Sony Mavica CD500 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony Mavica CD500

Features & Controls

An exceptionally sharp F2.0-2.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar all glass 3x optical zoom equivalent to a 34-102mm lens in 35mm format. Further enhanced with a precision 4x digital Smart Zoom feature.

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 0.1m, 0.2m, 0.3m, 0.5m, 0.8m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 10m, 15m or infinity.

52mm filters or the Sony VCL-MHG07A 0.7X or VCL-ES06A 0.6X wide angle lenses can be used with the optional VAD-S70 lens adapter.

Sony MVC-CD500

The CD500 features a 5-area high-speed scan auto focus and the Sony exclusive Hologram AF focusing assist system to insure properly focused pictures in low light / low contrast or total darkness. This auto focus system was first employed on the Sony F707 and uses a Class 1 laser to paint a grid pattern on the subject, it's perfectly safe even when aimed directly at someone's eyes.

Sony MVC-CD500

The CD Mavicas are equipped with a miniature CD-Recorder drive that uses fairly inexpensive 3-inch (8cm) mini-CD discs. These drives have proven to be more than rugged enough to stand up to the day to day use of digi-photographers.

Sony MVC-CD500

The optical drive can record to both CD-R (write once) and CD-RW (rewriteable) 3-inch discs. The capacity is approx. 156MB for these discs.

Sony MVC-CD500

Sony MVC-CD500

The CD500 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 any of the CD Mavica models.

Sony MVC-CD500

It features a real optical system complete with diopter adjustment. The DSAC-MVC magnifies the LCD and makes the manual focus adjustment really useable. The back opens to allow viewing the LCD directly when desired. They cost $79.95.

Sony MVC-CD500Sony MVC-CD500

The built in flash has modes for automatic, redeye reduction, forced on (fill) and disabled. It automatically "pops up" when it is needed. On top is a flash hot shoe with dedicated contacts for the new Sony HVL-F32X programmable TTL flash.

Sony HVL-F1000

You can also attach the optional Sony HVL-F1000 flash on the accessory shoe and connect it to the ACC jack on the side.

Sony MVC-CD500

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 (Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Portrait, Beach or Snow), Manual, Aperture-priority, Shutter speed-priority, Program AE, Playback and Movie.

Sony MVC-CD500

Below the color LCD is the DISPLAY button - turns the LCD backlight on/off and controls the data overlays on the screen. The AE LOCK holds the exposure while you re-compose your picture (resets automatically after one focus confirmation). Focus (press to activate manual focus or to change the AF area, adjust with the jog dial). Exposure compensation (change the value with the jog dial). The far right button lets you change image size and in review mode it is used to delete images.

To the right of the LCD are the zoom control buttons which function as the index and zoomed playback control in review mode. The Jog Dial Navigator is used to select shutter speeds, aperture values or focus options. The 4-way selector for navigating menus and selecting images in review mode. It's also used for setting flash mode, enabling macro focus or self-timer mode. Pressing the 4-way to the "left" lets you to review the last picture recorded. The MENU button enables the onscreen menu system. Next to the MENU button is the speaker for audio playback and camera sounds.

Sony MVC-CD500

The ACC jack allows connection of an optional Sony HVL-F1000 flash unit or a remote control.

Behind a small hinged door on the side is the high-speed USB 2.0 data port.

The A / V Out port that carries both a monaural audio and video signal, the video format is user-selectable for NTSC or PAL.

Sony MVC-CD500

The CD500 is powered by a Sony NP-FM50 InfoLITHIUM rechargeable 7.2v "battery with a brain" -- it tells you on the LCD exactly how many minutes of runtime is left. Sony claims a recording runtime of 110 minutes (220 shots) in 5M mode, 130 minutes of movie recording time and 160 minutes of review time.

The camera comes 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 charging out of the camera you can purchase the optional BC-TRM Compact Charger ($60) for travelling or the BC-VM50 Portable AC Charger ($60) or the AC-SQ950D ($150) external AC rapid charger / AC power supply for one or two NP-FM50 battery packs.

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