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Sony is Japan’s third largest electronics group and was founded in Tokyo shortly after the end of the Second World War. Sony was the first Japanese company to choose a brand name with Latin characters. The name “Sony” was finally used for the entire company from 1958. Today, Sony produces digital cameras and system cameras, among other things.
From 1981 Sony worked on the photo camera series “Sony Mavica”. These were not digital cameras, but analogue still video cameras with electronic recording. Sony initially used floppy disks as storage devices in some cameras, which meant that the devices were relatively large. In 1987, Sony marketed its first still video camera. A year later, the more user-friendly Sony MVC-C1 appeared in Japan. It had automatic exposure and white balance as well as a built-in flash. The MVC-FD5 was the first digital model in the series to be mass-produced and sold as the first digital camera.
Sony has been working on the Cyber-shot series since the late 1990s. Both product lines existed simultaneously until the Mavica series was discontinued in 2002. The first compact digital camera in the Cyber-shot series was introduced in 1996. The Sony DSC-F1 had a swivelling lens that could rotate 180 degrees and a built-in screen.
All models of the Cyber-shot series have the abbreviation DSC, which stands for Digital Still Camera. Cameras of the series DSC-W and DSC-WX are small, light beginner models with easy handling. The DSC-H and DSC-HX series are bridge cameras with super zoom lenses. Models of the DSC R and RX series are suitable for semi-professional use. These cameras feature large image sensors, fast autofocus performance and outstanding optical zoom.
In 2006, Sony took over the camera business of Konica Minolta, then the third largest camera manufacturer, and continued its work on digital SLR cameras. In the same year the DSLR-A100 was released, the first model of the “Sony Alpha” series. The A-lens bayonet used is compatible with all autofocus lenses in the series already released. Sony introduced the E bayonet in 2010. This has a shorter focal length, which makes the camera models appear more compact overall. Sony thus successfully expanded its repertoire to include digital system cameras.
In 2013, Sony presented another innovation in the form of the SmartShot cameras DSC-QX10 and QX100. These models are also known as “lens style” cameras because the entire camera was designed in the style of an object. The camera can be connected to a smartphone or tablet using a clamping device or a WLAN connection. Thus a smartphone can be converted into a camera on DSLR level.
Even though Sony’s product range is primarily focused on consumer electronics, the company has achieved significant success in the still camera market. In 2018, Sony full-frame cameras took first place in sales and turnover figures in the USA. As a result, Sony is now not only known as an innovator in the consumer electronics sector.