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Sony MVC-CD350

Sony updates its CD-based digicam line with a new 3 megapixel model.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 06/18/2003

CD-RW provides 156 megabytes of write-once or rewritable storage!
3.3 megapixel CCD delivers up to 2048 x 1536 pixel images
Surprisingly compact for a disc-media camera
Excellent image sharpness, color, and low light shooting capability

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Manufacturer Overview

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The year 2003 brings important new capabilities to Sony's revolutionary CD-Mavica digital camera line, which first began in late Spring 2000 with the introduction of the Mavica CD1000. Storing their images on CD-R (and now CD-RW) discs, the CD-Mavicas are a logical extension to Sony's original and enormously popular floppy-disk-based Mavica design. With each 80mm CD-R/RW disc storing 156 MB of data for well under a dollar at retail, the CD-Mavicas make nearly perfect traveling companions, since you can fit gigabytes of permanent storage into less space than that occupied by one paperback novel.

The improvements in this year's CD-Mavica lineup are less sweeping than those implemented in 2002, but the CD500 continues the tradition of the CD400 before it, of offering true "enthusiast" features in a CD-based digicam.

With introductory list prices of $599 and $899 for the MVC-CD350 and CD500 respectively, the new models once again bring CD-R(W) technology further down market, competing with conventional digicams at fairly modest price premiums. Of course, all the whizzy CD technology would be meaningless if the cameras didn't perform up to par with other non-CD models on the market. Fortunately (for Sony and our readers alike), my tests indicate that the new cameras perform very well indeed, on a par with the top models in their respective resolution categories. Given the low cost of the (high capacity) media and their relatively compact sizes, these new cameras could be the ideal "vacation cameras," perfectly suited for extended trips without a computer to offload images. - The long battery life afforded by Sony's InfoLithium battery technology is also most welcome on extended outings. If you're planning a long trip, you'd do well to seriously consider one of these new CD-Mavica cameras!

High Points
  • 3.3-megapixel CCD delivering up to 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution images.
  • 3x, 6.4-19.2mm lens (equivalent to a 41-123mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • Smart Zoom digital zooming up to 3.8x at 2.0M, 4.8x at 1.2M and 9.6x at VGA resolutions.
  • 2.5 inch Color LCD monitor.
  • Auto and manual focus control.
  • Auto, Program, and Scene exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to two seconds.
  • Apertures from f/3.8 to f/11.
  • Movie mode with sound and Clip Motion recording.
  • Spot metering and AE Lock functions.
  • Built-in flash with four operating modes.
  • Adjustable white balance with six modes.
  • Automatic ISO or 100, 200, and 400 equivalent settings.
  • JPEG, GIF, and uncompressed TIFF file formats.
  • Images saved to three-inch (80mm) CD-R or CD-RW media. (156MB per disc)
  • USB cable for high-speed connection to a PC or Mac.
  • Software CD containing Pixela ImageMixer, and USB drivers.
  • Power from NP-FM50 rechargeable InfoLITHIUM battery pack or included AC adapter.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

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