First Look posted 2/20/2002 Full Review posted 07/05/2002
Introduction & Physical Views
Click on the CD400 to take a QuickTime VR tour
Last year Sony introduced two Mavica CD-based cameras, the CD200 and the CD300. These were the first digital cameras to incorporate a CD-RW drive for image storage. For 2002 Sony is introducing two new compact cameras using rewriteable CD drives, the CD250 and the more advanced CD400. Both cameras share the new MPEG HQX Movie mode that records QVGA resolution video with audio at 16fps and the length of the video clip is limited only by available storage space. There's also a three-shot burst mode for taking photos in rapid succession and multi-point auto focus to allow the camera to automatically find the best focus among three different areas within the picture. The CD400 expands this by automatically or manually selecting the best focus from five separate parts of the picture.
The Mavica CD400 employs a high-resolution 4.0 megapixel (effective) CCD imager that captures still images at up 2272x1704 pixels and a sharp and fast f2.0 Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens. It features the Hologram AF focusing system first introduced with the Cyber-shot F707, a Sony- exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast, even in dark conditions.
The CD400 gives you complete control over the photographic process with a choice of exposure modes; Program AE including four Scene modes, aperture and shutter priority and full manual. There is also the advantage of exposure bracketing and the addition of a standard flash hot shoe for connectivity with a wide range of external flash options. Allowing the camera to more accurately calculate exposure, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering actually calculates exposure with light from the flash itself. To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently.
Maximizing the benefits of writable CD photography, Sony's new CD400 Mavica digital still camera incorporates focus, exposure and archiving features that help make every picture worth keeping. CompactDiscs are easy-to-use, long-lasting, and allow instant archiving of pictures - a lot of pictures. The CD250 Mavica comes with a a media pack of six CD-Rs and one CD-RW disc, giving the user over one gigabyte of available storage.
MVC-CD400 Features at a Glance:
4.0 Megapixel Sony Super HAD CCD imager
Carl Zeiss 3x optical (34-102mm) F2.0 lens
5 area AF w/user selectable AF point
MultiPoint AF and 13-step manual focus
Class 1 laser hologram AF assist for low light
Multi Pattern, Center-weighted or Spot metering
8cm (3-inch) CD-R / CD-RW storage, 156MB per disc
Program AE, Shutter priority, Aperture priority or Manual
Slow shutter speed Noise Reduction
4 Scene modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait
2-1/2 inch, 123,000 pixel color LCD w/solar assist
Compressed JPEG or TIFF image storage
MPEG HQX movie mode, 320x240 @ 16fps w/audio, unlimited length
3-frame Burst mode at 2fps
White balance - 5 presets plus custom one-push
Hot shoe flash (a first for Sony!)
Optional HVL-F1000 external flash
Sony InfoLITHIUM NP-FM50 rechargeable battery
The Sony MVC-CD400 will be available in May for a suggested retail price of $899.
The 4-megapixel MVC-CD400 and the 2-megapixel MVC-CD250.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.