The year 1981 was the benchmark year for the Sony digital camera, when the company introduced the prototype Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera) that took still images and stored them on floppy discs. The images could then be viewed on a television monitor in the maximum highest possible quality for television screens at that time. Seven years later, Sony launched the consumer version of the Mavica, which paved the way for greater innovations in digital cameras.
Another eight years would pass until Sony introduced the first Cyber-Shot model with a 1.8-inch liquid crystal display screen in 1996. Then, in 1998, a further innovation was introduced when Sony developed a digital camera capable of storing images on external memory rather than on the erstwhile internalized storage.
Sony introduced several more innovative digital cameras in the succeeding years, but they had all been effectively point-and-shoot and bridge cameras, targeted towards the casual photographer. While Sony had already developed a single lens reflex camera in 1988, it was not for the serious photographer, as it was limited to a fixed lens.