Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: Sony has today announced two new CD Mavica digital cameras. The first is the three megapixel, three times optical zoom CD350 which has a slim profile thanks to the location of the lens / sensor unit to the side of the CD mechanism. Secondly is the black bodied five megapixel CD500. Based on the CD400 the CD500 has a five megapixel sensor and 'Carl Zeiss' three times optical zoom lens. Both cameras get the new MPEG VX 640 x 480, 16 fps movie recording mode (almost 6 minutes on a 156 MB disc). The CD350 has three area multi-point AF, the CD500 features five area multi-point AF. Other common enhancements include color saturation and contrast adjustment (at long last).

Press Release:

SONY'S TWO NEW CD MAVICA CAMERAS UNDERSCORE EASE OF USE AND PERFORMANCE

Sony CD350 and CD500

One Slims Down, the Other Dons a Different Coat, and Both Add New Features

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 24, 2002 - Compact disc-based digital photography will soon travel down both the enthusiast and the digital newcomer roads, with two new CD Mavica® digital still cameras from Sony.

The new MVC-CD350 model combines the advantages and capacity of the instant-archive CD-R/RW format with a compact size that anyone can use for go-anywhere shooting. Meanwhile, the MVC-CD500 model features advanced resolution and control flexibility, which has made CD Mavica so popular among digital photography enthusiasts.

Both models record directly to low cost, high capacity 3-inch CD-R/RW discs. They will be available in April, and will sell for around $500 and $700, respectively.

"Our strategy centers on making technology easy-to-use," said Steve Haber, senior vice president for Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Products Division. "By matching the design of these new CD Mavica cameras to a wide variety of users' tastes, more consumers will be able to enjoy the unique advantages of CD photography."

Compact Size for Go-Anywhere CD Photography

The MVC-CD350 will soon be the most compact CD Mavica camera available. Consumers will enjoy the capacity and instant archiving of CD photography in the size of a typical 35mm film camera.

The new camera sports a 3.2 megapixel imager, 3X optical zoom lens and Sony's new Smart Zoom - all of which help to easily frame shots for higher quality pictures.

Though simple enough for a novice, the MVC-CD350 model includes advanced Multi-point Auto Focus and Multi-pattern exposure systems to capture the shot properly the first time. The camera's new Auto Fill Flash function can even sense when a subject is in shadow and automatically fire the flash.

Beyond still images, the MVC-CD350's new MPEG VX mode captures full frame video clips with audio - up to six minutes continuously on a 156MB CD-R/RW disc.

Advanced Technology to Capture Advanced Images

Optimized for photo enthusiasts, the MVC-CD500 can capture extraordinary digital images. Highlighted by Sony's 5.0 megapixel Super HAD™ CCD imager, Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® lens with 3X optical zoom and direct-to-CD-R/RW sequential recording, this new model also features:

Manual Exposure Controls: Flexible exposure control is provided with aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes. For better command of motion and depth of field, Program Shift feature allows direct to various aperture/shutter speed combinations from within the auto mode

Five-area Multi-Point Auto Focus: The camera evaluates five separate areas of the frame and intelligently focuses on the subject, displaying the selected focus point, or the user can choose any of the five points for manual control.

Continuous Auto Focus: With Single, Monitoring and Continuous AF modes, the photographer can optimize focusing to the situation - especially useful for fast capturing action.

Multi-Pattern Measuring: Independently meters the light in 49 points of the frame to establish the optimum exposure, even when highlight and shadow are not centered in the frame.

Hot Shoe and ACC Terminal: Allows the user to connect Sony's HVL-F32X flash or remote controls with the ACC terminal, or synchronize other flash units or studio lighting with the Hot Shoe terminal.

Hologram AF™ Illuminator: Projects a laser pattern on the subject to artificially create contrast, even in low or no light.

