- Video Floppy
A Video Floppy is a
videostorage medium in the form of a 2" magnetic floppy diskused to store still frames of analog composite video. A video floppy, also known as a VF disk, could store up to 25 frames either in the NTSCor PALvideo standards, with each frame containing 2 fields of interlaced video. The video floppy also could store 50 frames of video, with each frame of video only containg one field of video information, recorded or played back in a " skip-field" fashion.
Video floppies were first developed by
Sonyin 1981for their Mavica still video camera(not to be confused with their later line of Mavica digital cameras introduced in the mid-1990s, which stored JPEGimages to standard 3.5" floppy disks readable by computers instead). The video floppy format was later used by Panasonicand Canon for their still video cameras introduced in the late 1980s, such as the Canon Xapshotfrom 1988(also known as the Canon Ion in Europe and the Canon Q-PIC in Japan).
Besides still video cameras, stand-alone recorders & players were also available for the VF format, that could record from or output a composite video signal, to or from an external source (such as a
video camera, VCR, video capture card, or computer graphics output). Some VF recorders also had the feature of recording a couple of seconds of audio that accompanied each video frame.
Uses of the Video Floppy
The video floppy saw a lot of uses during its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, besides being used for still video cameras. Many medical
endoscopyand dental video systems, as well as industrial video borescopes& fiberscopes, used VF disks for storing video images for later playback and study. Standalone VF recorders & players were also used by television stations and video production studios as a still-storesystem for stills & graphics for use in a television production, or for on-air slides used for station identification or during technical difficulties (such as a "Please Stand By" still).
The VF disk was also used by the
Zenith Minisportlaptop computer from 1989, digitally formatted for data storage. The Minisport could store up to 720k of information on a VF disk.
An enhanced version of the VF format called HiVF was introduced in the late 1980s, providing higher resolution per video still than its predecessor. It used higher-bandwidth video recording, much like
S-VHSas compared to VHS, or Hi8compared to Video 8.
* [http://www.digicamhistory.com Digicamhistory.com, which features several VF & HiVF cameras from the late 1980s & early 1990s]
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