It's a photo album... and a camera: the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N1
In the first decade of the 21st century, camera manufacturers had to find ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Kodak brought Wi-Fi to the camera world with its EasyShare One, Panasonic released the DMC-LX1 that had a 16:9 sensor and Samsung put selfie mirrors on the front of its compacts. Not to be outdone, Sony released its Cyber-shot DSC-N1 in October 2005, which was a compact camera and a 500-shot photo album in one.
On the front panel, the N1 had an 8.1MP, 1/1.8" CCD with a top ISO of 800, a 38-114mm equivalent lens, 5-area AF system and a battery that lasted for roughly 300 shots (which is quite respectable). Images and VGA video could be saved to internal memory or a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot.
Photo quality was typical for 2005, which is to say, good until about ISO 400 or so.
The real action takes place on the back of the DSC-N1, where you'll find a 3", 230k-dot RGBW LCD. The display was touch-enabled and offered features that we take for granted today, like touch AF, menu operation and image playback.
Enough beating around the bush: here's what made the DSC-N1 unique. Every time you took a photo, a VGA-sized version would be saved to the camera's internal memory bank. Album photos are saved 'first in first out', which means that older photos will be automatically deleted from the album if you don't protect or copy them first.
Images were organized by date and time and you could view slideshows of images from that date or the whole album. Slideshows were accompanied by fancy transitions and generic background music. One nice thing was that you could replace the built-in music with your own, drawing from CDs or MP3s.
As the photo above says, you could 'paint' on top of a photo using an included stylus. You could pick a color and a line size and draw away or add 'stamps'. Thankfully, an eraser was also available.
Sony offered an optional dock, known as the Cyber-shot Station, which let you charge the battery or display your slideshows on a TV.
Did you have a Cyber-shot DSC-N1 or the DSC-N2 that followed it? Share your memories in the comments! As always, suggestions for future tbt's are appreciated.
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