Orion Digisnap

Orion DigiSnap DS21 (1996)

I always enjoyed writing about this digital camera gem. The camera was marketed by Orion in 1996. Orion is a Hungarian company and mainly sells radios and televisions. Consumer electronics were manufactured by Orion Denki in Japan and distributed by Orion Hungary. Although both companies were called Orion and had a similar logo, they are two legally completely independent companies. In 1996 Orion Denki introduced a digital camera, the Orion DigiSnap DS21. Distributed in Europe by Orion Hungary.
In the meantime I could discover the following news. The Orion DS21 was produced by Orion Denki as an OEM base model for Europe. They wanted to do the same thing for the north american market. That's where Orion Sales Inc. came in, a subsidiary of Orion Electric. Interestingly, Orion Sales Inc. also sold the Sansui brand, a manufacturer of high-quality hi-fi devices. So the DS21 was heavily modified to match Sansui's high-end portfolio. You can read more in the Sansui CT0110 entry.
This camera is an exceptional product, not from a technical point of view but because of its unique features. The camera operated with a conventional camcorder battery. It had a serial interface and a video output. On the back there was a huge 3 "TFT screen of good quality. The sensor or the display showed no form of image delay, so typical for components from video technology. The image on the LCD viewfinder moved absolutely smoothly without lagging. At that time it was the only one digital camera on the market with a 3 "screen. It also had a shutter release delay, macro mode, self-timer and automatic white balance.


  • Brand: Orion
  • Model: DigiSnap DS21
  • First mentioned: 1996
  • Marketed: yes (in Europe only)
  • MSRP: -
  • Imager Type: 0.25MP 1/5" CCD
  • Resolution: 320x240
  • Internal Storage: 2MB
  • External Storage: -
  • Lens: F2/f=5.2mm Fixed Focus
  • Shutter: 1/60s to 1/16,000s and 1/8s to 1/30s
  • Aperture Range: F2/F8
  • LCD screen size: 3"
  • Size: 145 x 96 x 56mm
  • Weight: 500 gr. (with batt.) / 340 gr. (without batt.)
  • Remarks: -

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