Memory Stick Camera Coming in November

Sony has announced that the first non-memory Memory Stick will be a digital camera. With the not exactly exciting name PEGA-MSC1, this camera will be able to take pictures at up to 320 x 240 pixels. It has a swiveling lens that allows it to take a picture of either the user or what's in front of the user. It runs off power from the handheld so no additional batteries are necessary. It will be available in late November for $150.

Update: The MSC1 will only work with the N760C, N610C, T415 and OS upgraded N710C.

The MSC1 has no internal memory storage capacity. All the images it takes are stored in the Clié's own memory.

A month or so ago, Sony put out a press release on the MSC1 and GPS module in Japan. There has been no word on when the GPS module will be available.

Sony has been showing off prototypes of Memory Stick I/O modules for close to a year but this will be the first one to actually be available. Several months ago a Sony executive talked about a Bluetooth Memory Stick but it has yet to be announced. They have also shown off a fingerprint recognition module.

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Wow, Way to go ! SONY !

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 6:45:48 AM #
Where is SD ?? The camera for SD ??

RE: Wow, Way to go ! SONY !
Altema @ 10/22/2001 1:21:04 PM #
Actually, the SD camera would be redundant unless it goes beyond the Kodak PalmPix in performance. I did not like the PalmPix and returned it after a few days because of the poor image quality. On downside along with the resolution was the added bulk (which included a lot of empty space), and the B&W preview which was mandated by Kodak's decision to use the serial connections instead of the available USB inteface that was right there on the same connector. On the upside, it was a really cool concept, images looked ok on the palm screen, and you could keep the SD card in place.

In regards to the memory, I think this is where the Sony camera shoots itself in the foot. Images take up a lot of memory, but they make you take your Memory Stick out and replace it with another device which has NO storage? It's kind of like strapping your luggage to the roof of your car in a way that prevents you from opening your trunk. Any device that replaces your expanded storage should have at least 16Mb worth of storage. Otherwise, the card slot becomes nothing more than a connector.

RE: Wow, Way to go ! SONY !
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 3:34:08 PM #
Did you ever think that maybe this camera has some built in memory in the stick?

RE: Wow, Way to go ! SONY !
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 5:08:43 PM #
It does say in the description above:
"The MSC1 has no internal memory storage capacity. All the images it takes
are stored in the Clié's own memory. "

RE: Wow, Way to go ! SONY !
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/24/2001 1:18:53 PM #
Kodak PalmPix can't really support USB because Palm is only a USB slave. For PalmPix to be a USB master would incur significant design changes as USB master is really designed for PC. This will change once the USB On-the-Go spec is finalized.

Palm should start sweating...

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 6:55:58 AM #
No SD/MMC devices, lots of prototypes, nothing market ready, no innovation, rough screen resolution, bad docking station (m5xx series), hardly any peripherals for the new "universal connector" (and I use that term lightly)...hmhm...they (Palm) should be getting hints now and getting ready for a cold (sales) winter judging from Sony's pour out...

Palm fan (still, kinda hangin on),

Cornelis steinitz
Basel, Switzerland
email: csteinitz-at-gmx-dot-net
Palms & more:


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 8:51:43 AM #
This keeps up & I'll be trading in my Visor Dx for something like the Sony line - soon. (Better get with it Handspring!)

RE: Wow!
Coyote67 @ 10/22/2001 6:33:26 PM #
Uh, what? Visor deluxe has 2 different digital cameras, how is this thing better?

When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the just have to outrun the halfling.

320 x 240?!

mikecane @ 10/22/2001 8:56:23 AM #
Pics displayed will have a black border around them?! Still, this will be a great addition to the CLIE family. And it puts the CLIE on equal footing -- in some respects -- with the HP PPC, which has a (huge!) CF camera.

Not so cool

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 9:40:29 AM #
The coolness of this camera resides only in its small form factor. But the resolution is very poor. If you want to take a (real) picture of documents you need at least 800x600 pixels or 1024 x768.

RE: Not so cool
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 10:01:53 AM #
Yea, I agree, but it appears that they intend for these pictures to be viewed on the device (close resolution).

I don't understand why they don't give us higher resolution? That would only get us to buy larger memory sticks?

RE: Not so cool
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 10:30:23 AM #
...*sings* So to hell, with what you're thinkin... And to hell with your narrow mind. You're so distracted from, the real thing. You should leave your life behind... Cuz I'm freeeeee to deciiiiiide... *runs away*

RE: Not so cool
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 10:41:51 AM #
Its cool for stuff like mobile webcams and the like... I used to have a Prism, but turned it in for a Clie, and if I can do the mobile webcam stuff again, that would be excellent!

