Pre-PMA 2002: 17:01 EST: Sony has today announced two new CD Mavica digital cameras. The MVC-CD250 is a 2 megapixel, 3 x optical zoom digital camera, the MVC-CD400 is a 4 megapixel, 3 x optical zoom digital camera. Both cameras store their images directly onto 8 cm CD-R or CD-RW discs. Both cameras offer significant improvments over last years offerings, most notably the 4 megapixel sensor in the CD400, five area selectable AF (CD400), new white balance options, MPEQ HQX and a flash hot-shoe (CD400). Sony has also proved it listens to its customers by adding a 'Confirm before write' option for both of these cameras.

Click here for Imaging-Resource's MVC-CD250 review

Click here for Imaging-Resource's MVC-CD400 review

Click here for our MVC-CD400 'Quick Preview'

Press release:

SONY'S NEW CD MAVICA DIGITAL CAMERAS OFFER BETTER PICTURES AND INSTANT ARCHIVING

New Models Feature Latest Built-in Tools and More Options

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - Maximizing the benefits of writeable CD photography, Sony's two new CD Mavica digital still camera models ( MVC-CD250 and MVC-CD400), announced today, incorporate focus, exposure and archiving features that help make every picture worth keeping.

In addition to being easy-to-find, easy-to-use and long-lasting, CDs allow instant archiving of pictures - a lot of pictures. These two new CD Mavica models will be shipped with a media pack of six CD-Rs and one CD-RW disc, giving each camera over one gigabyte of available storage with sequential formatting. And, with the Confirm-before-Write option, the photographer can determine if an image is worth saving - before burning it to a CD.

Creating Images Worth Saving

Concentrating on focus and exposure - the two most important factors in capturing good images was paramount in designing these two new cameras. Integrated technologies that work automatically to improve these factors include multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure modes, as well as auto focus illumination and pre-set scene modes.

"Photographers want to concentrate on the subject, instead of having to worry about all of the other things that make a good picture an excellent one," said Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of the Digital Imaging Products Division at Sony Electronics. "With the built-in features of these new CD Mavica cameras, they can spend more time on composition and creativity."

Sharper Focus and More Accurate Exposure

Multi-point auto focus makes sure the cameras don't just focus on the center of the frame. Instead the MVC-CD250 model automatically finds the best focus among three different areas within the picture, while the MVC-CD400 lets the photographer automatically or manually select the best focus from five separate parts of the picture.

Allowing the camera to more accurately calculate exposure, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering actually calculates exposure with light from the flash itself. When the picture is taken, the flash fires twice - once to illuminate the subject and determine correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible. All of this is done effortlessly in less than a blink of an eye.

To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently. This feature calculates exposure when highlights and shadows exist outside the center of the frame, like a beach scene with the sun in one corner and a shaded hammock in the other.

Scene mode selections instruct the camera to automatically make the necessary shutter and flash adjustments for the situation. Whether it's a landscape, a portrait, a picture taken at twilight or a portrait of a person at night, these templates let the camera do the thinking, so the photographer doesn't have to.

The Camera For a Broad Range of Consumers

The MVC-CD250 captures images with 2.0 megapixel (effective) resolution and 3X optical / 2X digital zoom. Some new features it shares with its big brother, the MVC-CD400, include a solid, ergonomically curved design, MPEG HQX Movie mode with audio, and a three-shot burst mode for taking photos in rapid succession. Expected to sell for about $600, the MVC-CD250 model is positioned to introduce CD photography to anyone seeking a versatile, easy way to shoot, share and save great pictures.

The CD Mavica Camera with the Professional Edge

Not only does the MVC-CD400 offer all the advantages of CD photography and all the features of the MVC-CD250, it is also equipped with advanced photo-taking features that will appeal to the hard-to-please photo enthusiast. This new model takes pictures with 4.0 megapixel (effective) resolution, includes a bright f2.0 Carl Zeiss lens and comes equipped with Hologram AF function, a Sony-exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions.

Those who know the science of photography know that the aperture and shutter priority and manual exposure settings, included in this model, are a must. They also understand the advantage of exposure bracketing and the addition of a hot shoe for connectivity with a wide range of external flash options.

The MVC-CD400 CD Mavica camera will be available in May for about $900.

Sony MVC-CD250, MVC-CD400 specifications

  Sony MVC-CD250 Sony MVC-CD400
Street price $600 $900
ETA TBD TBD
Sensor 1/2.7" 2.11 mp CCD 1/1.8" 4.1 mp CCD
Effective 2.0 mp 4.0 mp
Lens Sony 3x F3.8 - F3.9 Carl Zeiss 3x F2.0 - F2.5
Focal len. 41 - 123 mm equiv. 34 - 102 mm equiv.
Lens thread 37 mm 52 mm with adapter
Digital zoom 2x
Native size 1600 x 1200 2272 x 1704
Other sizes 1280 x 960, 640 x 480 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
3:2 mode Yes
Manual focus 5 steps 13 steps
Auto focus Auto Multi-point 3 area Auto/Manual Multi-point 5 area
AF Illuminator Yes (Orange lamp), On/Off Hologram AF
Focus distance Norm: 50 cm (19.7 in)
Macro: 3 cm (1.2 in)
Norm: 50 cm (19.7 in)
Macro: 4 cm (1.6 in)
A/D converter 12 bit 14 bit
ISO Auto / 100, 200, 400
White bal. Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Metering Multi-Pattern / Spot Multi-Pattern / CW Average / Spot
Aperture F3.8 / F8.0 F2.0 - F8.0 (13 steps)
Shutter speed Auto: 1/30 - 1/800 sec
Night Sc: 2 - 1/800 sec
Auto: 1 - 1/1000 sec
Manual: 8 - 1/1000 sec
Manual exposure No Yes
Noise reduction Clear color / Luminance NR / Slow shutter NR
Scene modes Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Landscape Four modes
Exp. compen +/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps  
Image settings Sharpening (5 levels)  
Flash range 0.8 - 3.5 m (2.6 - 11.5 ft) 0.5 - 5.0 m (1.6 - 16.4 ft)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off (Red-Eye option)  
Flash level Auto, High, Low  
Acc shoe Cold shoe & ACC terminal Hot shoe & ACC terminal
Movie modes MPEG HQX (320 x 240, only storage limited) - With audio
Voice memo mode Yes
Multi-burst mode 16 frames on a single 1280 x 960 image, 7.5, 15 or 30 fps
Burst mode 2 fps, 3 frames
Clip motion Animated GIF
LCD 2.5" 123,000 pixel Solar Assist
Viewfinder None
Confirm before write Yes
Storage 8 cm CD-R / CD-RW (156 MB)
Supplied 1 x 8 cm CD-R (156 MB)
Connectivity USB 1.1, Video out
Power InfoLithium M, NP-FM50
Charger Included (AC-L10)
Dimensions 138 x 95 x 101 mm
(5.4 x 3.7 x 4.0 in)
Weight (loaded) 608 g (1.3 lb) 638 g (1.4 lb)

More images

Sony Mavica CD400
Mavica CD400
Sony Mavica CD250
Mavica CD250