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Sony Mavica CD1000

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

<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>

CD1000 Sample Images

Review First Posted: 7/17/2000

We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it! ;)
Outdoor portrait: (861k)
This is a tough shot for many digicams, due to the extreme tonal range of the image (which is why we set it up this way). Sony's MVC-CD1000 did a nice job of keeping highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors. We shot this image using the daylight (872k) and automatic (877k) white balance settings. Both settings produced similar results, but we chose daylight because it seemed the most accurate. Color balance looks good for the most part, the blue flowers seem about right (albeit with just the slightest tinge of purple) and the skin tones look good. Resolution and detail look great but very slightly soft, judging by the small green leaves next to the model's shirt and the strands of her hair. (This is by far the best performance we've seen from a Mavica camera though!) Excellent detail in the shadow areas, with just a little bit of noise. For our main image, we chose a +0.7 EV exposure adjustment to get the best exposure on the face without blowing out the highlight areas too much. (The CD1000's 12-bit digitization really shows it's stuff in the excellent highlight detail here!) The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.7 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: F5.6
(859k)
0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: F5.6
(861k)
0.7 EV
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: F5.6
(872k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/350
Aperture: F5.6
(845k)
1.3 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F5.6
(855k)
1.7 EV
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F5.6
(827k)



 
Closer portrait: (807k)
The MVC-CD1000 does a very nice job with this "portrait" shot, thanks to its 10x optical zoom lens. (The availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-up people shots.) As with the Outdoor Portrait, we shot with the daylight (825k) and automatic (886k) white balance settings, only this time, we chose the automatic setting for our main series as the daylight white balance seemed a little too warm. As is typical with this test, our main shot (807k) required less exposure compensation than the wider portrait, at +0 EV. This gave us a good exposure on the face as well as in the highlight areas. Resolution and detail look much sharper in this close-up shot, particularly in the strands of the model's hair. Noise levels in the shadows are very low, likely also due to the 12 bit digitization. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/500
Aperture: F5.6
(807k)
0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/350
Aperture: F5.6
(886k)
0.7 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F5.6
(858k)
1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: F5.6
(831k)
1.3 EV
Shutter: 1/180
Aperture: F5.6
(823k)



 
Indoor Portrait, Flash: (161k)
For our first series of images, we shot with the automatic white balance setting and utilized the built-in flash at the high (166k), normal (156k) and low (147k) intensity settings. The flash does a nice job of illuminating the subject in these, but all of the images appear slightly dark and the colors a little washed out. Next, we switched to the Twilight Plus exposure mode, and again shot at the high (166k), normal (161k)and low (155k)flash intensity settings while remaining in the automatic white balance setting. Since the Twilight Plus mode allows more ambient light into the image, these shots are much brighter and the colors are more vibrant. There's a much warmer color cast to all the images, but the lighter background is still more appealing. We chose the normal flash intensity setting with the Twilight Plus mode for our main shot (161k), since the high setting was a little too strong and the low setting just a little too weak.

The MVC-CD1000 does have an external flash sync terminal (of a proprietary design), and we did try some shots with Sony's dedicated external flash unit. At first we were puzzled at receiving very poor results--the flash seemed to be easily fooled by the white wall behind the model and thus underexposed everything. We later learned to put a small piece of neutral-density gel over the external flash's sensor, which produced better looking, much brighter shots. Unfortunately, we learned this trick with another Sony camera, after we had sent the MVC-CD1000 test unit back, so we don't have any sample images to show you.