A Kids Toy

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 9:50:43 AM #
At 320x240, it's a Kids toy not a camera. Visit any Toys-R-Us and you can likely pickup a Barbie camera that can display the same resolution for about $50.

At least the Eyemodule2 can display twice the resolution (640x480). Actually, not much better but 320x240 is VERY weak and virtually useless.

Also, since it's a memory-stick attachment I certainly would have thought some on-board memory in the stick would have been possible. A PalmOS device with 8MB of RAM won't go very far in terms of Camera picture storage. That is, unless all you use it for is the standard apps.

My .02 worth...

RE: A Kids Toy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 10:46:38 AM #
How about Visor eyemodule, is that a toy to you ??

RE: A Kids Toy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 3:01:12 PM #
eyemodule isn't even a toy, it's a big joke.

RE: A Kids Toy
TDS @ 10/23/2001 1:08:41 AM #
I own the EyeModule 1 (OfficeMax - $59.00). It is fine for what I use it for, which is to photograph my clients buildings for planning network cable runs. I don't need quality, just a useable image. 320x240 cannot be used for anything serious like posting a useable image on a web page. It is just to grainy.
This camera needs to be <$99.00 like the Kodak Palmpix or the Eyemodule 1 in order to be worth buying.
on the other hand, if they threw in 32MB RAM on the "Camera Stick", and tyou could take pictures right to this RAM, it would add value.


RE: A Kids Toy
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 5:02:17 PM #
OHHHH you a so funny make me laugh

I don't know whether it will work

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 9:54:30 AM #
After I take the pictures, I have to put it back on the memory stick?

RE: I don't know whether it will work
polymath @ 10/22/2001 10:07:41 AM #
Wait for the second generation.

RE: I don't know whether it will work
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 1:49:47 PM #
Thats assuming that there WILL be a second generation.

Video Conference

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 9:53:48 AM #
Hmm, nice form factor. It is good for ad hoc but not serious pictures, for serious photos, I'll stick to a dedicated digital camera. But it is kind of a cool toy.

If there is any palm os software that allows video conference like NetMeeting, that would be cool. I'll sacrify higher res for portability. Then we do not even need to wait for 3G video phone which is only a reality in Japan for now. Of course that is still a dream for now, as the current 33Mhz processor and wireless speed cannot do that. But well, everything starts from a dream. :D

RE: Video Conference
TDS @ 10/23/2001 1:12:46 AM #
Hmmm... Standing in a subway station looking at your PalmOS device and having a conversation with it. You may get some strange stares... On the other hand, people may think you are nuts and give you spare change!

320x240, been there, done that

skoty @ 10/22/2001 10:36:25 AM #
Everyone's aware that there was a Springboard module out over two years ago that took 320x240 pictures in color and black and white right? Then came the Eyemodule2 which takes 640x480 full VGA color images and 160x120 movies. It's definately a move in the right direction for Sony to start comming out with real (other than memory) expansions, but I see this only as a starting point. They really need to move quickly if they're going to catch up to what's available for Visors.

Too expensive.

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 10:42:31 AM #
Memstick camera at such price and such low resolution is a JOKE. This is pure gimmick.

If this goes for about $60-80 than it might sell.

This sort of thing has been done on CFI/Jornada, and it was a spectacular flop. Image quality low, high price, taking up the single expansion, etc etc...

and Palm has even more drawback, B/W screen, limited OS/hardware to manipulate and store picture. etc..

so. This is a collector item, not for practical use.


I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 1:29:19 PM #
320 x 240 is useless. Just a toy, and a useless one.

Well depends...
Mojo @ 10/22/2001 2:20:50 PM #
I suppose that depends on what you have planned for its use. If your of the mindset to use this camera to take vacation pictures, wedding pictures etc... then yeah its not the right choice and is useless.

However, there could be many useful functions for this. Say your a BUsiness Rep for your company and you get to do the meet and great dinner parties. The room is filled with hundreds of potential clients. Your chatting it up and found someone who takes the bait and would like to talk more, but later...

You take his information down, AND you take a picture and store it in the CLIE Address book (Neat CLIE function for keeping a photo with each address entry)

You move on and continue.. end of the night you have 40 odd new contacts, and a face to connect them too. Seems that would be a good fit.

How about an on site claims adjuster? He pulls out the PDA with camera, snaps a few pics and emails them through his wireless internet to another agent who authorize that onsite agent to make a payment or authorize repair...

Just a couple ideas... sure maybe it doesn't fit your needs, but its an option, other people might find it more then useless.

Eyebrow Raiser....

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 1:36:43 PM #
Though the resolution isn't the best... it kinda strikes me a little odd about the choosen resolution.

Why not 320x320? The same pixel dimensions of the Sony handheld screens...

Any thoughts?

