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Sony MVC-FD73 0.3MP Mavica Digital Camera w/ 10x Optical Zoom

4.1 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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  • 0.3 megapixel sensor is great for emails and posting on the web
  • 10x optical plus 2x digital zoom lens with autofocus
  • Images recorded on floppy disk; 1 disk holds 10 images at default resolution
  • 3.5 inch floppy disks can be read by any PC or Mac with a floppy drive
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and AC adapter included
15 used from $22.80

Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

2x high speed 3.5" floppy disc drive, disc can transfer images to your computer, 10x optical zoom lens, VGA resolution, progressive scan CCD, 2.5" color LCD w/brightness control, manual exposure, one charge takes up to 950 shots, includes lithium battery and charger

Sony deserves much of the credit for bringing digital photography to the masses. Americans have purchased more Mavicas than any other line of digital camera--and with good reason. The Mavicas feature high-quality optics and excellent battery life in an easy-to-use package. Yet the camera's biggest asset--floppy-disk image storage--is also its biggest liability.

In some ways, floppy disks are great: they're inexpensive and available virtually everywhere, and transferring images to your computer is a snap--just pop the disk into your PC's floppy drive. Floppies act as both "film" (for recording the image) and "negatives" (for archiving your shots), saving the expense of the CD recorder most digital camera owners eventually purchase for long-term image storage.

On the other hand, floppies and floppy drives are big, making Mavicas some of the bulkiest of digital cameras. In addition, disks have moving parts and tend to be more prone to failure than solid-state memory. But the biggest problem with floppy disks is that they hold only 1.44 MB of information--a fraction the capacity of the solid-state cards most cameras use.

To compensate for this shortcoming in storage capacity (and to keep prices low), Sony uses a lower-resolution image sensor (640 x 480 pixels, or 0.3 megapixels) and higher levels of compression than you'll find on other similarly priced cameras. The resulting images look great as e-mailed attachments or on a Web site but lack the detail to produce quality prints at sizes beyond 3 by 5 inches.

With the exception of the low resolution, the MVC-FD73 Mavica is a great digital camera. Its 10x optical zoom lens is more powerful than that of any other camera in its price range. Compared to most other digital cameras, its battery life is fantastic, and the InfoLithium system even displays an estimate of remaining battery charge (in minutes). Sony includes a battery and charger (many manufacturers don't). The big 2.5-inch LCD screen is bright and clear, though we'd love to see an optical viewfinder on the camera, too. For ease of use, it's hard to beat--even digital photography neophytes will be able to use this camera in a matter of minutes.

Bottom line? If you're taking pictures to share with friends via e-mail or are posting your photos online, the MVC-FD73 is an excellent choice. It's well made, easy to use, and the battery life and zoom lens are both excellent. However, if you want the ability to make prints from your images, we'd recommend either a higher-resolution Mavica or a non floppy-based camera. --John Frederick Moore


  • Floppy discs make image transfer and storage simple
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Superb battery life
  • Powerful 10x optical zoom lens
  • Big, bright 2.5-inch LCD


  • Low-resolution images lack detail for prints
  • No optical viewfinder

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5.4 x 2.4 x 4.1 inches
Item Weight 1.1 pounds
Shipping Weight 2.7 pounds
Item model number MVC-FD73
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #17,902 in Camera & Photo
#4,914 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Digital Cameras
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at January 11, 2001