 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (153k)
This shot is always a very tough test of a camera's white balance capability, given the strong, yellowish color cast of the household incandescent bulbs used for the lighting. The MVC-CD1000's white balance system handled this difficult light source pretty well. The automatic (139k) setting appeared slightly magenta, while the incandescent (139k) setting resulted in a very warm cast. Manual (137k) seemed to offer the best color balance overall, though without any exposure compensation, it appeared rather dim. All of these images were shot with the camera's Program AE exposure mode, which even with a +2.0 EV (139k) exposure adjustment, remained very dim. We got the best results after switching over to the Twilight Plus exposure mode, which allowed much more ambient light into the exposure. We again shot with the automatic (148k), incandescent (153k)and manual (153k)white balance settings, choosing manual for its accuracy. As with the other white balance tests in this lighting, automatic produced very magenta results and the incandescent was a little too warm. We picked the Twilight Plus mode in the manual setting with a +2.0 EV exposure adjustment for our main shot (153k), which gave us a very nice exposure with excellent color balance. (This is clearly one of the best versions of this shot we've seen.) The table below shows a series of exposure adjustments from zero to +2.0 EV, in the Twilight Plus exposure mode at the manual white balance setting.

Exposure Compensation Settings:
0 EV
(117k)
0.3 EV
(123k)
0.7 EV
(126k)
1.0 EV
(130k)
1.3 EV
(144k)
1.7 EV
(148k)
2.0 EV
(153k)



 
House shot: (902k)
NOTE that this is the "new" house shot, a much higher-resolution poster than we first used in our tests. To compare the image of the MVC-CD1000 with previously tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster in the automatic (60k), manual (60k) and daylight (61k) white balance settings.

For this test, we chose the automatic (60k) white balance setting for our main series, as the color balance appeared the most accurate overall. We also shot with the daylight (61k) setting, which produced slightly warm results, and the manual (59k) setting, which also had a slightly warm cast. Resolution and detail looks relatively sharp, especially in the brick and shingle areas, although we did notice just a hint of softness. Only a minimal amount of noise is visible in the roof shingles and shadow areas. We picked up only a minute halo effect around light and dark edges, so the in-camera sharpening seems to be working very well and smoothly. Of all the shots we took with the CD1000, this one probably demonstrates most clearly that its resolution is very much on a par with other top performers in the 2 megapixel range. The table below shows the full range of resolution and quality settings for the MVC-CD1000, both in automatic and daylight white balance settings.

Resolution/Quality series
Daylight
Automatic
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(903k)
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(908k)
     
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(351k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(60k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(61k)


Sharpness Series
We also shot with the MVC-CD1000's adjustable sharpness setting, which allows you to set the sharpness level from -2 to +2 (a total of five levels). The camera does a nice job of sharpening and softening the images without altering the contrast or taking the adjustment to the extreme. (Even the "very sharp" setting gives a reasonably restrained result.) Here's the range of settings:

Sharpness series
+2 Very Sharp
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(891k)
+1 Sharp
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(888k)
+0 Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(880k)
-1 Soft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(877k)
-2 Very Soft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2.8
(890k)



 
 
Far-Field Test (871k)
This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows.

The MVC-CD1000 performs nicely in this shot, which is the strongest test of detail of any we do (the fine leaves and pine needles against the sky are a tough test of detail, and the bright white of the central bay window often tricks digicams into losing detail in that area). Although the bay window is partially in shade, you can still see a fair amount of detail in the sunny portions, meaning that the MVC-CD1000 wasn't completely fooled by the bright white highlights. Some of the highlight areas appear a little blown out, but you can at least see the detail around the window. We shot with the daylight (61k), manual (60k) and automatic (60k) white balance settings, choosing automatic for our main series because it had the most accurate white value. Daylight produced nearly identical results to the automatic setting, and the manual setting resulted in a very bluish image. Color balance and saturation look nice throughout. Resolution and detail also look great, with just a little softness in the corners (mainly noticeable in the top right corner). There's just a little noise in the shingles, but it remains very low overall. An excellent performance. The table below shows the full resolution and quality series with the automatic white balance setting.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F2.8
(871k)
 
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F2.8
(346k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F2.8
(60k)


Sharpness Series
We again shot with the camera's variable sharpness setting, achieving very nice results.

