Sony Mavica CD300 Review
Features & Controls
An exceptionally sharp and fast F2.0 to F8.0 (in 13 steps) Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 3x optical zoom equivalent to a 35mm 34-102mm lens. Further enhanced with a precision 2X digital zoom.
Focus range is 19.7 inches to infinity in normal mode and down to 1.6 to 8 inches in the
macro mode. The focus is either automatic or manually via presets for 01.m,
0.2m, 0.3m, 0.5m, 0.8m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 10m, 15m or infinity.
The autofocus is assisted by an AF illuminator in dim to dark lighting. It can be
enabled or disabled in the Setup menu. As you can see it greatly enhances the view
through the LCD viewfinder too, those are the wires behind my PC, shot in
almost total darkness.
We wondered how long it would take before we saw the miniature CD-Recorder drive
show up on another Sony digicam. Well, here it is - just like the
Mavica CD1000 it writes to the smaller 3-inch (8cm) discs with a capacity of
156MB and cost about $3.00 each.
Now here's the twist -- the Mavica CD300 and CD200 employ a new optical drive
that can record to both CD-R and CD-RW (rewritable) 3-inch discs. The capacity is
156 megabytes per disc.
The CD300 does not come with an optical viewfinder but you can add one as an optional
accessory if desired. Pictured here is the
DSAC-MVC, a clip-on, eyelevel
finder/magnifier for the CD300 or CD200 Mavicas.
It features a real optical system
complete with diopter adjustment. The DSAC-MVC magnifies the LCD and makes
the manual focus adjustment really useable. It will be available for $79.95.
The built in flash has modes for automatic, redeye reduction, forced on (fill) and
disabled. It automatically "pops up" when it is needed.
Need more flash power then attach an optional HVL-F1000 flash on the
accessory shoe and connect it into the ACC jack on the side. Besides greater
flash range the HVL-F1000 also gives you the benefits of bounce flash illumination.
Located on top of the camera is the microphone, shutter release and the combination
Mode Dial and Power switch. The Mode Dial has operating positions for SETUP, SCeNe
(quick selection of Twilight, Landscape or Portrait depending on how it is configured
in the Setup menu), Manual, Aperture-priority, Shutter speed-priority, Program AE,
Playback and Movie.
Above the color LCD on the back are control buttons for Focus (press to activate
manual focus, adjust with the jog dial), exposure compensation (like the Focus,
press to activate and dial in the value with the jog dial), spot metering
on/off and the AE LOCK to hold the exposure value while you re-compose your picture.
On the upper right hand corner of the back is the zoom control rocker switch, it also serves as the index and zoomed playback control when in review mode. The Jog Dial Navigator is used to select shutter speeds, aperture values or manual focus distance presets.
The 4-way selector switch navigates and makes selections from the menus. When the menu isn't enabled the 4-way switch is used for setting the flash mode, enabling macro focus or the self-timer mode. Pressing the "left" portion of the 4-way switch allows you to review the last picture recorded.
The MENU button enables the onscreen menu system. The DISPLAY button (not shown but
located below the color LCD) turns the color
LCD on/off and also controls the data overlays on the screen in record and playback.
Between the 4-way selector and MENU buttons is the speaker for audio
playback and camera sounds.
The ACC jack allows connection to an optional Sony HVL-F1000 flash unit that can be mounted on the accessory shoe on top of the camera.
Behind a small hinged door on the side is the high-speed USB data port and the
A / V Out port that carries both a monoraul audio and video signal, the video format
is user-selectable for NTSC or PAL.
The battery is a Sony "M" series NP-FM50 InfoLITHIUM rechargeable 7.2v "battery with a brain" -- it tells you on the LCD exactly how many minutes of runtime is left. Supplied with a combination battery charger and AC power adapter (AC-L10) that plugs into the DC input jack on the back of the camera.
For faster charging out of the camera you can purchase the optional AC-VQ800 ($150) external AC charger for the NP-FM50 battery packs.
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