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Optics and Resolution
The FD200's 2-megapixel sensor captures enough detail for sharp prints at sizes up to 8 by 10 inches. For the typical family photographer, 2 megapixels is a great balance between price and performance. If you want a camera with even more resolution, forget about using low-capacity floppy discs and step up to a CD-recording model instead--try Sony's MVC-CD300 or MVC-CD400.
The autofocus lens features both a 3x optical zoom and a 2x digital zoom. Remember, however, that digital zoom tends to reduce the sharpness and detail of your image, so it's a good idea to use it sparingly.
To save space, there's no traditional optical viewfinder to look through. Instead, to compose your images or review shots you've already taken, the FD200 uses a big 2.5-inch color display. The advantage to using the LCD to frame your shots is that the screen lets you see exactly the picture you'll capture. The disadvantage is that you can't turn off the screen and just use the optical viewfinder to extend battery life. Fortunately, the included rechargeable battery holds a relatively good charge.
The FD200 is clearly designed for point-and-shoot simplicity, but there are several options for more adventurous photographers, including manual focus with macro, adjustable ISO and white-balance settings, exposure compensation, and the ability to shoot black-and-white, sepia, solarized, and negative images.
The FD200 uses Sony's excellent InfoLithium battery system, which not only holds a respectable charge, but also displays on screen how many minutes of power remain. Both the battery and the charger are included. Because the battery is unique to specific Sony models and can be nearly impossible to find when on the road, we strongly recommend getting a spare if you're planning to take the camera on extended outings.
In movie mode, the camera captures silent video clips. The limited duration and resolution of your movies guarantees that this feature won't replace your camcorder, but it's perfect for when you just want to capture a quick movie and e-mail it to a friend or relative.
Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on standard floppy discs, which makes transferring pictures to your computer a snap. Take the picture, wait for the disc to stop whirring, then eject it from your camera and pop it into your computer's floppy drive. For safekeeping, it's best to transfer images to your hard drive and periodically archive your photos using a CD-R drive.
Though they're available everywhere and have become dirt-cheap, floppies aren't without their problems. First, their 1.4 MB capacity is dismal by today's standards. A 2-megapixel photo actually contains 6 MB of information, which means a disc can't hold even a single uncompressed photo. Using standard JPEG compression, only four photos fit on each disc, so plan to bring a big stack of bulky floppies on each outing. To make matters more frustrating, some new computers (iMacs, for example) don't even come with floppy drives anymore.
To get around these problems, the FD200 also includes a slot for Memory Sticks, Sony's proprietary memory-card format. A 128 MB stick is approximately one-fifth the size of a floppy disc, yet it holds around 200 images at the camera's default settings or over 20 uncompressed TIFF images. To transfer images to your computer, simply attach the included USB cable between your PC and your camera. Your computer should automatically recognize your camera and let you move the pictures to your hard drive. If you own a Sony desktop or laptop, your computer may already have a built-in Memory Stick reader.
Most folks will probably buy the Mavica for the simplicity of its floppy drive, but switch to the Memory Stick slot when on extended outings.
Size Considering the internal floppy drive and nonretracting 3x zoom lens, the Mavica is reasonably compact at 5.6 by 4.1 by 3.1 inches, though it weighs in at a hefty 19 ounces.
Contents and Recommended Accessories The package includes the camera, lithium-ion rechargeable battery, NPF-330 AC adapter-battery charger, video and USB cables, shoulder strap, and lens cap.
The camera does not come with any storage media, so you'll need either a floppy disc or a Memory Stick to start shooting. Otherwise, everything you need to get started is included in the box. To make the most of your camera, we recommend: a carrying case, a high-capacity Memory Stick or stack of floppy discs, and, for extended outings, a spare battery. Compatible accessories for this camera are listed near the top of this page. --Shane Burnett
Exactly as described, except that now Windows 7 doesn't like floppy diskettes. I loved this camera so much I bought a used one when my first one crapped out.Published 5 months ago by Colorado Bootman
This item is bulky and hard to figure out. I still haven't used it even after a few months because it is so confusing to use. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Witchy1
I've been a big fan of Sony Mavica cameras for a long time and this FD 200 is by far the best. I do have a Memory Stick but still use the floppy disks. Read morePublished 6 months ago by tom ford
Very durable camers that I use for taking pictures of inbound damaged product. Good picture, but small file sizes wihihc make it easier to email.Published 11 months ago by John Jeffcoat
Battery does not hold charge on its own, but came with a power chord, so I use the camera with the power chord attached, for indoor food-styling. That done, it works beautifully. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bonita
I have owned this camera since it first came out in 2001. It takes exceptional pictures for only 2.0 megapixels and the original lithium battery still holds a 114 minute charge... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jeffrey B. Naumann
This camera may be an old model but it works very well and is easy to operate. I love the ability of using a floppy disk - (yes, I really do still use them) and a memory stick. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Betty L. Mullins
This camera is great overall, very powerful flash, good features, good tripod mount (not that I use it that often), and most people will tell you to never use digital zoom with a... Read morePublished on September 26, 2012 by Caleb
Sure, Walmart sells this for a lot less, but this is an amazing piece of technology. I was recently informed by a friend that I could stop buying film, and just get a digital... Read morePublished on April 16, 2012 by S. R. Neidenbach