Sony Mavica FD-200 review
Paired with a Microsoft TV Photo Viewer, the FD200 lets me take unlimited images at virtually no cost when compared with film (about 30 pictures on each 25 cent floppy--less than a penny per picture!). There's no computer to hassle with, I can make disk copies in-camera to share with others, and the results for my application are superb. In direct comparison with my previous digital camera, a Leica Digilux 1, I prefer the FD200's color rendition (more natural-looking blue skies and backlit grass); the Sony also shows less digital noise at all ISO speeds and is equally sharp at the VGA resolution I shoot at for use in the tv photo viewer.
The size and weight of the camera suit my hands very well (I have a pocket-camera that has its place, but the FD200 is much easier to hold steady and compose images with), and the ergonomics are excellent with well laid out controls and dedicated buttons for the most-used functions so you don't have to navigate the menu system to access them.
Macro focusing to a little over an inch is great fun; shutter speeds to 2 seconds in twilight plus mode has given me some great flash-free pictures in relatively dim places (like museums); the memory stick option lets me shoot at higher resolutions and with less compression for those images I know I will want to get a large print of, or for those I will want to crop and/or do some post-processing with (like digitizing old, color-shifted slides).
The one feature left off that I wish had been included is the ability to select the level of jpeg compression. It would be nice to be able to shoot directly to the memory stick (quieter, faster, less battery drain, higher capacity) and then use the copy feature to group and transfer images to floppy disks later; however, the camera will only use "fine" compression when shooting to the memory stick, limiting the number of images transferrable to a floppy to about 10. Oh well, there's also something to be said for arriving home with the floppies already completed, labeled, and ready to enjoy.
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|Jul 8, 2005|