Sony Mavica FD97 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony MVC-FD97

Introduction & Physical Views

Full review posted 2/09/01

Click on the FD97 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Mavica MVC-FD97 and the MVC-FD92 are Sony's first-ever dual media digital cameras with both a 4x speed 3-1/2" floppy diskette drive and a dedicated Memory Stick card slot. The floppy disk media retains the ability to transfer and share digital images without need of special cables or card readers. The Memory Stick media expands the available image storage capability up to 88 times with the new 128MB Memory Stick card. Pictures can be copied from the Memory Stick to the floppy diskette. Image data can be downloaded quickly from the Memory Stick (or the floppy drive) thanks to the new high-speed USB port and drivers that mount the camera like a removeable drive.

The 2.11-megapixel MVC-FD97 features a powerful 10x optical zoom (39-390mm 35mm equiv) lens equipped with Sony's optical SteadyShot technology that lets you capture blur-free shots from a greater distance and in lower light conditions. The MVC-FD97 offers all of the features true photo enthusiasts enjoy: six automatic exposure modes; aperture and shutter priority modes; high-speed automatic focus and manual focus via a lens-mounted ring with a magnified view.

All of Sony's FD Mavica line uses a rechargeable InfoLithium battery with an AccuPower meter. The provided L series batteries provide a life of approximately 960 shots or 1-¼ hours, in still image standard mode. And with the Sony AccuPower meter, the battery life remaining is displayed by the minute, making unexpectedly running out of battery power a thing of the past.

Other MVC-FD97 features:

  • High-resolution eyelevel TTL color view finder
  • 12-bit A/D conversion for wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
  • Adjustable intelligent flash with Red Eye reduction, shoe mount and connector for the optional HVL-F1000 external flash;
  • 3:2 picture size ratio option -- same size ratio as a standard 4x6 film print;
  • E-Mail Mode and a date stamp function available in three display patterns;
  • Six AE modes with four white balance modes including one-push custom;
  • MPEG Movie Mode captures up to 60 seconds of motion video and audio;
  • TIFF mode for the highest possible quality image;
  • Voice Memo Mode to add narration to still images;
  • Clip Motion 10 Shot GIF Animation;
  • A/V output for displaying images and movies on TV sets;
  • USB Transfer, allowing digital camera to directly connect to PC;
  • Manual focus, pop-up flash and optical image stabilization.
The Sony Mavica MVC-FD97 will be available in March for about $900.

Physical Views

Sony MVC-FD97

Sony MVC-FD97

Sony MVC-FD97

Sony MVC-FD97

Sony MVC-FD97Sony MVC-FD97

Sony MVC-FD97 and Canon Pro90 IS

Both the MVC-FD97 and the Canon Pro90 sport 10X stabilized zoom lenses.

Continue on to
Page Two

MVC-FD97 Specifications

Imager 1/2.7" 2.11-megapixel CCD
Image Sizes Still: 1600x1200, 1600x1072 (3:2), 1024x768, 640x480
MPEG: 320x240 and 160x112
ClipMotion GIF: 160x120 and 80x72
Recording Formats Still: JPEG, TIFF, GIF
Movie: MPEG (160x112 or 320x240 @ 8fps)
A/D Conversion 12-bit DXP
Lens Sony 10X F2.8 6-60mm (39-390mm 35mm equiv)
Sony SteadyShot Image Stabilization system
52mm filter threads
Focus Contrast Detect
Autofocus 19.7" to infinity
Macro AF 1.2" minimum
Continuous manual focus with ring
ISO Sensitivity Automatic
White Balance Auto, Outdoor, Indoor, One-Push
Exposure Metering Center-weighted Averaging or Spot
Shutter Speeds 8 secs to 1/500 sec in 17 steps
Aperture Range F2.8-11 in 9 steps
Program AE Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority, Twilight, Twilight+,
Landscape, Portrait
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
In-Camera Sharpening +/- 2 in 1 step increments
Flash Modes Auto, Forced, Redeye, Off
Flash Level Adjustment Auto, High, Low
Flash Range 2 to 8.2 feet
External Flash optional HVL-F1000 on flash shoe
Color LCD 2.5-inch 123,000 pixels TFT w/backlight
Eyelevel Viewfinder color LCD, auto on/off with diopter adjustment
Playback Zoom 1.1 to 5X in 17 steps
Playback Index 9 frames
Review / Quick Delete Yes / Yes
Trimming / Resizing Yes / Yes
Image Storage 3-1/2" 4X floppy diskette, 1.44MB format
Memory Stick card slot, any capacity Memory Stick
Connections Video, USB, AC power
Battery Supplied InfoLITHIUM NP-F330
and AC-L10 charger / AC supply
Supplied Software MGI PhotoSuite 8.1, MGI PhotoSuite SE 1.1 Sony SPVD-004 USB driver
Dimensions 4-15/16 x 4-15/16 x 7-1/4 inches
Weight (w/out battery) 2lb 1.5 oz

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