Toshiba PDR-2

Toshiba PDR-2 (1997)

The Toshiba PDR-2 was first mentioned by Toshiba America on 1997-01-10 as the PDR-2A, then announced by Toshiba Japan on 1997-06-16. Toshiba America demonstrated it at the Winter CES 1997. A novelty among digital cameras as it featured a PCMCIA card back door. When opened, the PDR-2 could be directly inserted into a notebook or PCMCIA drive. Therefore the need for connection cables was eliminated. As the camera featured a Smart Media card slot, one could also use a Smart Media card reader to download images. The camera was dubbed Toshiba Allegretto for the japanese market. PDR-2 was just the model name. The camera had the size of a business card and was the thinnest and lightest VGA-class digital camera on the market back then. Totally aimed at the business consumer market. To keep costs down, the engineers chose a CMOS sensor instead of a CCD and eliminated the LCD screen. The result was a digital camera that had low power consumption and could take up to 500 photos with one CR123 battery.

By shoving the camera into, let's say, a Pentium notebook, it was possible to view 24 images in just 30 seconds. A process which would take minutes with other digital cameras. Also, the notebook would supply power to the camera and viewing/downloading images would not drain the battery of the camera. As a bonus, Toshiba would deliver the first 1,000,000 units of this camera with two 2MB Smart Media cards. As a sidenote, the PDR-2 was only the fourth digital camera at the time to use the new Smart Media card. The other three were the Fuji DS-7, Minolta Dimage V and Sega Digio.
Contrary to information on other websites there was never a PDR-2A version, this was only the US project model name before it's initial release. The camera was labeled PDR-2 worldwide.


  • Brand: Toshiba
  • Model: PDR-2
  • First mentioned: 1997
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $500 - $599
  • Imager Type: 0.33 1/4" CMOS
  • Resolution: 640x480
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: SmartMedia
  • Lens: f=4.9mm / F2.8 Fixed Focus
  • Shutter: 1/8s to 1/1,000s
  • Aperture Range: F2.8
  • LCD screen size: -
  • Size: 105 x 55 x 20mm
  • Weight: 130 gr.
  • Remarks: Thinnest and lightest in the VGA-class

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