Sharp VE-LS5 (1996)

The Sharp VE-LS5 was announced 1996-30-10 and was the company's first still image digital camera. It's nickname was "LCD Digital View Hunter" because of the large 3" built-in TFT screen that doubled as a viewfinder. Together with the Orion Digisnap DS21 these were the only two cameras with such a large display. The camera sported a 3x zoom, a built-in 4MB flash memory, 3 levels of compression and manually adjustable focus and shutter speed. More interesting was the fact that it sported an IrDA port for wireless transmission of images. Another interesting thing is that this most likely one of the few digital cameras to have the output jacks on the front of the body. In this case 'digital out' and 'video out'.

The camera itself was quite large and bulky and image quality was so-so. Given the bulkiness, the large LCD screen and the odd resolution, it was very obvious that the tech of this camera derived directly from Sharps camcorder department. Thanks to the irDA port the camera could be connected to the Sharp VP-EC1 digital color printer and pictures could be printed wireless (the printer was released at the same time). According to the Sharp manual, the VE-LS5 could also connect with another VE-LS5 camera and pictures could be transferred between the two units. The camera was powered up by battery VR-BL5 or the battery adaptor power chord as seen in the picture. Underneath was also a CR2025 battery to keep the settings after the camera had powered off.

Monthly production volume was set at 5,000 units.

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Specifications

  • Brand: Sharp
  • Model: VE-LS5
  • First mentioned: 1996
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $1,000
  • Imager Type: 0.38MP 1/3" Progressive Scan CCD
  • Resolution: 720x480
  • Internal Storage: 4MB
  • External Storage: -
  • Lens: F=2.8 ~ 5.6 / F=6~18mm
  • Shutter: 1/30s - 1/2,000s
  • Aperture Range: F2.8 - F5.6
  • LCD screen size: 3" TFT
  • Size: 135.5 x 64.5 x 76mm
  • Weight: 330 gr.
  • Remarks: Nickname 'digital View Hunter'

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