Canon CI-10 (1985)

Canon announced this camera in 1985 as the Canon CI-10 Vidcam. It was successfully demonstrated at the International Security Conference in New York's Coliseum. It was a tiny camera head with a c-mount bayonet, the size of a pack of cigarettes. The 380,000 pixel sensor, almost twice as much as other CCD products at that time, produced crystal clear images and was made in a team effort between Canon and Texas Instruments. The CI-10 was a quite popular camera as it was used in a lot of 3D modeling and CAD shoots and as a payload in the Webersat satellite that was launched by the Ariane rocket in 1990.

A company called Aerial Video Systems found a way to transmit microwaves remotely and attached a camera to a helmet of motor cross expert Dirk Garcia. The footage was broadcasted live on ABC. On 1986-06-28, Canon's CI-10 became the first camera used to broadcast first person view (FPV) footage on air. The camera was also used for medical research, surveillance and other industrial appliances. Sadly Canon lost all material concerning this camera and therefore it does not show up in their virtual Canon museum. They regret this and later claimed that this camera was the 'missing link between video cameras and eletronic still video products'.

In 1988 Canon marketed a successor of the camera, called CI-20, that was mainly used in video surveillance. It's small form factor won it a Good Design Award.

Special thanks to Frank-Achim Hofmann for the unique images of the CI-10.


  • Brand: Canon
  • Model: CI-10
  • First mentioned: 1985
  • Marketed: yes in 1986
  • MSRP: $1,000
  • Imager Type: 0.38MP CCD
  • Resolution: 780x490
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: video tape recorder
  • Lens: C-Mount
  • Shutter: electronic shutter 1/1,000s
  • Aperture Range: lens dependent
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 100 x 54 x 37mm
  • Weight: 283 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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