Mavica CD500

Mavica CD500

Sony Mavica CD500 Review

By Movable Type Admin

Steve's Digicams

Sony Mavica CD400


Review posted 05/02/2003

Introduction & Physical Views


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Sony MVC-CD500
Click on the CD500 to take a QuickTime VR tour


Sony is the only manufacturer producing digital cameras that store still images and movie clips on CD-R/RW media. The Mavica CD500 is the year 2003 flagship of the CD Mavica line and features a 5-megapixel imager and a high quality Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens. Lighter in weight and less expensive than last year's four megapixel Mavica CD400 and now sporting a professional looking all-black exterior. New features include the improved MPEG-VX movie mode with 640x480 resolution at 16 frames per second with audio. Six minutes of continuous VGA resolution motion video can be recorded on each disc. The hot shoe has dedicated TTL contacts for the new Sony HVL-F32X programmable flash unit.

The CD500 also features the Sony-exclusive Hologram AF laser assisted focusing system that was made famous on the Cyber-shot F707. To insure accurate focus in low or no light the camera uses a safe Class 1 laser to project a grid pattern on the subject. In addition to the Hologram AF system, the CD500 has a Five-area Multi-Point auto focus system which displays the selected AF point. The camera automatically selects the AF point or it can be manually selected by the user. Multi-pattern exposure metering uses 49 points in the frame to establish the optimum exposure. A full range of exposure control including Program AE with Shift, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority, Full Manual, AE Bracketing and six Scene modes.

Other CD Mavica camera features include the large 2.5-inch, solar-assisted, color LCD monitor that is used for framing and image review. Pre-Flash exposure metering and Auto Daylight Synchro Fill Flash insure the best possible pictures in all sorts of lighting conditions. The world famous Sony InfoLITHIUM rechargeable battery system using the high- capacity NP-FM50 battery pack. A fully charged battery can yield up to 220 shots or a continuous recording time of 110 minutes. The included charger can also be used as an AC power adapter.


Sony MVC-CD500

Maximizing the benefits of writable CD photography, Sony's CD500 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 CD500 Mavica can be used with either the write-once CD-R or the re-writable CD-RW type discs.


Mavica CD500 Features:

  • 5.0 Megapixel Sony Super HAD CCD imager
  • Still images in JPEG or TIFF format up to 2592x1944 pixels
  • 14-bit DXP A/D conversion for extended dynamic range
  • Carl Zeiss 3x optical (34-102mm) F2.0 lens
  • 4.0X Smart Zoom (at VGA size)
  • Five-area AF w/user selectable AF point
  • Multi-Point AF and 13-step manual focus
  • Hologram AF laser-assisted focusing system
  • Multi Pattern, Center-weighted or Spot metering
  • Pre-Flash Metering and Auto Daylight Synchro Fill Flash
  • 156MB 3-inch CD-R / CD-RW storage
  • Program AE w/Shift, Shutter priority, Aperture priority or Manual
  • 3-Shot Auto Exposure Bracketing
  • Slow shutter speed Noise Reduction
  • 6 Scene modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait, Snow and Beach
  • 2.5-inch, 123,000 pixel color LCD monitor w/solar assist
  • MPEG VX movie mode, 640x480 @ 16fps w/audio, up to 5:54 per 156MB disc
  • 3-Frame Burst and Multi-Burst (16 frames saved as one 1280x960 image)
  • White balance - 6 presets plus manual one-push
  • Dedicated Hot Shoe for new HVL-F32X programmable flash
  • Sony InfoLITHIUM NP-FM50 1180mAh rechargeable battery
  • USB 2.0 connectivity for Windows and Macintosh users

The Sony CD500 is available now with a suggested retail price of $699.95.


Physical Views



Sony MVC-CD500

Sony MVC-CD500


Sony MVC-CD500

Sony MVC-CD500

Sony MVC-CD500

Sony MVC-CD500





Sony CD400 and CD250

The MVC-CD500 and the compact Cyber-shot DSC-P8.





Sony CD400 and CD250

The MVC-CD500 compared to a standard CD disc.






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MVC-CD500 Specifications

Imager 1/1.8" 5.0 Megapixel (effective) Super HAD CCD
Image Sizes Still Image: 2592x1944, 2560x1728(3:2), 2048x1536, 1280x960, 640x480

MPEG: 640x480 and 160x120

MultiBurst: 16-320x240 frames as 1280x960 image

ClipMotion GIF: Up to ten 160x120 or 80x72 frames
Recording Formats Still: JPEG, TIFF, GIF
Movie: MPEG VX (640x480 @ 16fps w/audio)
MPEG standard (160x112 @ 8fps w/audio)
Image Storage 8cm (3-inch) CD-R or CD-RW 156MB discs
A/D Conversion 14-bit DXP
Lens Carl Zeiss 3X F2-2.5 7-21mm (34-102mm 35mm equiv)
52mm lens adapter (optional VAD-S70)
Focus Contrast Detect w/Hologram AF assist
5-Area AF w/user selectable AF point
Selectable wide or narrow AF point
Autofocus 19.7" to infinity
Macro AF 1.6" minimum
13-step Manual focus
ISO Sensitivity Auto (100-400) or fixed 100, 200, 400
White Balance Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, One-Push Custom
Exposure Metering MultiPoint, Center-weighted Averaging or Spot
Shutter Priority Range 1 sec to 1/1000 sec in 31 steps
Aperture Priority Range F2.0 - 8.0 in 13 steps
Manual Exposure Yes, with EV indicator
F2.0 - 8.0 aperture in 13 steps
8 sec to 1/1000 sec shutter speeds
(Noise Reduction with 8 sec to 1/2 sec)
Program AE Auto plus Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait, Beach or Snow
Burst Mode 3 frames at 2fps
Confirm Before Write User selectable
Noise Reduction Automatic at 1/2 sec or slower
Picture Effects Black & White, Solarize, Sepia, Negative Art
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Image Sharpening +/- 2 in 1 step increments
Flash Modes Auto, Forced, Redeye, Off
Flash Level Adjustment Auto, High, Low
Flash Range 1 to 16.4 feet
External Flash Optional HVL-F32X via dedicated hot shoe or
HVL-F1000 via the ACC terminal
Color LCD 2.5-inch 123,000 pixels TFT w/backlight and solar-assist window
Eyelevel Viewfinder DSAC-MVC (optional)
Playback Zoom 1.1 to 5X in 17 steps
Playback Index 9 frames, 3 frames w/exposure info
Review / Quick Delete Yes / Yes
Trimming / Resizing Yes / Yes
MPEG Cue/Review Yes
Connections Video (NTSC or PAL), Audio, USB, AC power, ACC port
Microphone Built-in
Speaker Built-in
Power Source InfoLITHIUM NP-FM50 1180mAh rechargeable
w/AC-L10 charger & AC supply
Supplied Software Pixel ImageMixer 1.5, Sony SPVD-010 USB driver
Accessories Supplied NP-FM50 InfoLithiumĀ® Rechargeable Battery, AC-L15 AC Adaptor/In-camera Charger, A/V and USB Cables, Shoulder Strap, Lens Cap, MCR-156A CD-R Media, MCRW-156A CD-RW Media; Software CD-ROM
Dimensions 5-7/16 x 3-3/4 x 4 inches
138.5 x 95.7 x 103.1mm
Weight (w/out battery) 1lb 6oz (606 g)
OS Compatibility Microsoft Windows 98/98SE/Me/2000 pro/XP Home/XP Pro; Macintosh OS 10.1/10.2
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.





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