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I have used this camera extensively for over a year. I use theMavica almost exclusively for pictures at my web site. Many are shrunkfor quick download times, but you can still see the output quality.
After using the MVC-FD73 for this long there are many pros and cons that I have come up with.
1 - easy to use
2 - nice LCD viewer for scrolling through previous shots
3 - floppies are a very convenient reusable medium
1 - LCD viewer gets scratched easily
2 - Viewer LCD hard to see in very strong outdoor light (a better camera would have an interchangeable regular viewfinder AND an LCD viewer)
3 - Flash always seems too strong - a lot of red eye incidents indoors
4 - Has a hard time focusing in low light
5 - Floppies, while convenient, are FAR too small for high res pics. Why Sony hasn't made a Zip Drive or Super Disk drive version is beyond me.
In the future I will buy another camera that clears up the problems listed above. It probably won't be a Sony since Sony's pushing proprietary media in their future digital cameras.
If you want this camera for the long haul I'd suggest doing a little more homework and being fully aware of the 5 problems I mentioned above before buying this one.
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I purchased my camera (display model) when a large chain was relocating to a new store for a very good price. I had been looking for quite some time and a friend had the FD-71 and was very happy with it. So easy to use a 4th grader could immediately use. I was not looking for the features that the FD83 had as I already had a digital video camera. I really like the idea of being able to click in a floppy and start shooting and not having to hook up anything once I get home to start printing out my shots. The only disappointment to me is the low resolution. If you want to print anything larger than a 4 x 6, you loose the clarity. On a scale of 1 - 10, I would rate the SOny Mavica FD-73 a 9
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I purchased this camera about a month ago and still am taking pictures galore. I have read the reviews given here and I must say, I agree and disagree with some. Personally, I love the floppy disk storage. It's not hard at all to throw a few extras in just in case you need them. I love the idea of not having to use any cables or "special" programs to download my pics. I will say though, I have gotten quite a few pics. that were of poor quality (fuzzy) and then out of the blue...picture perfect. I use a photo program I bought from Walmart for $10, EZPhoto (I used it when I scanned my "old" paper photos) and I normally reduce the size of my picture A LOT to send quicker through emails. This camera does have an email feature though. Quite a few people said that you don't get a very good quality pic. for printing, but I have to say I disagree. Maybe the printer they are using is of poor quality. I have printed hundreds of pics. and everyone has enjoyed them and are so surprised they came from a print off from the digital camera. One thing that disappointed me about this camera is...for the $ you spend, you don't get a carrying case. I bought a cheap "purse" that looks like a camera case and has many compartments to carry all the extras (battery charger etc.). I spent $6 on it and it was well worth more than that. You can't tell it's even a purse. Another thing, I checked all over..stores and internet and the price of this camera does not really vary...and if there's a substantial difference in pricing somewhere..CHECK TO BE SURE YOU'RE GETTING THE BATTERY CHARGER WITH IT! I found a few places that advertised at a cheaper price and also found that the charger did not come with it...
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I have had this camera 11 months. It is very easy to handle, zoom is excellent, using ordinary discs is great, battery system fine. But very often I have been disappointed with the quality of pictures. There is simply not enough pixels. Pictures from houses for instance are good enough, from people so and so, mostly not. Near shots from flowers look little bit waxy and stiff but I have taken lots's of them. Most disappointments I have had with nature pictures, grass looks odd, too much details for such a few pixels. If I would have known this I would have choosen more pixels. Still this has been a great joy and I am hungry for a new megapixel digital camera. Before you shop try to see pictures. For e-mail and web they are OK.
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If you take only 1 thing from this review, let it be this: THIS CAMERA IS NOT FOR YOU IF YOU PLAN TO DO PHOTO-EDITING (MANIPULATION)
Most of the photos you take with this camera will look a little blurry on your computer screen, and God forbid you ZOOM-IN on the photo using your photo-viewing program. The quality of the photos is horrible (mostly due to the .jpg compression) and gives the photo a 'pastel-color' look to it. The camera does have a setting to take better quality pictures using .BMP capability but when you use this setting you will be able to fit ONLY 1 PHOTO PER FLOPPY DISK. Although the quality is better when using .BMP it is still not good enough for a serious photographer.
The LCD screen will get fingerprints on it if you even THINK about putting your finger anywhere near it and if you're under strong sunlight it is hard to see the image. A viewfinder would've come in handy, however.. I like the idea of not having to put the camera up to my face to take a pic. A necessary evil you might say.
If you DON'T have money to burn, do yourself a favor and either wait until digital cameras are a dime-per-dozen or take out a mortgage loan to save up for the FD-90 Sony model. I don't know about you, but ...+ is not something I part with easily least of all for a camera.
WHAT IT IS GOOD FOR: Online Auctions (Ebay), Unimportant pics. Also, credit must be given where credit is due: For me, the main selling point of the Sony FD series is disk storage capacity. This is a definite plus that enables you to share photographs with other people when they dont have a photo-downloading facility in their PC (in my experience this includes one hell of alot of people).
The 10x zoom is also a God-send. You can almost use the camera as binoculars if you want to.
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