New CD Mavica digital camera announced! By
Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, February 20, 2002 - 18:00 EST)MVC-CD250 updates 'CD200 with new cosmetic design, confirm-before-write feature, and a significant price drop...
Sony Corp. today announces five new digital cameras due for sale in the US marketplace over the next few months. In the first of two additions to its CD Mavica lineup, the company previews its new Mavica MVC-CD250 digital camera. Similarly to the existing 'CD200 model, the 'CD250 features a 2.11 megapixel imager and 3x optical zoom lens - but the lens itself is a new, slightly more telephoto 41 - 123mm equivalent type (the 'CD200 was 39 - 117mm equivalent). This new lens is not quite as bright (f/3.8 vs f/2.8) and also can't be stopped down quite as much (f/8.0 minimum, vs. f/11.0 on the 'CD200). Where it definitely wins, though, is that the MVC-CD250 is significantly cheaper than the previous model, with an expected street price of $599 - a $200 reduction! The camera is 13% larger than the MVC-CD200, but actually comes in at two grams lighter including the battery - which makes it the lightest CD-based digital camera on the market.
Other changes from the previous version include removal of the lower-resolution movie mode, unlimited recording length in the remaining movie mode, the new 3-area autofocusing mode also seen in today's P-series announcements (with the area selected automatically by the camera), a choice of multi-pattern or spot metering, different white balance options and a slight increase in flash range. The camera bundle is improved with the addition of two more CD-R discs for a total of 1 CD-RW and 3 CD-R discs - over a gigabyte of storage in total. One further change of note is a switch from the MGI software bundles previous Sony cameras have included to a new package, Pixel ImageMixer v1.0.
The Sony Mavica MVC-CD250 will ship at a price of $599 (street). At the current time, availability has not been announced. Full specifications for the camera are in our database, and highlights follow:
Specification Highlights - full specifications here
Sony Mavica MVC-CD250
1600x1200, 1600x1072, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240
Focal Length (effective):
41 - 123mm (3x optical zoom)
Yes (Auto 3-Area Contrast Detect)
Yes (5 step)
Normal Focus Range:
50 cm to Infinity; 20.4 in to Infinity
Macro Focus Range:
3 - 50 cm; 1.2 - 20.4 in
f/3.8 (wide) / 3.9 (tele) - 8.0
Yes (2.5 inch, 123000 pixel)
Auto (100 - 400), 100, 200, 400
White Balance Settings:
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Manual White Balance:
2 - 1/800 second
Exp Adj Range:
+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps
Auto, Auto w/ red-eye reduction, On, On w/ red-eye reduction, Off
Flash Range Description:
2.6 - 11.5 feet (0.8 - 3.5 meters)
Yes (Cold shoe, accessory terminal)
TIFF, JPEG, GIF, MPEG, Animated GIF
608 g; 21.3 oz
Weight With Batteries?
138 x 95 x 101mm; 5.4 x 3.7 x 4.0in
Notes & Features:
12-bit DXP. Manual focus has 5 steps, autofocus has three areas selected automatically by the camera. AF illuminator light can be turned on/off manually. Shutter speeds of 1/2 to 2 seconds available in Slow Shutter NR mode only. Shutter speeds in auto are 1/30 to 1/800 second. Has review and quick-delete feature (image taken can be seen and confirmed before saving to CD, or discarded to save storage if it is not a good photo). Has Clear Color and Luminance NR modes (flatten noise in areas of uniform color/luminance). Sharpening level can be adjusted +/- 2 steps in 1-step increments. Flash level can be set to auto, high or low. Has voice memo mode. LCD has solar-assisted backlight and is adjustable. Shows shots taken and remaining, and battery life remaining in minutes using Acu-Power Meter. Can capture a burst of 16 consecutive frames at 320x240 pixel mode, speed unspecified. Clip motion mode captures an animated GIF file at 160x120 or 80x72 pixel resolution. Playback zoom allows display of images at 1.1 to 5x zoom. Has in-camera MPEG cue and review features, as well as image trimming/resizing. Maximum MPEG file length is limited only by available CD-R/CD-RW disc space.
