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Design

The CD200 is virtually identical to it's sibling the CD300, the only physical exterior differences are a different livery (white-silver/blue case) and the lens surround which is 5 mm (1/10") shorter, it's also worth noting that the CD200's lens doesn't extend, so powered on the lens protrusion is a total of 20 mm (4/5") less than the CD300.

Otherwise we have the same control and ergonimical features we saw on the CD300, the new jog-dial which can be used to change settings in various exposure modes, the same exposure dial used on the CD300 and S75, the zoom controller made from two distinct buttons and the new (and much improved) power switch. Obviously the CD-R/RW transport itself dominates the shape of the camera, a large circular bulge on the left side of the camera (front on).

The flash hot-shoe, without any connections is designed to take Sony's HVL-F1000 external flash which must be connected to the camera via a cable to the "ACC" connector on the side of the camera.

My main gripe with the physical design of the CD200 is that the hand grip doesn't feel substantial enough on this relatively large camera. Otherwise controls fall nicely under your thumb and there's plenty of grip positions on the left of the camera for your other hand. As we noted with the CD300 the CD200 has a quality feel with no creaks or rattles, it solid and all the controls have a good responsive, satisfying feel.


Main LCD Display

The main LCD on the CD200 is a 2.5", 123,000 pixel Hybrid type, it has a clear window in the top which diffuses sunlight into the screen allowing you to turn off the backlight and thus save battery life.

Good news too is that the LCD live view provides 99% frame cover which means whatever you frame on the screen (edge to edge) will be what you get in the final image.

If you miss the viewfinder Sony now have a new adapter (product name DSAC-MVC) it's a clip-on eye-level finder/magnifier for the LCD. Has a real optical system with diopter adjustment. Expected retail price is $80.


Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the CD200 is in the hand grip, the access door (another well built metal spring hinged component) is found in the base and contains one of Sony's truly impressive InfoLithium NP-FM50 batteries (the same as used in the CD300/S70/S75), this provides a huge 1200mAh at 7.2V (8.5Wh) which translates into nearly 2 hours of non-stop shooting (mixed use of the LCD). The battery charges in-camera, simply connect the provided charger/AC adapter to the camera's DC-IN connector and the small yellow charge light on the rear of the camera will glow while the battery is charging (it goes out once the battery is fully charged).


Connections

On the left side of the camera we find a solid plastic door with a slightly fragile rubber hinge and behind which lurk the mini-USB connector and AV output terminal, just above the door is the ACC connector for connection to a proprietary Sony accessory (such as the HV-FL1000 flash unit).

On the bottom right corner of the camera is the DC-IN connector for connection to the provided AC adapter / charger. Again Sony chose to use an all rubber door with a rubber hinge, not my favourite and not likely to last well.


CD compartment

About three quarters of the back of the camera actually hinges open to reveal the CD mechanism, the sprung spindle grips the 8cm CD-R's. To change discs simply clip a in new one and close the door. Once more kudos to Sony for making this simple but implementing it in a high quality manner, the hinges themselves are strong and smooth and should provide years of trouble free use.

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