Sharp CE-AG02 (1996)

In the mid 1990's Sharp launched a very successful PDA series called (Power) Zaurus. Aimed at business consumers the Zaurus quickly became a powerful companion with a wide variety of features. One of the demands for such a device was of course a digital camera. Canon had already marketed PCMCIA digital cameras (CE300 / PowerShot 30) and so Sharp did too (CE-AG series). The CE-AG02 was the first digital camera of that kind and was intended for the Zaurus MI-10 series. Announced on 1996-05-09.
 
The body color of the PDA and the CE-AG02 was black and to me looked more robust than it's successor, the silver-colored CE-AG03. The CE-AG02 had a swivel lens and allowed the user to take photos and store them on the Zaurus device. Once stored the user could alter the images, add annotations and sound clips and view images in full or split screen. Images could then be send by email, infrared or telephone line. This was actually a very good solution as the user could create complete documents and presentations with images and sound and send it directly all over the world. Cool indeed because what the rest of the world have at that time? The Nikon CoolPix 300? The Canon CE300 or PowerShot 30(T)? These were indeed the very first digital cameras designed for PCMCIA slots and/or for certain devices.
 
These devices were primarily intended for business consumers, realtors, insurance brokers and the like. The Zaurus PDA was born in 1993 but this was the first time a digital camera was added to it. The internal memory of the MI-10 was 2MB but could be enhanced by buying proprietary memory cards from Sharp. Other accessoires actually included a sturdy leather hard case for the digital camera which you can see in the above gallery. It was completely designed for just the digital camera card and nothing else (but who would want to carry that around?).
 
The two PDAs used for this camera were the so-called color Zaurus or LCD PenCom, MI-10 and MI-10DC. The MI-10 was the basic model and you had to buy the CE-AG02 extra, the MI-10DC was the premium package and already included the CE-AG02 (I believe that the DC in the model name stands for Digital Camera).
 
To this day there is still a small community of Zaurus fans using this equipment and posting about it.

All images © digicammuseum.com and digitalkameramuseum.de except the memory cards © Sharp Corporation

Specifications

  • Brand: Sharp
  • Model: CE-AG02
  • First mentioned: 1996
  • Marketed: yes (in Japan only)
  • MSRP: $299 (camera only)
  • Imager Type: 0.27MP 1/4" CCD
  • Resolution: 320x240
  • Internal Storage: 2MB flash memory
  • External Storage: Sharp Zaurus
  • Lens: F2.4 /f=6.5mm
  • Shutter: 1/30s - 1/5,000s
  • Aperture Range: F2.4
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 127 x 103 x 35mm
  • Weight: 90 gr.
  • Remarks: Only compatible with Sharp Zaurus MI-10 series

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