Sony Mavica CD400 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony Mavica CD400

Record Screens & Menus

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

Before you can start taking pictures you need to initialize the new CD-R or CD-RW disc. These are the screens displayed during initialization which takes less than a minute.

A typical record mode screen with the shutter release halfway down, the autofocus is locked (green dot icon next to battery time), battery is near full with 149 minutes of runtime left, the flash is set to normal power, image size is 2272 x 1704 and quality is Fine, approximately enough disc space is left for 60 pictures, we're in Standard auto focus mode (no display), the aperture is F2.2 with a shutter speed of 1/50 second and the Green four corner brackets around the center indicates that the Standard Wide AF area is enabled (green indicates focus is confirmed).

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

Setting the Mode Dial to the "A"perture priority position lets you adjust the aperture value (wideangle: F2, 2.2, 2.5, 2.8, 3.2, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.6, 6.3, 7.1, 8) via the Command Dial denoted by the green icon in the lower right and the camera's exposure system will match the appropriate shutter speed (in this case 80).

The aperture controls the depth of field (range of focus), a smaller NUMBER yields a shallow depth of field and a higher number gives you a deeper depth of field. Shallow depth of field is preferred in portraits to blur out the background and when you shoot an outdoor scenic shot you could use F8 to put more in focus.

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

Setting the Mode Dial to the "S"hutter speed priority positions lets you set a given shutter speed (8 seconds to 1/1000 sec in 40 steps) and the camera will match the appropriate aperture value. You would use a high shutter speed to freeze rapid-moving subjects or use a slower shutter speed to intentionally blur them. Also note the AF Assist indicator below "min" display is activated due to the low light level shooting scene.

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

Setting the Mode Dial to "M"anual allows you to adjust both the shutter speed and the aperture value. You press in on the jog dial and move it to the shutter speed or the aperture value and press it again to change the setting. The "-2.0EV" readout acts as your exposure meter and lets you know if the current settings will produce an over, under or proper exposure.

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

The AF zone can be left in the Wide mode or you can press the FOCUS button and adjust the area you are focusing on. Choices are wide, center, left, right, bottom or top.

The focus can be automatic or you can press the FOCUS button a second time and then rotate the command dial to select any one of the following preset distance values: 0.1m, 0.2m, 0.3m, 0.5m, 0.8m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 10m, 15m or infinity.

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

Still image record mode options:

    White Balance - Automatic, Outdoor, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, or One-Push custom

    ISO - Auto or fixed at 100, 200 or 400

    Image Size - 2272x1704, 2272(3:2), 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480

    Picture Quality - Fine or Standard

    Record Mode - Normal, Burst 3, Exposure Bracketing, Email, Voice or TIFF uncompressed

    Flash Level - High, Normal or Low

    Picture Effect - None, Negative Art, Sepia, B&W, Solarize

    Sharpness - Default is 0 but may be +1, +2 or -1 or -2

Sony Mavica MVC-CD400

The CD400 features the new MPEG HQX movie mode. You can capture full motion sequences with audio at 15 frames per second. There are three different recording modes available: The length of a 320x240 HQX movie clip is limited only by available space on the CD disc and plays back full screen on the LCD or TV screen. The normal 320x240 and 160x120 movies play back in a smaller screen area, see the next page for examples.

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