257 of 260 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2003
First i want to dispell any misconceptions: just because this is a CD-based digicam does not mean it's big, slow, loud, and a battery hog. It's not exactly tiny, but it's not huge either. It's about the same size as a 35mm SLR with a small normal lens. It's as fast, if not faster, than digicams without moving parts. You can't hear the disc spinning unless you're in a quiet room and you actually put your ear up to the camera and listen carefully. The rechargeable battery that comes with it lasts over 2 hours easy (or well over 200 shots). Not bad for a cam with a CD burner and a huge LCD.
Carl Zeiss lens. Name brand lens known among professionals for its high quality.
Big fat beautiful LCD. Its impressive. Several people can gather around and watch movies or images taken with the camera.
It can record movies. I know a lot of digicams can do this as a bonus feature, but lets face it no one uses this feature because most digicams [are bad] at taking movies. NOT THIS ONE. it takes very good movies. so you'll actually use the movie feature. about 6 min of video (640x480) with audio on a 156MB CD. There is a good mic and good speaker (for playback).
The MENUS ARE GREAT. A lot of people overlook this detail. What do i mean? well, digicams use menus for changing settings. with most of them, the menus are confusing and stupid. like you have to dig through 2 submenus and hit ok 5 times before you can change the image size/resolution. not this camera! the menus are clear and simple and there are no submenus! even a novice can pick this up and figure it out without studying an instruction manual. for example: to change image size/resolution you simply hit the image size button push up or down (theres 5 different sizes) then thats it. also there buttons for commonly used things like changing flash mode and switching to macro (close up) mode. i also love the jog dial. this is for manual focus as well as for changing the shutter speed and aperture on the fly WITHOUT ANY... MENUS! you have to actually use the camera to appreciate how important this is.
the infolithium battery that comes with it is nice. it tells you EXACTLY how much time you have left (like 113min instead of a stupid little meaningless battery icon). if you want another battery, (strongly recommended) its expensive though. it's nice to be able to use the camera without constantly worrying about how much battery life is remaining.
CD-RW discs cost next to nothing. its very cool to be able to take a disc out and pop it into any computer to view images. it comes with usb cable and a/v cable for tv viewing. no remote control though :-(
the built-in flash is very good. range is little over 16feet. not bad at all for built-in. there's a hot shoe if youre hardcore and want to get a bigger flash.
expensive proprietary rechargeable batteries and no streaming USB. whats streaming USB? with it you can hook up a digicam to your computer and use it as a webcam on steroids. not many digicams have this feature though. WHY?????????
you will not be disappointed with this camera. now click yes this review was helpful! >:O
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2004
I am a professional radiographer and photographer (25 years now) and I used both the Sony CD500, CD400, CD350, CD300, as well as a Nikon Coolpix for field research x-raying mummies in Peru. This means the cameras were pushed hard.....blowing sand, huge contrast ranges, high resolution radiographs needed, fast manual control of radical light conditions, etc.....essentially most of the tough conditions and imaging requirements you can imagine. Here's what I found:
The Sony Mavica CD500 & 300 beat them all. It's not the most expensive or the best resolution but we all thought it did the best job.
Mavica CD500: best of all....resolution, reasonable recording time, great image control for exposure, close-ups, better controls, pretty much everything
Mavica CD400: best resolution but extremely slow recording time made it impossible to work with most of the time....the CD300 often got 3-4 shots while the 400 was recording one.
Mavica CD350: not enough manual control for us, but usually got great images on automatic....some problems with exposure range for close-ups though
Mavica CD300: not the best resolution, but now that I've done some prints for publication from it's highest res setting I will not be buying any more 400s....just not a significant enough difference,
plus it's not as heavy or bulky.
Nikon Coolpix: not in the running by comparison with the Sonys....although it is more lightweight....we are buying mini CDs for 33 cents each in bulk... and getting 140-180 high res
images per CD.....they are so easy to format, initialize, and copy on any CD burner that I can't believe we even considered using memory stiks, or USB downloads.
The best features are common to both the Sony Mavica CD300 and 400 series though.....manual control of the images, excellent close up abilities, decent wide angle (which can be enhanced with add-on lenses if necessary), and both rapid video and automatic functions with night focusing for flash, etc., etc.
Finally! There is a great digital camera!
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2003
I purchased this camera as a replacement for a Sony Mavica about 4 years old. I had a really good experience over those 4 years with the other Mavica.
Wanting to take advantage of the current technology in digital photography, I don't think I could have chosen better.
