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Sony MVC-CD250

Sony adds features, and brings the price down on a 2 megapixel CD Mavica!

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 02/20/2002

The Mavica MVC-CD250's body design conforms to the round, three-inch storage media, giving the camera a smooth, curved appearance similar to the CD300 model. Although it's still a handful, the CD250 is surprisingly compact given its large media size. At 5.31 x 3.74 x 3.98 inches (138 x 95 x 101mm), it definitely won't fit into most pockets, but it does come with a neck strap and is easily carried in a small accessory camera bag (highly recommended to protect the camera). At 22 ounces (608 grams), including the battery, the CD250 is reasonably lightweight, with a hard, plastic body that gives it a strong, solid feel.

The non-telescoping lens dominates the left side of the camera's front panel, sharing its space with a small self-timer lamp, the flash, and the AF light. A rubberized finger grip protrudes from the right front side, providing a comfortable hold for your right hand, which should fit comfortably around the curve of the bulky hand grip. A plastic, spring-lock lens cap protects the lens surface, and can tether to the camera body via a small strap. A set of 37mm filter threads just inside the lip of the barrel accommodates standard accessory lenses and filters.

The hand grip (right) side of the camera has a neckstrap attachment eyelet, and the Command dial nearby (barely visible at the upper left corner, facing the rear or the camera), for adjusting exposure settings on the camera's LCD monitor. Just adjacent to the eyelet is the DC In connector jack, covered by a soft, plastic flap that remains attached to the camera when opened.

The left side of the camera has the second neckstrap eyelet on top (which also secures the lens cap tether), and a CD-R compartment "Open" latch, external accessory connection jack , and connector compartment below. A small, hard plastic cover protects the connector compartment, which houses the USB and A/V Out connection jacks. The external flash connection jack, labeled "ACC," hosts Sony's HVL-F1000 flash unit, as well as a handful of Sony accessories.

The CD250's top panel features a microphone, Shutter button, Mode dial, and Power switch. There's also a small, green LED lamp next to the power switch that glows steadily whenever the camera is powered on. The pop-up flash unit has been moved forward on the camera body, in comparison to the CD300 model, most likely in an effort to prevent the lens from blocking the flash on close-up subjects.

The remaining features and controls are on the CD250's back panel. These include the color LCD monitor, speaker, and control buttons. An orange LED lamp above the LCD monitor lights when the flash is charging or when the camera is powered off and the battery is charging via the AC adapter. In addition to serving as a navigational tool in the LCD menu system, the Four-Way Arrow pad controls several camera functions through its four arrow keys, including Flash mode, Macro, Self-timer, and Quick Review.


The CD-R compartment takes up the entire left side of the back panel, with the compartment door holding several camera control buttons and the LCD monitor. The compartment door flips open when the release lever is opened, but does not deactivate the LCD monitor. Instead a message on the LCD monitor reads "Cover Open." A tiny, red LED lamp beneath the LCD monitor lights whenever the camera is accessing the CD-R.

Finally, the CD250 features a fairly flat bottom panel with a battery compartment door and tripod mount. The angled battery compartment and the distance between the compartment door and tripod mount allow for quick battery changes while working with a tripod (something I always notice, given the amount of studio shooting I do with the cameras I test). A sliding, plastic door protects the battery compartment, and a small catch inside locks the battery into place and releases it when you're ready to recharge or replace the battery cell. The tripod mount itself is metal, a detail I always appreciate, especially on heavier units like the CD250. Also on the bottom panel (beneath the LCD monitor) is a tiny Reset button for use by service technicians, and a hidden compartment for a button battery to maintain the CD250's clock and calendar when the main battery is removed.

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