Imaging Resource Home
What's New
Digital Cameras
Tips & FAQs
Discussion Forum
Other Resources

Digital Camera Feature MatrixDigital Camera Product InformationDigital Camera Image ComparisonsDigital Camera Manufacturers Index

Sony MVC-CD1000

(NOTE: This camera is not in stores yet.
Projected ship date is early August, 2000)

Page 7. Sample Images

Image Quality(!)
We're sure this section of our preview will be of great interest to many of our readers: As we noted at the outset, one of the chief limitations of the floppy-based Mavicas is that they've had to use high levels of JPEG compression to fit any remotely reasonable number of photos onto each disk. With 156 megabytes of room on the CD-R though, the CD1000 has no such constraint. As a result, the typical file size for full-resolution JPEGS runs about 800-900 Kbytes. (This contrasts with 300-320Kbytes for the FD95.) The CD1000 is therefore operating at about a 7:1 compression ratio in JPEG mode, as compared to something on the order of 18:1 for the FD95. The results of this lower compression ratio are immediately evident in the CD1000's pictures: For the first time, there's a Mavica that needs to concede nothing to its competition in terms of image quality.

The unit we had was obviously an early prototype, given that production units won't be appearing in stores until sometime in early August. Sony asked that we treat this unit as a prototype in our reportage, but had no objections to our sharing photos with you, as the camera electronics are essentially those of an existing production model, the FD95. We didn't want to take a full series of our test shots with the unit, as we'd only have to repeat them later, once the production models came out. We did shoot a couple of our standard targets to share with you though, including the resolution target, the house poster, the Davebox, and outdoor shots of the house at wide angle, normal framing, full telephoto, and 2x digital tele. (How about the zoom on that lens!) We've also included a couple of TIFF shots, of the house poster and the outdoor house. (Yeesh, there goes our hosting bill for this month!) Other than the significant reduction in JPEG artifacts, the images were in all ways equivalent to those from the FD95 (no surprise), which we've just posted a full picture analysis of. (For issues of color fidelity, etc., refer to the FD95 Picture Analysis page.) Since the MVC-CD1000's images should be essentially identical to those of the FD95 (except as would be affected by differing JPEG compression levels), we'll make our comments here rather brief and refer readers to the FD95's pictures page for additional sample images:

MVC-CD1000 preliminary test images

Our standard "Davebox" shot. (752k) Although the overall color balance is very similar to that of the FD95 (excellent overall, only the very slightest weakness in saturation of the subtractive primaries), we included this shot to show how well the MVC-CD1000 did with shadow detail: Shadows are the first place an image loses detail in the face of JPEG compression, so this is an area of noticeable improvement of the CD1000 over the FD95. (This image is also in the Comparometer(tm), so you can compare with other cameras.)
Our standard "Lady standing outside in the hot Georgia sun, wondering when this guy is ever going to get done snapping pictures shot". (840k) This was a shot the FD95 did a very good job on, which the CD1000 repeated. Excellent detail held in both highlights and shadows, excellent colors (This image is also in the Comparometer(tm), so you can compare with other cameras.)
This is our standard "House2" poster, (904k) which is an excellent test of detail handling. Again thanks to the lower JPEG compression, the MVC-CD1000 does an excellent job here. (This image is also in the Comparometer.) For the bandwidth masochists, here is a link to an uncompressed TIFF version of this image. (Raw link, no surrounding HTML: Download to your hard disk and open in an image editing program to view.)
Our ISO-12233 Resolution Target image. (788k) With a visual resolution of roughly 800-850 lines per picture height horizontally and 600-650 vertically, the MVC-CD1000 holds its own very well in the 2 megapixel marketplace. We haven't had time for a full set of shots covering the wide/tele range: This image was shot with the lens at a medium focal length, we'd guess an equivalent of 50-60mm on a 35mm camera. (This image is also in the Comparometer.)
A maximum wide-angle shot (892k) of the outdoor house test. At 39mm, the lens of the CD1000 (and the FD95) doesn't get quite as wide as those on some cameras, but it still takes in a useful area, pretty close to the average for competing cameras equipped with 3x zoom lenses.
This is our normal framing for the "Far" outdoor shot, (880k) useful for comparing with other cameras. Again, excellent detail and resolution. Note too, the exceptional handling of the very strong highlight on the white paint on the bay window: Digicams very frequently lose all detail in this area, but the CD1000 (and FD95) hold it nicely, thanks to their 12-bit digitization. Again, for the detail fanatics, here's an uncompressed TIFF version of this file.
Wow, how about that lens! This is a shot taken at maximum optical zoom. (896k) Most digicams can't get this close even with digital zoom, but the CD1000 delivers a full 2 megapixels of resolution at this magnification level. Very good performance, only a little corner softness and a hint of chromatic aberration. Very impressive!
Here's the same shot, this time with both maximum optical zoom and the 2x "digital telephoto" engaged. (868k) This was shot at the full-resolution image size, so the increased magnification is at the direct expense of sharpness: The same shot at a smaller image size would be sharper. (Equivalent to just cropping the central portion out of the optical-only zoom shot above.)

<< Using CD-Rs in the Camera | Conclusions >>

Reader Comments!
So what do you think of the new Sony CD1000? Is it the future of digital? The last of the digicam dinosaurs? Would you buy one? Click here to leave a comment! (Read what's here, then add your own!)

Questions? Problems? Email us!

This document copyright (c) 2000, The Imaging Resource, all rights reserved. Visitors to this site may download this document for local, private, non-commercial use. Individuals who have themselves downloaded this page may print a copy on their personal printers for convenience of reading and reference. Other than this explicit usage, it may not be published, reproduced, or distributed in print or electronic and/or digital media without the express written consent of The Imaging Resource.