Sony Mavica CD300 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony MVC-CD300

Introduction & Physical Views

First Look posted 2/28/01
Full review posted 8/10/01

Click on the CD300 to take a QuickTime VR tour

Just when it seemed like we had seen all the new cameras Sony had to offer, they go and announce two more Mavicas. The MVC-CD300 and MVC-CD200 are the latest Sony cameras to employ the spacious and economical CompactDisc storage technology. Last year's MVC-CD1000 was the first digital camera to use a miniature CD- Recorder instead of a floppy disk or a flash memory card. This year's Mavica CD300 and CD200 take that a step further, they're equipped with newly designed CD-Rewritable drives that can take both CD-R and CD-RW discs.

The CD300 and CD200 are very similar on the outside and differ by the resolution of their CCD imager (CD300 uses a 3.3-megapixel and the CD200 uses a 2.1-megapixel sensor), the lens (CD300 employs a Carl Zeiss 3x Vario Sonnar zoom and the CD200 has a Sony 3x aspherical zoom), and the CD300's rapid 3-shot burst mode and AE Bracketing feature.

Sony MVC-CD300

Both cameras use a 14-bit A/D converter allowing for more accurate capture of detail. The focusing system is equipped with an AF illuminator to adjust focus in poor lighting situations. They feature expanded manual controls - Aperture priority lets the photographer decide depth of field, or how much of the scene is in focus. Shutter priority lets the photographer choose shutter speed to freeze action appropriately and, with full-manual control, both aperture and shutter speeds can be adjusted to best fit picture needs. The InfoLithium® "M" series battery allows for up to 3,000 shots on a single charge.

Sony MVC-CD300 Features:

  • 1/1.8" 3.34 Megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480 resolution images in JPEG Normal or Fine and uncompressed TIFF formats
  • 14-bit DXP A/D converter for improved image detail
  • Records images to a 8cm Mavica CD-R or RW Disc (156MB capacity)
  • Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar 3x optical, 6x digital zoom
  • High-speed scan AF with AF illuminator light and manual focus modes
  • 2½" 123K pixel precision LCD viewfinder with solar assist window
  • 13-step Aperture priority (F2.1 to F8), 39-step shutter priority (8 to 1/1000 sec), manual exposure modes
  • ISO 100, 200, 400 and Auto
  • Center-weighted averaging and Spot metering
  • Adjustable white balance with four modes, including one-push manual.
  • 3-mode auto pop-up flash w/selectable red-eye reduction, compatible w/HVL-F1000 flash
  • 3-shot burst, AE bracketing, MPEG/MPEG HQ, Voice memo, text modes
  • JPEG, GIF, uncompressed TIFF or MPEG file formats
  • UXGA/XGA/VGA, 3:2 UXGA image resolution
  • USB transfer allows use as an external CD-R/RW drive
  • InfoLithium® rechargeable battery, AC adapter/charger supplied
The Sony MVC-CD300 has a suggested retail price of $999.

Physical Views

Sony MVC-CD300

Sony MVC-CD300

Sony MVC-CD300Sony MVC-CD300

Sony MVC-CD300

Sony MVC-CD300

Sony CD300 and CD200

The 3-megapixel Sony MVC-CD300 and the 2-megapixel MVC-CD200.

Continue on to
Page Two

MVC-CD300 Specifications

Imager 1/1.8" 3.34-megapixel CCD
Image Sizes Still: 2048x1536, 2048x1360 (3:2), 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480
MPEG: 320x240 and 160x120
ClipMotion GIF: 160x120 and 80x72
Recording Formats Still: JPEG, TIFF, GIF
Movie: MPEG EX (160x112 or 320x240 @ 8fps up to 90 secs)
MPEG HQ (160x112 or 320x240 @ 16fps preset lengths of 5, 10 15sec)
A/D Conversion 14-bit DXP
Lens Carl Zeiss 3X F2-2.5 7-21mm (34-102mm 35mm equiv)
52mm lens adapter (optional)
Focus Contrast Detect w/AF illuminator light
Autofocus 19.7" to infinity
Macro AF 1.6" minimum
13-step Manual focus
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400
White Balance Auto, Outdoor, Indoor, One-Push Custom
Exposure Metering Center-weighted Averaging or Spot
Shutter Priority Range 8 sec to 1/800 sec in 39 steps
Aperture Priority Range F2.0-8.0 in 13 steps
Manual Exposure Yes with EV indicator
Program AE Twilight, Landscape or 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 1 to 8.2 feet
External Flash Optional HVL-F1000 via ACC port and flash shoe
Color LCD 2.5-inch 123,000 pixels TFT w/backlight
and solar-assist window
Playback Zoom 1.1 to 5X in 17 steps
Playback Index 9 frames
Review / Quick Delete Yes / Yes
Trimming / Resizing Yes / Yes
MPEG 6X Cue/Review Yes, EX or HQ
Storage Supplied 8cm (3-in) CD-R and CD-RW disc
Connections Video, USB, AC power, ACC flash port
Battery Supplied InfoLITHIUM NP-FM50
w/AC-L10 charger & AC supply
Supplied Software MGI PhotoSuite 8.1, MGI PhotoSuite SE 1.1 Sony SPVD-004 USB driver
Dimensions 5-5/8 x 3-5/8 x 3-11/16 inches
143 x 92 x 94 mm
Weight (w/out battery) 22.5 oz (650 g)

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