Manual: DKR-700

Sony MDM-111Internal MD-Data drive
Intro: 1/1995


Features: Internal Sony MD-Data drive manufactured for OEM use. Fits in standard 3.5" drive bay. Contains a different microcontroller than the one Sony MDH-10.
(Photos courtesy Nassib Khayat)


Sony PDF-5Personal Document File
Intro: 1
MSRP Y135,000
printer: centronics, outboard scanner: minidin8p308 x 255 x 56 mm, 2.6kg

Features: Built in scanner reads documents at about 4 seconds per page. Stores about 1000 documents on a single MD Data disc. You can see small letters and pictures clearly with its high resolution LCD display. Can be controlled simply through a graphical user interface with a stylus on the touch sensitive screen. Seperately available "Handy Scanner" can be used to scan book pages and documents which cannot be inserted in the onboard scanner. Printer available separately. Software is available to allow MD Data drive owners to read documents into a Mac or PC.

Specs: 9 inch 640x480 3-bit (8 gray level) monochrome display. Document access speed: about 1 sec. Built in scanner: sheet feed type, max A4, max 0.1mm thick (card thickness max 0.4mm). Resolution 8points/mm, 8lines/mm (~200DPI). Scanning modes: character/image.

Links: Sony Japan page.


Sony PDF-W77Personal Document File
Intro: 1
CONNECT251 x 312 x 50mm, 2.7 kg

Features: Document storage and retrieval PDA. Dual MD Data drives, screen resolution of 480 x 640, built-in scanner (200 x 169 dpi), backlit screen, stores up to 1000 A4 (i.e. letter size) documents, can scan B4 size documents, links to a PC with the PDL-K77 kit.

Links: Sony's Japanese page for this unit.


Sony MDH-10SCSI-2 data drive and portable player
Intro: 1
data: half-pitch 50 pin SCSI-2, out: line, hdphn.86x31x131mm, 340g

Features: This is a computer peripheral designed for computer data storage. Uses special MD-Data discs (similar, but not identical to MD-Audio discs). Capacity: 140MB, transfer rate: 150KB/s continuous, 2.5MB/s burst, 320KB internal buffer, average seek < 500ms. LCD display on remote. Includes remote, headphones. Unit will play (but not record) audio MDs.

Links: A user's comments on the device. A Byte article from 1995 covers the MD Data drive. An article from PC World Online -- "Is MiniDisc the next Betamax?" A few notes about the Sony MDH-10 and the Storage Device Wars at MacWorld 95. Sony Deutschland has MDH-10 drivers.


User Manuals: MDH-10, MDH-10

Service Manual: MDH-10

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