The quality of the 5mp photos is outstanding. This is a digital photograph that can really compete with film photography. I can't say enough about the clarity and detail that this captures. You'll have to see it to believe it.
I was able to install the software on my Windows XP home edition after a very quick phone call to the software mfg which is listed on the envelope. For XP - don't download the first driver on the list of options. The second option - Image Maker - is the only one you need and it installs fine. You see - the first option on the list isn't needed for Windows XP.
The storage on mini-CD's is perfect...and a much cheaper alternative to having film developed. With the USB connection, no need to remove the disc or finalize it until it is full.
In only 24 hours - I know this was a great decision. You'll love it!
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2003
I went looking for a camera to use so I didn't have to pay huge amounts of money for photocopies doing archival research. This is by far absolutely the best camera I could find, and I've been using it for everything lately, not just the research. Combined with a photo printer (fairly cheap anymore) you can't go wrong.
I thought it would be bigger, but it's actually very comfortable to hold and not that heavy.
The battery lasts forever (actually about 3 hours).
With the cd-burning piece, you don't need to download your pictures to a computer. mini cd-rs are very cheap and hold about 200 MB (depending on the size of the pictures between 50-400 pictures).
The 5 MP resolution allows you to zoom in on a document so you can damn near analyze the ink content.
The menus are easy to figure out, even for slow kids like me.
None yet, except for maybe the zoom - it's only a 3-power, but I don't need much more than that.
I haven't used the USB connection at all, because I DON'T HAVE TO! (CD-Rs are awesome).
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2003
This excellent camera takes terrific photos. With Windows XP & USB 2.0, I was taking photos and viewing them on my PC within minutes of opening the box, although I see that some of the more advanced features will take me a while to master. I chose this particular camera for 3 reasons; my previous experience with a Sony Mavica, the 5MP quality and the mini-CD.
I frequently wish to access the images on my PC after taking only a very few photos, so I quickly learned that "finalizing" the CD-RW each time before inserting it into the PC is impractical (I was unaware of this step prior to purchase, but it is necessary for the PC's CD drive to read it). Not to worry! Using the USB cable, (no drivers required for Windows XP/USB 2.0) the images are accessible immediately, so you can wait until the CD is full & finalize just once. Of course, you would want to wait until a CD-R was full before finalizing it anyway.
Amazon's product description of the camera's features is excellent, so I don't need to restate them all here. I am pleased with my purchase of this camera and recommend it highly to others.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2003
The Sony Mavica CD500 is a fine digital camera. I've enjoyed using it very much. Once you learn the controls, you can almost effortlessly take great photos. On many occasions people have remarked how clear the photos are. The high quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar glass lens and 5.0 megapixel resolution see to that!
The camera is smart enough to adjust itself for most lighting situations. If you must, you can manually set the camera to get the effect you want. The large, bright, clear color LCD screen on the back of the camera works very well - it seems to be "what you see is what you get". There is no problem viewing the image in bright daylight.
Besides the high resolution and fine lens, the BIG selling point for me was the built in 3-inch CD drive. Being able to store approximately 50 snaphots at the highest resolution setting is just fantastic. No more film to buy or have processed. I bought a 5-pack of 210MB CD-RW disks for $10. Compare that to the expensive, low capacity memory sticks that other digital cameras require and it's a no brainer.
Once the CD is full, I connect the Mavica to my Macintosh with the USB cable, download the pictures into iPhoto and that's all there is to it. Then I use the format function of the camera to erase the CD-RW and I'm ready to use the same CD thousands of times!
I love the feel of the camera as it simply oozes quality. It doesn't fit in your shirt pocket, but since it's packed with so many features that's okay by me. I bought it here at Amazon and got it at a great price.
I would like the Mavica CD500 even better if it had a 10X optical zoom rather than just a 3X. But even with a 3X zoom I can get outstanding results. I've had the camera for over a month now and I'm still pleased with this purchase.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2004
I love the camera and all the features . I don't miss 35 mm as much as I thought I would with this camera . I love that you can just click and e-mail right away . One problem is that I used the mavica discs and found them to be great , but expensive . So I did what every one else did , used a cheaper disc , not Mavica . They worked for a while but now , won't work at all .It won't intialize or finalize . They were not kidding when they warn that other discs will damage your camera . I called Sony and they tell me this is what happens . I have a useless camera now , it won't even work with the Mavica disc. I can still see all the already recored disc from the past but can't make any new . It's ashame because the camera takes the best digital pictures i have seen .They need to work on this since you can't even find the mavica disc in my area .Thanks alot Sony .
