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2002: Sony Mavica CD400


Before the SD cards commonly employed today for image storage, CompactFlash cards, memory sticks, PC Cards and even 3.5-inch floppy discs were all used. The CD400 went one better: it recorded its images on mini compact discs (CDs).


This is a chunky little camera measuring 14x10x9cm and incorporating a comfortable hand grip. The lens is a Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar f/2-2.5 3x optical zoom; it sports five-area multi-point autofocus, multi-pattern metering, shutter speeds to 1/1000sec and the 1x1.8-inch sensor delivers 4mp images. Flash is built in, but there’s a hot-shoe for adding an external flashgun.


When the mini-CD is inserted it must first be initialised and formatted through the camera’s set-up menu. Shutter and aperture priority, programme and manual settings are available; wide and tele adjustments for the zoom lens are on the back of the hand grip; shutter delay is minimal but noticeable. The lithium ion battery is hidden in the handgrip, but the charger plugs into a slot in the side of the camera body, charging the battery in situ.


Pictures are previewed and then viewed on the large 2.5-inch LCD screen, but before they can be seen on a computer, the disc must be finalised in the camera, again via the set-up menu. After that the mini-CD drops into the central slot of the disc drive found on older computers.

The camera is pictured (right) from the front and from the rear with the CD fitted. The pictures (below) were taken with the camera in 2019.

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