Sony has launched two new versions of its CD-R Mavica - a digital still camera that can record images onto CD-R or CD-RW discs. Compared to its previous model, which looked more like a video camcorder, the new camera is a lot smaller and looks much more like a conventional compact camera.
The MVC-CD 300 will be sold for around 100,000 yen (£560) and the MVC-CD 200 for around 80,000 yen (£450) in Japan from June 8. Sales in North America and Europe are expected to begin at the same time – though no details of UK pricing are currently available.
Images are stored on an 8cm CD-R/CD-RW disc, which can hold 156MB of data. The biggest advantage of using the disk instead of memory cards, like Smart Media or Compact Flash, is its cost/performance ratio – as CDs are substantially cheaper to produce than cards.
One of the main differences between the two cameras, the MVC-CD 300 and MVC-CD 200, is the CCD. The former has a 3.34 million pixel resolution and the latter has a 2.11-million pixel resolution. There are other minor differences in the lens, aperture, and shutter speed to meet users' tastes.
On an 8-centimeter CD-R disk, MVC-CD 300 users can store 81 images in fine mode and 141 images in standard mode at the highest resolution, while MVC-CD 200 users can store 132 images in fine mode and 237 images in standard mode. In movie recording mode, which is popular on many recent digital still cameras, up to 90 minutes of video at low resolution can be stored on the disk.
The new cameras have a 3x optical zoom, which is shorter than the previous MVC-CD 1000's 10x optical zoom, due to the reduction in the size of the camera. A longer zoom means a physically longer lens.