NEC PC-DC 200 (1997)

The NEC PC-DC 200, nickname PICONA, was announced 1997-02-13 in a press conference at the NEC headquartes and marketed a month later at 1997-03-14. At the time of the announcement it was not only the smallest digital camera with an LCD screen on the market but also the first that ran on just two AA-batteries. Although it perfectly looked like a Sony/JVC camcorder, it was in fact a digital camera. The camera could be operated with one hand and was small enough to put it in a shirt pocket. The camera sported two macro steps, A4 size and business card size. Images could be taken in four modes and were stored in BMP and JPG. A novelty was that the camera automatically generated an HTML file so that images could be directly viewed in a web browser. Continuous shooting was also available with up to six images per 10 seconds in a four minute shooting interval.

NEC had big business plans for this camera, for one they wanted to gain a 10 percent market share with this camera, aiming at selling 120,000 units in the first year alone. Secondly, the PC-DC 200 was to become the first of a PICONA digital camera series with future models having USB connectivity. Alas, this never happened. The PC-DC 200 could be bought as a standalone digital camera or with a windows/macintosh interface kit containing cables and software. For an additional $50 one could actually buy a dedicated flash unit which has now become a sought-after item. Another big plus was the battery compartment. It could simply be removed and replaced with an optional bigger battery compartment that could hold four AA-batteries. Even today it is hard to convince people that this is not a video camera but a true digital camera without the slightes capability to record moving images.


  • Brand: NEC
  • Model: PC-DC 200 'Picona'
  • First mentioned: 1997
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $599
  • Imager Type: 0.35MP 1/3" CCD
  • Resolution: 640x480
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: Compact Flash
  • Lens: f=4.9mm / F3.8 Fixed Focus
  • Shutter: 1/7s - 1/10,000s
  • Aperture Range: F3.8
  • LCD screen size: 1.8" MIM LCD
  • Size: 102 x 74 x 28mm
  • Weight: 185 gr.
  • Remarks: -

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