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2003
This camera is great. This camera is loaded with features that can make even a novice look like they know what they are doing. If you are new to photgraphy, the auto settings make taking quality photos easy. If you are already an expert, the many adjustable settings allow for needed tweaking for special effects and different environmental conditions.
The camera uses pocket CD-R/CD-RW's which are the three inch version of a tyical CD. With a little effort one can find these CD's for very low prices at stores that carry computer products. The pocket CD's work in almost every PC with a CD-ROM drive and are handy to pass around between friends. For the cost of other types of digital media it is possible to buy hundreds of pocket CD'S.
Overall, this camera spans the gap between novice and expert, new guy to old pro, and makes photography fun again. No waiting for prints and no need to sit around wondering if your shot turned out like you had hoped. Instant gratification, who could ask for more?
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2005
My late husband loved digital photography. When he passed away, I looked at this Sony camera sitting on the shelf and decided I was going to learn to use it. I'm not a technical person so I can't go into all the technicalities of the cells, apertures, etc. that so many other people speak about.
But what I CAN tell you is that I started an online website, Atlanta Vintage Jewelry dot com, and all the pictures there (over 1400 so far) have been taken with this camera. I found it relatively easy to learn (with the help of the instruction book). It has great features, close-up capabilities, various white balances, spot metering, timer, and such that I use regularly.
My graphics program is Photoshop. After taking the pics, the camera simply connects to my PC, and after reading the CD source in the camera I can import them right into the program for editing. It also has a threaded lens so it accepts filters and additional lenses, if needed.
I love this camera. My husband also had some other camera brands (i.e. Olympus) and after working with them, I chose this Sony as my favorite. Bulky? A little. But it's immaterial.
The only negative I can say is that you have to keep the camera steady once you've snapped the picture until the red light goes out (writing info to the interior disc). Otherwise the data may not show up. To virtually eliminate this problem, I now use a tabletop tripod and the camera's timer.
I've taken self portraits successfully. It takes great distance shots. I've only changed the little CD once, and they're relatively inexpensive compared to memory sticks. The camera has a built in flash but also a hot shoe to accept bounce flashes or whatever.
I like it and I think you will, too.
Gail Gupton, Author: 'The 31-Day Diet of Spiritual Enlightenment', and 'Seekers of Truth'.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2004
I have been using this camera for about a few months now and I love it. The picture quality, with 5 mega pixels is amazing. The detail and colors that come through are great, much more than what I would expect for a digital camera. There is so much you can do with the camera and still have not learned everything.
I was concerned when I purchased this camera that it would take long before you could take one picture to the next- due to the CD burner. I read in someone's review that this was a problem with them. I have not have had any such problem and I am able to take a picture right after another. It appears it stores the photo within an internal memory if it is still recoding the prior on the CD. I also love the fact you can store so many photos on single CD which I can buy for less than 50 cents a cd.
I also enjoy using the movie mode to capture videos. Although it is not the quality of a camcorder, the quality is pretty decent and you can record about 6 minutes on a 210mb 3 inch cd-r. I would be careful not to have the lens zoomed when recording because it seems to lessen the video quality. You also can not zoom in or out while in the video mode.
I would also be careful when buying accessories for this camera. I bought two filter and the adapter that attaches to the camera and I think they are great because I can protect the lens. I also bought the starter accesory kit which includes the carrying bag, an extra battery and 3 CD-RW. I believe I purchased this for 60 dollars. If you factor in the price for the battery and the CDs, it is a little over 60 dollars so I thought this was a deal because I was getting a camera case as well. Unfotunately the case just fits the camera (and it is a VERY SOFT case- so do not expect it to protect it if you tend to be rough) but now it no longers fits in with the adapter/filter attchment. That is something to be careful about.
One other point is the LCD screen. It is very large and I think it goes great with the camera. There is no viewfinder though and it can be a little difficult to see if there is bright sunshine on the screen, although it does work well outside. There is also an atchment sold for this where you can use a view finder. I plan on purchasing that as well in the future.
The zoom on the lens is only 3x. Although I would prefer more it still is great.
As my last note, between the camera itself and the attachments I have, it is large. Some people have complained about the size of the camera. It is about the size of a small SLR camera. If you are looking for something small, don't purchase this one, go with a simple point and shoot. Yet, if size is not an issue and you want a great camera than this is the way to go. I bought this camera for 450- on sale. I would definitely wait and look around before shelling out 600 which most places have this priced for. Overall though- it is worth it.