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Sony MVC-FD87

Sony announces an affordable 1.3-megapixel digicam with basic features, good quality pictures, and a dual-media storage drive!

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 5/4/2001

The Sony Mavica FD87 looks a lot like its more accessory-rich cousin, the Mavica FD92. Both feature the same traditional, box-shaped Mavica design (necessary to accommodate the floppy diskettes), though with smaller, side-mounted lenses. Measuring 5.75 x 4.13 x 3 inches (143 x 103 x 75 mm), and weighing 22.2 ounces (630 grams) with the battery, lens cap, and floppy diskette, the FD87 is just a hair smaller than the FD92. Its smaller 1.3-megapixel CCD and scaled-down features provide a less pricey version of the FD92.

Instead of connecting to a computer, the FD87 transfers images to the computer using a conventional 1.44MB floppy disk or a Memory Stick inserted into a Sony Floppy Disk Adapter (both the Memory Stick and adapter are optional accessories). There's no messing around with cables or software drivers. The FD87 also has a trimmed-down selection of features, compared to the FD92, though most of the basic Sony favorites, such as the Picture Effects menu and E-Mail recording mode, are included.

The FD87's 3x lens rounds out the left side of the camera with the lens barrel protruding about an inch from the side panel and less than a half inch from the camera's front panel. A small, spring-loaded cap protects the lens when not in use, and includes a small eyelet for tethering it to the camera body (to prevent loss). The front of the camera also houses the Zoom lever, built-in flash, Shutter button (on its own sloping panel), self-timer lamp, and a flash photocell window just below the flash.Under the rounded lens barrel on the camera's left side is the DC In jack, covered by a plastic flap that remains tethered to the camera even after you pull it out.

A large, sculpted hand grip on the right side of the camera fits comfortably into your palm, with a molded plastic ledge on the front that provides extra grip for the fingers. The floppy diskette slot takes up the right side of the camera, with the Disk Eject lever nearby. The Disk Eject lever takes a little getting used to, as you have to slide the release button to the left, and simultaneously push down on the Eject lever to release the floppy disk. But once you get the hang of it, the process is very simple.

All of the camera controls (with the exception of the Shutter button and Zoom lever) are located on the FD87's back panel, along with the 2.5-inch LCD monitor. The LCD Backlight control is on the left side of the monitor, while the Mode selection button and Power switch (with indicator lamp) are positioned directly beneath the LCD. The Flash, Focus, Program, and Display buttons are one row down, with a Menu/Arrow rocker pad on the right. A ridged thumb grip built into the top right corner of the back panel helps to secure your hold on the camera. Below the thumb rest is a small LED that lights whenever the camera is accessing the floppy disk.

The FD87's top panel is completely feature-free. However, the LCD monitor backlight and two neck strap eyelets are visible from above.

The battery compartment and tripod mount are on the camera's bottom panel. The metal threaded tripod mount is reasonably sturdy, though it's too close to the battery compartment to allow quick battery changes while working with a tripod. (We are pleased to note, however, that the DC In jack's left panel access makes it very convenient for shooting in a studio.)

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