Sharpness series
+2 Very Sharp
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4
(861k)
+1 Sharp
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4
(881k)
+0 Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4
(875k)
-1 Soft
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4
(890k)
-2 Very Soft
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F4
(838k)



 
 
Lens Zoom Range
We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with the lens at full wide-angle, the lens at full 10x telephoto and the lens at full telephoto with the 2x digital telephoto enabled. The MVC-CD1000 produces very sharp and clear images on this test. We only noticed a hint of barrel distortion on the wide shot. The 10x optical zoom results in a very crisp image, and the 2x digital telephoto gets even closer while managing to keep a fairly sharp resolution (enough to count the individual flower petals). Nice job! - The optically-stabilized10x zoom of the CD1000, combined with its 2.1 megapixel CCD and relatively low JPEG compression make it an absolutely superb telephoto performer!

Wide
Shutter: 1/73
Aperture: F4
(890k)
Tele
Shutter: 1/455
Aperture: F4
(893k)
2x Digital Telephoto
Shutter: 1/475
Aperture: F4
(867k)



 
 
Musicians Poster (884k)
As with previous tests, we shot samples of this image using the automatic (60k), manual (60k) and daylight (60k) white balance options, and had a tough time deciding between the manual and the daylight settings. First of all, we should mention that the substantial amount of blue in the image (the background is really a bluish-gray) is often difficult for digicams to deal with. On the one hand, the daylight setting seems just a little too warm, but on the other hand, manual and automatic are a little too cool. Neither setting showed the most accurate skin tones, so we went ahead and shot our main series with the daylight setting, since it seemed the closest to being correct. Color saturation looks pretty good in the skin tones, although the blue robe seems to be a little too warm (which results in a slightly greenish hue). Resolution and detail look pretty good, with a fair amount of detail in the bird wings and silver threads of the blue robe as well as in the flower garland and beaded necklaces. We caught a moderate level of noise in the image, mostly noticeable in the background, but it's possible this is from the poster itself. Below is our standard resolution/quality series in the daylight white balance setting.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/15
Aperture: F5.6
(883k)
 
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/62
Aperture: F5.6
(349k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/15
Aperture: F5.6
(60k)



 
Macro Shot (913k)
The MVC-CD1000 performs very well in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of just 0.73 x 0.55 inches (18.57 x 13.93 mm). Excellent detail, color and resolution throughout (with the exception of the very top area of the brooch, which is probably soft due to a limited depth of field when you get this close). We did notice some barrel distortion in the image, but nothing too extreme. Because the camera's very long lens barrel effectively blocks the flash at such a close range, we were unable to snap an image with the internal flash. Regardless, the MVC-CD1000 does a great job with this very close-up target.


"Davebox" Test Target (761k)
We shot samples of this target with the daylight (64k), manual (62k) and automatic (63k) white balance settings, choosing the manual setting for our main series as it produced the best looking white value (we judge mainly by white of the small resolution target). The automatic setting surprisingly produced a very warm cast, and the daylight setting was just a hint warmer than the manual setting. The large color blocks on the left side of the target look pretty good and pretty accurate, although the cyan and yellow seem just a little weak. Nearly all of the reddish tones appear about right. The MVC-CD1000 does a nice job picking up the difference between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (we've seen many digicams get confused in this area and try to blend the two colors into one). The subtle tonal variations in the "B" pastel range of the Q60 chart are also distinguishable. Detail is excellent in the shadow area of the briquettes, with only a little noise, and the details in the highlight area of the cheesecloth also look good. Overall, and excellent performance! The table below shows our standard resolution and quality series, using the manual white balance setting.

Resolution/Quality series
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(761k)
 
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(343k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(64k)



 
Low-Light Tests
In straight Automatic Exposure mode, the MVC-CD1000's low light capabilities were rather limited: The image was just barely perceivable at 1 footcandle (11 lux), and even at 8 footcandles (88 lux), it was still quite dark. Switching over to the Twilight Plus mode allowed us to shoot as low as 1/16 footcandle (0.67 lux) with a fair amount of detail, although a heavy magenta cast permeated the images. The Twilight Plus mode did result in useable images as low as 1 footcandle (11 lux), with a less pronounced magenta hue. Finally, we switched over to Shutter Priority exposure mode, which gave us the best results overall. We again shot all the way down to 1/16 footcandle (0.67 lux). A slight magenta cast was still present, but much less intense. Extending the shutter speed to a full eight seconds at 3 EV gave us a much brighter exposure than with the other modes, with great detail.

