Microdot cameras are both intriguing and unusual special purpose cameras that the general populous has not had much exposure to in the past. Microdot cameras have been developed and utilized by governments and spy agencies around the globe. Such cameras have been kept secretive and classified since their inception. Microdot camera developement surged from the 1940's through the late 1980's. Even though there was not much information available publicly about microdot cameras, the alarmingly tiny photos they produced became infamously known to almost everyone as "microdots".
The MK-VR microdot camera represents the apex of microdot camera technology in every way. It offers improved useability, better photographic resolution, and greater working capabilities. The disc shape and overall exterior design is based on the CIA's MK-IV which was produced for the CIA by OTS (Office of Technical Service). It is an analog film camera with no digital or electronic controls. It is the smallest microdot camera known that can take multiple photos on one film. The MK-VR and the MK-IV both produce 11 photos per 24mm diameter film disc. The shared similarities of the MK-VR & the MK-IV end with their outward appearance.
There were many factors taken into consideration when developing and designing the MK-VR microdot camera. Useability was a major considertion. The camera would be used by agents and spies who may not necessarily be trained in the fine art of film photography, so it had to be easy to use and have the ability to consistantly achieve quality results for the untrained user. Another requirement was that the camera be able to capture the finest amount of detail (small print, photos, maps) with the highest possible level of photographic quality. The MK-VR also had to be durable, non-descript in appearance, easily concealable, and it needed to function in a variety of environments and lighting conditions.