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Sony Mavica CD1000

Sony packs a 156 megabyte CD-R into a 2 megapixel Mavica. (Wow!)

(Next): Executive Overview>>

Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 7/17/2000

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2.1 megapixel CCD, up to 1600x1200 images
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10x optical , 2x digital zoom
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Records movies with sound
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JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and MPEG file formats
 * Built-in CD-R for 156 megabytes of image storage!

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Manufacturer Overview
More than any other single company, Sony has dominated the digital camera market the last few years, thanks in large part to the easy computer interfacing offered by their Mavica(tm) line of floppy-disk based cameras. They've also been active at the high end of the market, with products like the DSC-D770 and DSC-F505, which caught the eye of many pros and advanced amateurs for their excellent optics and exposure control.

This spring (February, 2000), Sony stunned the digicam world by announcing no fewer than six new models. Part of this was a significant extension of their Mavica line, bringing the higher end up to the 2 megapixel resolution range, while incorporating a number of enhancements in the basic camera electronics and signal processing as well. This resulted in a significant improvement in image quality and flexibility relative to the prior Mavica models, but the chore of packing 2.1 megapixel files onto 1.44 megabyte floppy disks meant some tradeoff in image sharpness (lots of JPEG compression), coupled with a capacity of only 4 maximum-resolution images per floppy.

Now, Sony's rocked the digicam world again, by incorporating a 3-inch (77mm) CD-R drive into a Mavica body, providing 156 megabytes of removable, archival storage, in a format that's compatible with just about every consumer computer on the market today. The increased capacity has also given Sony the breathing room they needed to really maximize the image quality achievable with their 2.1 megapixel sensor and excellent signal-processing electronics. By allowing much lower levels of JPEG compression (and even an uncompressed TIFF storage mode), the new MVC-CD1000 is finally a Mavica that takes a back seat to no competitor in terms of image quality.

Earlier this year, we were fortunate to receive one of the very first CD1000 Mavicas in the country, and wrote up our experiences with it in our First Look report. Now, we've fleshed out our coverage into a full review of the camera, including our usual panoply of test images, shot under a wide variety of standardized conditions. Read on for all the details on what we called "the most significant digicam development in the last year!"


Highlights

  • 2.1 megapixel, 1/3 inch CCD delivering up to 1600 x 1200 resolution images.
  • 2.5 inch, color, TFT LCD monitor.
  • Smaller, LCD optical viewfinder with data display.
  • 10x, 6 to 60mm optical zoom lens (equivalent to a 39 to 390mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • 2x digital telephoto.
  • Steady Shot function to (dramatically) decrease camera shake.
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Twilight, Twilight Plus, Landscape and Panfocus capture modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 8 to 1/500 seconds.
  • Automatic, Outdoor, Indoor and One-Push white balance settings.
  • Built-in, popup flash with Automatic, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced and Suppressed modes and manually controlled intensity settings.
  • Spot metering option.
  • 10 second self-timer.
  • MPEG movie record mode.
  • Voice Memo record mode.
  • E-Mail and Text (GIF) still image record modes.
  • Manual focus option.
  • InfoLITHIUM battery system.
  • 156 Megabyte removable storage on three inch (77mm) CD-R media.
  • Fast, ~3.5 second cycle time at full resolution.
  • Average JPEG compression of only 7:1 (MVC-FD95 average was 18:1.
  • Optional uncompressed TIFF file format! (A Mavica first!)
  • USB computer connection for high-speed downloads without "finalizing" disks.
  • Higher-capacity NP-550 InfoLITHIUM battery, to handle higher peak power drain of CD-R.


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