Sony CD Mavica CD350 and CD500 specifications

 
Sony CD Mavica CD350

Sony CD Mavica CD500
Street price US: $500 US: $700
Sensor • 1/2.7" CCD
• RGB Color Filter Array
• 3.34 million pixels total
• 1/1.8" CCD
• RGB Color Filter Array
• 5.24 million pixels total
Effective pixel count 3.2 million 5.0 million
Image sizes • 2048 x 1536
• 2048 x 1360 (3:2)
• 1632 x 1224
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
• 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1728 (3:2)
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480, 16 fps, media limit only
• 160 x 112, 8 fps, media limit only
* All with audio
File formats • Still: TIFF, JPEG (EXIF 2.2) Fine / Standard
• Movie: MPEG 1
Lens • 3x optical zoom Sony lens
• 41 - 123 mm equiv.
• F3.8 - F3.9
• 3x optical zoom 'Carl Zeiss' lens
• 34 - 102 mm equiv.
• F2.0 - F2.5
Filter thread 37 mm 52 mm with adapter
Digital zoom * Up to 3.2x (VGA) Up to 4.0x (VGA)
Focus • 3 area Multi-Point AF
• Manual focus (5 positions)
• AF assist beam
• Continuous AF
• 5 area Multi-Point AF
• Selectable AF point
• Manual focus (13 positions)
• Hologram AF assist beam
• Continuous AF
Focus range • Normal: 50 cm (1.6 ft) - Infinity
• Macro: 10 - 50 cm (3.9 - 19.7 in)
• Normal: 50 cm (1.6 ft) - Infinity
• Macro: 4 - 50 cm (1.6 - 19.7 in)
Manual exposure None • Program AE (with program shift)
• Aperture Priority AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Manual
Metering • Multi-Pattern (49 segment)
• Spot
• Multi-Pattern (49 segment)
• Center weighted average
• Spot
Exposure compen. +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Shutter • Auto: 1/30 - 1/1000 sec
• Twilight: 1 - 1/1000 sec
• Auto: 1/30 - 1/1000 sec
• Manual: 8 - 1/1000 sec
Apertures F3.8 / F8.0 F2.0 - F8.0 (13 steps)
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Flash
• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Flash
• Manual
Picture effects • Black & White
• Solarize
• Sepia
• Negative Art
Noise reduction • Clear Color
• Clear Luminance
• Slow Shutter
Image adjustments • Sharpness
• Color saturation
• Tone
Viewfinder None
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 123,000 pixels
Live histogram No Yes
Flash • Built-In
• Modes: Auto, On, Off, Slow
• Red-Eye Reduction: On, Off
• Range: 0.5 - 2.5 m (1.6 - 8.2 ft)
• Pop-up
• Modes: Auto, On, Off, Slow
• Red-Eye Reduction: On, Off
• Range: 0.5 - 5.0 m (1.6 - 16.4 ft)
• External flash via Hot-shoe / ACC
Scene modes • Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Fireworks
• Fast Shutter
• Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
Drive modes • Single
• Burst (2 shot)
• Multi-burst (16, 320x240 images)
• Clip motion (GIF)
• Self-timer 10 seconds
• Single
• Burst (2 shot)
• Multi-burst (16, 320x240 images)
• Clip motion (GIF)
• Auto AE bracketing
• Self-timer 10 seconds
Connectivity • USB 2.0 (inc PTP)
• A/V out
Storage • 3" (8 cm) 156 MB CD-R/RW Optical Disc
• "Confirm before write" feature
• 1 x 3" CD-R (156 MB) supplied
• 1 x 3" CD-RW (156 MB) supplied
Power • Lithium-Ion InfoLithium NP-FM50
• Supplied AC adapter / charger
Dimensions 132 x 92 x 74 mm (5.2 x 3.6 x 2.9 in) 139 x 96 x 103 mm (5.5 x 3.8 x 4.1 in)
Weight (inc batt) 522 g (1.2 lb) 606 g (1.3 lb)

* Sony's new "Smart Zoom" will only allow digital zoom at lower image sizes
and only when zooming will not affect image quality