The Hawkeye II Integrated Imaging Accessory was a prototype digital camera back developed by the Eastman Kodak Company in the late 1980s as an untethered refinement to the design of the Tactical Camera. It was marketed towards government customers.

It was nicknamed the "March Camera", due to the fact that the marketing personnel of Kodak's Federal Systems Division insisted to the development team that they had to get it working by March of 1989.

Four prototypes were produced in 1989. One of them was rescued from the dumpster by development team member Bruce Crosman. A spare main board set for the camera that was not used is kept by Jim McGarvey. 


Using the body of the Nikon F3, the Hawkeye II Integrated Imaging Accessory was modified from a motor drive housing underneath the camera body. The housing had a set of printed circuit boards and electronics packed into it. However, with no room for a motor drive, the camera had to be wound by hand in order to cock the shutter. In addition, there was no available space for a hard drive.

Power is provided to the camera by two $30 non-rechargeable C-size lithium cells that are placed in a battery holder within the hand grip.

On the backside of the Hawkeye II Integrated Imaging Accessory is a dot matrix LCD display with buttons, a BNC video output jack, and a 25-pin SCSI connector. The LCD display also has a handy eight-bar histogram to indicate imaging. The shutter buttons were borrowed from the parts bin of Kodak Disc series cameras.

The Hawkeye II Integrated Imaging Accessory captures images on Kodak's KAF-1400 Megapixel CCD array detector. The KAF-1400 had an array size of 1320 × 1035 pixels, with each pixel being 6.8 microns square and 100% fill. The image then undergoes non-linear quantization at an 8 bit per pixel grayscale resolution.

Images taken by the camera would be stored on four 1-Megabyte DRAM SIPs in a removable Image Storage Module (herein abbreviated as ISM) that plugs into the side of it. It is also battery-powered, taking two AA-size non-rechargeable lithium cells, which would keep the DRAM refreshed until the module is removed. 

The number of images that can be stored on the ISM depends on the resolution that they are taken in. If a full-quality image, which has a resolution of 1280 × 1024, is taken, the ISM would store up to four of them at a time. If the images are taken at a resolution of 640 × 512, which is a quarter of the full resolution, it could store up to sixteen of them. When the DRAM is in their natural power up state, a checkerboard test pattern is output on the video port when no images are taken.

Images can be previewed on a standard TV screen using the BNC video output jack or downloaded onto an image processing computer via the SCSI port.

Development TeamEdit

  • Jim McGarvery - Lead engineer
  • Renae Sanger - Mechanical design drawings
  • Bruce Crosman - Circuit board designer
  • Joann Schleyer - Circuit board designer
  • Tom McCarthy - Circuit board set assembly
  • Bill Toohey - MTD engineer
  • Mark Newhouse - Analog designer


External Link(s)Edit

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