Supplied battery charger is part number AC-L10. Includes lens cap. Comes bundled with 6 x CD-R discs and 1 CD-RW rewriteable disc. Optional eye-level magnifier DSAC-MVC is available.
Original Source Press Release:
SONY'S NEW CD MAVICA DIGITAL CAMERAS OFFER BETTER PICTURES AND INSTANT ARCHIVING
New Models Feature Latest Built-in Tools and More Options
PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - Maximizing the benefits of writeable CD photography, Sony's two new CD Mavica digital still camera models (MVC-CD250 and MVC-CD400), announced today, incorporate focus, exposure and archiving features that help make every picture worth keeping.
In addition to being easy-to-find, easy-to-use and long-lasting, CDs allow instant archiving of pictures ? a lot of pictures. These two new CD Mavica models will be shipped with a media pack of six CD-Rs and one CD-RW disc, giving each camera over one gigabyte of available storage with sequential formatting. And, with the Confirm-before-Write option, the photographer can determine if an image is worth saving before burning it to a CD.
Creating Images Worth Saving
Concentrating on focus and exposure-- the two most important factors in capturing good images-- was paramount in designing these two new cameras. Integrated technologies that work automatically to improve these factors include multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure modes, as well as auto focus illumination and pre-set scene modes.
"Photographers want to concentrate on the subject, instead of having to worry about all of the other things that make a good picture an excellent one," said Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of the Digital Imaging Products Division at Sony Electronics. "With the built-in features of these new CD Mavica cameras, they can spend more time on composition and creativity."
Sharper Focus and More Accurate Exposure
Multi-point auto focus makes sure the cameras don't just focus on the center of the frame. Instead the MVC-CD250 model automatically finds the best focus among three different areas within the picture, while the MVC-CD400 lets the photographer automatically or manually select the best focus from five separate parts of the picture.
Allowing the camera to more accurately calculate exposure, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering actually calculates exposure with light from the flash itself. When the picture is taken, the flash fires twice - once to illuminate the subject and determine correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible. All of this is done effortlessly in less than a blink of an eye.
To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently. This feature calculates exposure when highlights and shadows exist outside the center of the frame, like a beach scene with the sun in one corner and a shaded hammock in the other.
Scene mode selections instruct the camera to automatically make the necessary shutter and flash adjustments for the situation. Whether it's a landscape, a portrait, a picture taken at twilight or a portrait of a person at night, these templates let the camera do the thinking, so the photographer doesn't have to.
The Camera For a Broad Range of Consumers
The MVC-CD250 captures images with 2.0 megapixel (effective) resolution and 3X optical / 2X digital zoom. Some new features it shares with its big brother, the MVC-CD400, include a solid, ergonomically curved design, MPEG HQX Movie mode with audio, and a three-shot burst mode for taking photos in rapid succession. Expected to sell for about $600, the MVC-CD250 model is positioned to introduce CD photography to anyone seeking a versatile, easy way to shoot, share and save great pictures.
The CD Mavica Camera with the Professional Edge
Not only does the MVC-CD400 offer all the advantages of CD photography and all the features of the MVC-CD250, it is also equipped with advanced photo-taking features that will appeal to the hard-to-please photo enthusiast. This new model takes pictures with 4.0 megapixel (effective) resolution, includes a bright f2.0 Carl Zeiss lens and comes equipped with Hologram AF function, a Sony-exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions.
Those who know the science of photography know that the aperture and shutter priority and manual exposure settings, included in this model, are a must. They also understand the advantage of exposure bracketing and the addition of a hot shoe for connectivity with a wide range of external flash options.
The MVC-CD400 CD Mavica camera will be available in May for about $900.