Sony has introduced two new CD Mavica digital still camera models, the MVC-CD250 and MVC-CD400; both models work just fine with Macs.
They’ll ship with a media pack of six CD-Rs and one CD-RW disc, giving each camera over one gigabyte of available storage with sequential formatting. And, with the Confirm-before-Write option, you can decide if an image is worth saving before burning it to a CD.
The two new Mavica’s improve focus and exposure features with technologies that work automatically to improve these factors including multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure modes, as well as auto focus illumination and pre-set scene modes, according to Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of the Digital Imaging Products Division at Sony Electronics. Multi-point auto focus makes sure the cameras don’t just focus on the center of the frame, he said. Instead the MVC-CD250 model automatically finds the best focus among three different areas within the picture, while the MVC-CD400 lets the photographer automatically or manually select the best focus from five separate parts of the picture.
Sony’s pre-flash exposure metering actually calculates exposure with light from the flash itself, allowing the camera to more accurately calculate exposure, Kondo said. When the picture is taken, the flash fires twice — once to illuminate the subject and determine correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible.
To provide accurate exposure in uneven lighting, multi-pattern metering divides the scene into a matrix of 49 separate cells, each of which can be metered independently. This feature calculates exposure when highlights and shadows exist outside the center of the frame, such as a beach scene with the sun in one corner and a shaded hammock in the other.
Scene mode selections instruct the camera to automatically make the necessary shutter and flash adjustments for the situation. Whether it’s a landscape, portrait, a picture taken at twilight or a portrait of a person at night, these templates let the camera do the thinking, so you don’t have to, Kondo said.
The US$600 MVC-CD250 captures images with 2.0 megapixel (effective) resolution and 3X optical / 2X digital zoom. Some new features it shares with its big brother, the MVC-CD400, include an ergonomically curved design, MPEG HQX Movie mode with audio, and a three-shot burst mode for taking photos in quick succession. The CD250 model is targeted to a non-professional audience.
Meanwhile, the $900 MVC-CD400 is targeted to pros and offers all the attributes of the CD250, and is also equipped with advanced photo-taking features. The model takes pictures with 4.0 megapixel (effective) resolution, includes a f2.0 Carl Zeiss lens and comes equipped with Hologram AF function, a Sony-exclusive laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions.
Both models are due in May.