Toshiba PDR-M4 (1999)

We distinguish ourselves from other "history sites" by provding the best and most accurate information on the internet. So here is my entry for the Toshiba PDR-M4. Announced by Toshiba on 1999-03-09. This camera was available in three colors, 'Silver', 'Indigo Metallic' and 'Flash Blue'. The camera was demonstrated at PMA and CeBIT '99. An interesting fact is that this camera was announced by Toshiba America and not first released in Japan. The successor of the PDR-M3 had some interesting new features. The body was made of alloy and it had an USB interface. It was ready-to-shoot in under two seconds after power was turned on, making it the fastest digital camera in it's class at the time. It could record 5 images per second, this was possible because of the 16MB DRAM onboard. Images in the camera were recorded in the Digital Camera Unified Standard according to the Design Rule for Camera File Systems (DCF).

On the downside I need to mention that the rubber applications all over the body of the camera were made of a lesser quality and turned sticky over the years (I have had a dozen models over the years and they all had this problem). Another new feature was the backlit LCD status display on top which was an upcoming feature at the turn of the century (and it was blue!). When the camera was off the status display would still function as a clock and show the current time. Another plus was the rechargeable battery that was compatible with a variety of digital cameras at the time. The japanese name for the camera was Allegretto M4.

The black version was marketed only in Japan.


  • Brand: Toshiba
  • Model: PDR-M4
  • First mentioned: 1999
  • Marketed: yes
  • MSRP: $700
  • Imager Type: 2.14MP 1/2" CCD
  • Resolution: 1600x1200
  • Internal Storage: -
  • External Storage: SmartMedia
  • Lens: f=7.4 mm Single-focus lens with macro function
  • Shutter: 1/4s to 1/1,000s
  • Aperture Range: F3.2/F8 automatically selected
  • LCD screen size: 1.8" TFT
  • Size: 112 x 68 x 42mm
  • Weight: 240 gr.
  • Remarks: Alloy body

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