RE: Eyebrow Raiser....
ktran @ 10/22/2001 1:49:49 PM #
CCDs tend to be made in screen aspect ratios. To manufacture a separate sort of square CCD just for use on a palm unit would be an extra unjustified expense, and $150 USD for a sub-megapixel (heck, sub-VGA) camera is already way too much. This is why images taken with digital cameras usually need to be cropped before they can be printed at the standard 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 sizes.

I've always wondered how much of a markup there is on the PalmPix/EyeModule type cameras. They're usually much less capable than their fully-featured, "complete" counterparts. They're also a heck of a lot cheaper to manufacture (no memory, no LCD, no viewfinder, open interface).

Am I the only one who finds PDAs and PDA-related devices just way too expensive?

K. Tran

RE: Eyebrow Raiser....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 2:07:01 PM #
The reson the camera is so expensive is becuase it is so small! if you want a 3 megapixel digital camera then expect to pay $1000+ and it will also be heavy. they are trying to defy the laws of phisics by puting a camera the size of a stic of gum into a computer smaller than your hand. Have you ever wondered why you pay $500 for a N760c when for that same amount of money yu could get a pretty good desktop computer (in terms of more memory, higher prossesor speed, bigger screen...). You are paying them to put in in a small amount of space!

RE: Eyebrow Raiser....
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 2:15:39 PM #
From the poster of the original question to K. Tran

Hrm, I suppose there is some sense in that. Keep price down by getting internals from a common source. Would have liked to seen it be the same though.

Guess I should register, my lurker days are over now. =)

RE: Eyebrow Raiser....
ktran @ 10/22/2001 2:21:24 PM #
To the first Anonymous poster:

You're right, we're paying for them to stuff it into a smaller space. But it's not that it's that difficult to do -- it's that people are willing to pay for mobility. In short, it's a commodity markup. Think about it for a moment. A typical 320x240 CCD is 0.33 inches or smaller. All you really need then are a lens to focus the image, a shutter mechanism, and then bus lines to run it to the Memory Stick interface. Really, when it comes down to it, there aren't that many things in that camera because the processing and image storage is done on the palm device.

just another $0.02 from me.


K. Tran

Camera must be cheap- Is VERY similar to Sony's mini-laptop
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 6:43:40 PM #

Especially so (the camera actually being cheap) because the camera swivel head (and assumedly the electronics within) were probably developed by Sony a good while ago for their "PictureBook"- A mini-laptop with a built-in camera.

Doesn't have its own Memory?

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/22/2001 2:49:57 PM #
If the camera will store their pictures directly in the CLIE's RAM, then it also means it can't store much. I wish Sony will introduce some dual-slot CLIEs...

RE: Doesn't have its own Memory?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 2:43:26 PM #
I wish Sony will introduce some dual-slot CLIEs...

Oh they will to be sure but not until all us poor saps buy this version and then three weeks after that they'll intorduce a new camera, Clie' and an infared butt plug to compliment everything. Sony seems to put out crap to see who wants it and then systematically rape them for each incrimental revision. Sure they could have made the resolution higher, sure they could have put memeory on the stick but then there would be no way to screw the buyer and revise each little function one at a time. Big Business, son, just big business!

RE: Doesn't have its own Memory?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 6:32:13 PM #
God... I would kill for an infrared butt plug!

RE: Doesn't have its own Memory?
ktran @ 10/23/2001 7:08:27 PM #
I have an older Agfa digicam (back when the days when a megapixel camera was as expensive as a cadillac). With jpeg compression, the 2 meg SmartMedia card can hold 96 images at 320x240 (the 8 meg card could hold 330). So it might not be that bad on the Clie.

However, this camera also had 640x480 and 1024 x 768 capture modes, so even the 320x240 would blow away any palm-mounted camera.

K. Tran

RE: Doesn't have its own Memory?
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/26/2001 10:12:03 PM #
To the person who wrote:

"Sure they could have made the resolution higher, sure they could have put memeory on the stick but then there would be no way to screw the buyer and revise each little function one at a time. Big Business, son, just big business!"

I'm sure that Sony is now calling in their assassins because you've uncovered their deep, dark conspiracy to rule the world through incremental revisions.

Do you even work in the industry? Do you realize the amount of engineering man hours involved in creating something so small? (no, I don't work for Sony, but I am an engineer)
Or the cost of the components in manufacturing something like this?

Sure, maybe they could have built in all those features, but then the price would be way beyond what an average person would pay for. Then, smart, intelligent and obviously well versed in the business behind technology (yes, technology is run by money) people such as yourself would complain that it costs too much, and that you don't see a need for such a device.

Next time, post your moronic vents elsewhere. It's obvious that you're talking out of your ass.



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