The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels, using the Shutter Priority exposure mode. Images in this table (like all our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.

8 fc
10 EV
88 lux
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F2.8
(811k)
4 fc
9 EV
44 lux
Shutter: 1/2
Aperture: F2.8
(728k)
2 fc
8 EV
22 lux
Shutter: 1
Aperture:
F2.8
(743k)
1 fc
7 EV
11 lux
Shutter: 4
Aperture:
F4
(841k)
1/2 fc
6 EV
5.5 lux
Shutter: 8
Aperture: F2.8
(860k)
1/4 fc
5 EV
2.7 lux
Shutter: 8
Aperture: F2.8
(793k)
1/8 fc
4 EV
1.3 lux
Shutter: 8
Aperture: F2.8
(823k)
1/16 fc
3 EV
0.67 lux
Shutter: 8
Aperture: F2.8
(780k)



 
Flash Range Test (New)
(This test was added in August 1999, so cameras tested before that time won't have comparison pictures available. As we go forward though, all the new models will have similar tests available). Sony rates the MVC-CD1000's internal flash as effective from 2.7 to 8.3 feet (0.6 to 2.5 m) in the normal intensity setting. In our testing, we found the MVC-CD1000's flash to be highly effective all the way out to 14 feet, without much brightness loss at all. Below are the results obtained at a range of distances from eight to 14 feet.

8 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture: F2.8
(779k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture: F2.8
(760k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture: F2.8
(776k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture: F2.8
(714k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture: F2.8
(808k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture:
F2.8
(712k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/85
Aperture:
F2.8
(783k)



 
ISO-12233 (WG-18) Resolution Test (291k)
The MVC-CD1000 did very well on our "laboratory" resolution test target, easily at the top of the 2 megapixel field. Horizontal resolution is at least 800 lines per picture height, possibly as high as 850. Vertical resolution is a bit lower, but still very good relative to other 2 megapixel cameras, at roughly 650 lines per picture height. Vertical lines show almost no moire pattern or color aliasing, while horizontal lines show aliasing starting at vertical frequencies of about 750 lines per picture height. Overall, a very impressive performance! We said it before, will say so again: Forthe first time in the form of the CD1000, a Mavica digicam needs take second place to no competitor in the resolution department.

Resolution/Quality series, Wide Angle
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(860k)
 
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(361k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(61k)


Resolution/Quality series, Telephoto
Large/Uncompressed
(5627k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(843k)
 
Medium/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(356k)
 
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F4
(59k)



 
Viewfinder Accuracy/Flash Uniformity
We found both of the MVC-CD1000's viewfinders to a bit "tight" (we called this "loose" in our earlier reviews, have changed our terminology though, to better reflect what you see looking in the viewfinder). The optical viewfinder shows only about 92 percent of the final image at wide-angle (786k) and about 94 percent at the telephoto (767k) setting, for all four image sizes. Interestingly, the LCD monitor proved to be a little less accurate, which is surprising given that the optical viewfinder is basically a smaller version of the LCD. The LCD monitor resulted in about 91 percent frame accuracy at wide-angle (794k), and about 92 percent at telephoto (776k) for all four image sizes (we usually like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent as possible).

Optical distortion on the MVC-CD1000 is quite low at the wide-angle end, with only 0.3 percent barrel distortion. We found virtually no distortion at all on the telephoto end (at least none that we could effectively measure). Chromatic aberration is very low, showing only about two pixels of coloration on each side of the black target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) This is an exceptionally good performance for a lens with such a wide zoom ratio, outperforming many lenses with less zoom range. Flash distribution also looks very good, with just a barely visible amount of fall-off in the corners at the wide-angle setting.

 

 

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<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

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