Sony MVC-CD300 Review
The CD300's macro focus mode is toggled by pressing the dedicated macro button (down arrow on the 4-way controller). As expected macro focus ability is about the same as the S70/S75, the best frame cover was found at about half zoom.
The CD300's pop-up flash appears to be the same as found on the S75/S70. Compared to the S70, we got better skin-tone reproduction, cleaner colour balance without any colour cast and relatively good power (which we found in our S75 review). Again, the a ability to control flash output by +/-1 level is very useful.
Here's an interesting note: although the CD300 normally allows you to take the next shot before it's finished writing the last shot to the CD it won't if it's a flash shot, it simply refuses to take the shot until the ACCESS light has gone out on the CD, this could be associated with the amount of power required to write to the CD not being available to recharge the flash or perhaps potential interference between the flash and the CD writing mechanism...
|Skin-tone test, very good performance||Coverage test, fairly good, slight drop off at corners||Colour chart test, excellent results, good colours no colour cast|
|Flash output Low (-)||Flash output Normal||Flash output High (+)|
The CD300 features the new lower bitrate MPEG modes found on the S75, unfortunately due to the limitations of CD-R/RW it can't write these to the CD in realtime which means we don't see MPEG EX silk-screened on the outside of the camera. Instead these lower bitrates have lead to longer clip lengths (except at 320 HQ which is still 15 seconds). Here's breakdown of the available MPEG video modes (all include audio recording):
- MPEG 320 HQ - 16 fps max clip length: 15 secs
- MPEG 320 - 8 fps max clip length: 1 minute
- MPEG 160 - 8 fps max clip length: 4 minutes
Twilight Scene Mode
For taking pictures at night the CD300's twilight scene mode pushes the cameras sensitivity to ISO 160 and allows for longer exposures. I personally preferred the flexibility of manual exposure mode (M) to choose my long exposure but Twilight mode is certainly easier for the novice.
|Twilight Scene mode, ISO 160, F2.1, 2.0 sec|
|Manual Exposure mode, ISO 100, F3.5, 8.0 sec|
Apart from the occasional focusing error (AF illuminator disabled - at that range!) the CD300 produced very nice, clean long exposures with lots of detail and very little noise (and certainly no visible "stuck pixels"). Definitely a better performance than the S70.
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