[January 2023] I spotted one of these old Sony Cybershot DSC-S85 "4.1 Megapixels" cameras on ebay (from 2001). Last year I'd purchased a couple of Sony Mavicas and a Sony DCR mini camcorder, so I'm certainly getting into these things somewhat. After sending a couple of messages back and forth with the seller of the Cybershot I was able to confirm that it included both a battery and a Memory Stick, although the listing stated all was untested - I decided to take a chance and grab the camera quick since it was listed at a relatively low price, hoping the battery might charge with the charger I ordered for my first Mavica.

Not only did the camera arrive the next day, along with an additional Memory Stick found in the included carry case, but the battery successfully charged. While I did a full charge I tried the Memory Sticks (an original Sony 16MB one and a 32MB Lexar) in my card reader to see if there were any pictures stored on them... There were; see below.

JPG up to 2272x1704 (3.9MP)
MPG up to 320x240.

Do you notice a discrepancy in the megapixels? It gets weirder; the colourful label on my specimen states "4.0" whereas the screen-print on the casing states 4.1, yet the photos produced equate to only 3.9. What gives? It turns out that 4.1 is the CCD resolution but as [this article] explains, some of that area is used to measure the "black point" of the CCD.

All photos on this page are resized by 50% and saved with 10% compression, but otherwise unedited unless otherwise stated (click for full view).


There were some pictures found on one of the included Memory Sticks; a few were of someone's garden birdfeeder and without file dates
(i.e. they'd been taken without setting the camera's date/time). And a patch of woodland dated 24/08/08:

There was a folder titled Goose Breakfast containing five unremarkable photographs of birds (geese?) taken around 6am on 05/10/08.
This one I adjusted the contrast (right):

The next two pictures, from 30/11/08, were the most intriguing, and taken just a minute apart:

On the left is some wintry ground, but on the right is what appears to be the planet Jupiter as it may appear through the eyepiece of a telescope.
I decided to look up Jupiter in Stellarium for this day, and while I couldn't make sense of a midday photograph of Jupiter
the planet was in conjunction with Venus in the constellation of Sagittarius, along with the Moon, shortly after sunset.

Check this out: "On Dec. 1st [2008], the three brightest objects in the night sky converged, producing a triple-conjunction of stunning beauty.
Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon crowded into a patch of sky just a few degrees across and wowed observers around the world." - Source. Read more [here].


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