Sony have had a strong grip on the digital camera market for several years now. So, what's been the reason they've done so well? The decision to use floppy disks as the storage medium. Now ask any reviewer what storage medium he'd most like in a digital camera and floppy disk would probably be the last thing in the world. However for the average user the convenience of being able to store images on virtually cost-less floppies and just pop them into any standard 3.5" floppy drive has been the key to making digital cameras easy for them.
Sony, however, have faced a dilemma. The only way to get a decent number of images onto a floppy disk is to heavily compress the JPEG file, on the older Mavica's this was less of a problem (due to pixel count) but as things have progressed up to the FD-95 with 2.1 megapixels it's becoming increasingly difficult to maintain image quality at the same time as storing more than two or three images on a disk...
How to solve this dilemma? What's the next most common storage medium shared amongst many computers? CD-ROM... But to put a full size CD-R writer in a digital camera wouldn't be feasible (trust me, this camera is big enough already!)
So, 8 cm CD-R discs... Wacky, but it may just work. These little CD-R's offer 156 MB of storage per disc, are relatively cheap (and available if you know the suppliers). This would mean that Sony could boost the image quality by using a less aggressive compression yet still maintain the Mavica's convenience in being able to just pop the disc into a standard CD-ROM drive...
There have to be some drawbacks, right? Well, yes, first off there's the physical size of the camera. If you're used to the FD-91 or FD-95 then that probably won't bother you. If your other camera is a Canon S100 Digital ELPH / IXUS then you'll probably think the CD1000 is a little on the large size.
Secondly there's the inability to delete images (you can delete but you don't get any space back) or rewrite discs (though considering the price/MB it's a relatively small price to pay). Once you take a shot you can't delete it, you can't even preview it before it's written to the CD-R (which I'd mark down as a drawback). Lastly you can't use the disc in a standard CD-ROM drive until its been "finalised", the first finalise uses 13 MB of space, each following finalisation takes 4.5 MB
You can however read the discs without finalising on a CD-RW drive with DirectCD installed.
The FD-91's 14 x optical zoom lens (equiv. to 518 mm on a 35 mm camera) became legendary amongst Mavica owners, an optical marvel in its zoom ability (if not in overall image quality) it was loved and hated almost equally amongst owners and reviewers. With the FD-95 and now the CD1000 Sony toned things down a little, just a 10 x optical (370 mm on a 35 mm camera), knowing that using a higher resolution CCD would but larger requirements on the quality of the image coming through the lens.
The FD-91's distinctive stablisation bulge is still there, offering great image stablisation essential for shooting at such long focal lengths.
It's interesting to note that in recent months other manufacturers have expressed an interest (or released) in digital cameras with long zooms. Canon recently announced an OEM 10 x stablised lens system which could be used in other cameras (and perhaps their own?), Olympus announced and are in the process of releasing the C-2100UZ which features a 10 x stablised lens and Fujifilm's new 4900Z features a 6 x optical zoom lens.
In a recent poll carried out on this site 12% of respondents placed a large zoom as the most important feature of a digital camera which came third to 22% who voted for pixel count and 50% who voted for a high quality lens. So most people would be looking for a 6 - 10 x optical zoom with very high quality glass... Not much to ask for ;-)
Images have appeared which claim to show Nikon's forthcoming D850 DSLR, the development of which was announced this week. If genuine, the pictures indicate that the D850 will offer illuminated controls and a tilting LCD screen, but no built-in flash.
To celebrate the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 lens' successful Kickstarter campaign, Lomography has announced a chrome-plated version of the lens in Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts.
Nikon just released four new firmware updates, adding features and fixing bugs in the D600, D610, D750 and the KeyMission 80.
It probably hasn't made your landscape photography bucket list just yet, but there's a good reason to visit Idaho. Here are 9 must-visit locations in this beautiful state.
Oops... Adobe accidentally leaked their unfinished Lightroom-powered cloud-based photo editor 'Project Nimbus' to some Creative Cloud users yesterday.
Storm chaser and award-winning photographer Mike Oblinski just released his latest time-lapse, and it is absolutely stunning.
Looking to level up your video capture capabilities without buying a whole new camera? Blackmagic's Video Assist 4K is well worth considering, despite a few flaws and its lack of 4K/60p support.
We're big fans of Fujifilm's fast-growing GFX system, and the GF 110mm F2 lens is no exception. Positioned as the system's classic portrait lens, its optics are just as impressive with non-human subjects as well.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.