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Offering an effective resolution of 4 Megapixels, the MVC-CD400 builds on the cornerstone concepts of quality, compatibility, capacity, and user friendliness. The advent of CD-RW means that its capacity is increased many times over by the ability to erase and re-record the disc. The MVC-CD400 is supplied with over 1GB of storage in the form of a special Gigapack, which includes six CD-R discs as well as one CD-RW. Compared with other storage media, CD-ROM/R/RW is inexpensive and enables users to build up large image archives that can be stored and accessed very easily. When connected to a PC, the cameras can operate as an external CD-RW drive.
'The last three years have seen Sony Digital Mavica evolve to incorporate new storage media and, at the same time, offer consumers an easy-to-use and high-quality digital camera,' said Adam Williams, Product Manager Sony Digital Imaging UK. 'More and more businesses are seeking to integrate digital photography within their day-to-day operations, and this model seeks to meet their needs. The MVC-CD400 benefits from all the advantages of the first generation models as well as integrating advanced features that will attract a broad audience of business users and photographic enthusiasts.'
image processing aids business users
In developing the MVC-CD400, Sony has focused on automation, enabling the user to take better pictures more quickly and more easily. A number of advanced image processing systems filter out noise and artefacts to produce a crisp, bright image with great colour resolution and natural shading across the entire image. One such processing system - Clear Colour Noise Reduction - analyses colour frequency of an image and smoothes out the distortion caused by prolonged exposure, creating a natural tone reproduction in those areas where colour is flat such as in skies and seas, skins and different textures.
At the same time, the Clear Luminance NR feature is a filter that smoothes the transitions between diverse luminance signal areas where there are significant and sudden changes in light levels. This makes the image appear crisper and cleaner with greater contrast. It also improves detail in areas where light levels are flat, avoiding noise that could be confused with the details of the picture: using Clear Luminance NR, noise is removed and details are only those created by the object and not by the lighting.
Hologram AF technology helps improve image focusing in dark and low contrast conditions. Press the shutter release button half way and a laser detects the edges of the subject and focuses on them. An improved auto white balance system has expanded the number of pre-configured modes by two and an additional scene selection mode ensures stunning shots of subjects and backgrounds in twilight conditions. A new hot shoe enables users, for the first time on a Sony camera, to adapt the camera to operate a standard synchronisation flash system.
When taking a picture in low lighting conditions, the subject might be less visible on the LCD screen. A new feature that helps in this area is Advanced LCD Monitoring. With this new system, when framing the subject, the gain is automatically adjusted so that the user can check the object using the LCD monitor. When shooting the picture, the camera resets the object with normal gain.
A new multi burst recording feature is a strong asset for action photographers with the ability to shoot 16 images within a single JPEG file. Any scene - from a golf swing to a somersault - is captured in its entirety. Multi point auto focus simplifies shooting, even when the main subject is not positioned in the centre of the screen. Also, multi pattern metering allows brightness to be registered in 49 regions of the screen, with this information used to determine the optimum exposure.
the moving image
One step further in to action photography is the new MPEG Movie HQX facility which lets users record long segments of full motion video and audio directly on to the CD-ROM. Up to approximately 6 minutes of data can be stored on a standard CD-R/RW disc.
PC-based editing of videos on the MVC-CD400 is straightforward using Pixela's Image Mixer software, which is bundled with the camera. With this intuitive PC-based system, users can easily drag and drop segments into a story line, set 'in' and 'out' for editing material, and combine edited material into a single movie.
The MVC-CD 400 will be available in the UK from June 2002 and estimated pricing is around 900.