Minolta RD-175

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Minolta RD-175
Minolta IMG 2923.jpg
Image of the Minolta RD-175
TypeDigital SLR camera

The Minolta RD-175 was probably the first digital SLR which was hand portable. Up until 1995 when this was introduced, the only digital SLR on the market had a very bulky external digital storage system. There were other primitive digital cameras but they were much lower resolution. Minolta combined an existing SLR with a three way splitter and three separate CCD image sensors, giving 1.75M pixel resolution.[1] The base of the DSLR was the Minolta Maxxum 500si Super (the Dynax 500si Super in Europe and as Alpha 303si Super in Asia). Agfa produced a version of the RD-175 retailed as the Agfa ActionCam.

The RD-175 was also notable as the first consumer digital camera to be used professionally, being used to create the full-motion claymation adventure game The Neverhood.


Since state of the art CCD resolution at the time was not sufficient for Minolta, the light entering the central 12 mm × 16 mm area of the RD-175's focal plane was compressed by 0.4x relay optics behind the focal plane, similar to the optical reduction system used in the Nikon E series. The light bundled on the smaller sensor area increased the effective sensitivity (ISO) by 2 ​23 stops. Then the light was split and sent to three separate 4.8 × 6.4 mm sized 768 × 494 pixel (3 x 0.38 megapixel) image sensors, two used for green and one for the red and blue color, reducing the sensitivity increase to about 2 stops. The only usable ISO was 800.[1]

The three images were combined digitally and interpolated to the final size of 1.75 mega-pixels (1528 × 1146 pixels). Images were stored on an internal PCMCIA hard drive. The camera used Minolta AF A-mount lenses with a crop factor of 2.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Minolta RD-175 Manual.

External links[edit]