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Sony's Mavica FD91-
Eileen Adds to Her Collection!


by Kathy Aanestad


Digital cameras are a hot item these days. Just last week, club member and mentor, Eileen Adams, strolled into Barbara Heiman's Illustrator lab at the high school beaming from ear-to-ear, holding her brand new Sony Mavica FD91 digital camera loaded with features.

I must say, it is quite a camera. For instance, the resolution is 1024x768 with a xoom capability of 14x, auto and manual focus, flash, and macro capabilities. I went online and looked up the specs for this baby and found that the 14x Optical Zoom Lens is equivalent to a f37mm to 518mm zoom lens in a 35mm camera, which gives you ample flexibility to compose your pictures just the way you want. The new focus ring allows for a more accurate, professional style manual focusing. The auto macro capability allows you to get as close as one inch to your subject.

New Precision Color Viewfinder Precision Color Viewfinder with 180k Pixels provides excellent viewing clarity, with increased resolution. LCD Screen is 2.5". Progressive Scan CCD Provides high quality still images by reading all of the pixels on the imager (CCD) with a single pass. This one time pass over the imager delivers clean edges and an overall sharper picture quality. It comes with PhotoSuite software and supports both Mac/PC computers. However, it does not support USB yet. And no, we haven't gotten to the good stuff yet. Hold onto your hats. :)

What's really cool is the fact that you can store your images on a regular floppy HD disk that you insert at the bottom of the camera. You can keep removing/inserting disks until you've exhausted all possible combinations of artistic compositions! Then, when you get home, just plop the disk out and pop it into your computer and walla. No cable hassles. You can store anywhere from 8-40 images per disk.

OK, ok, let's get on with even more fun features about this fancy camera. Get this, your images can be in the form of still, audio, and/or movies!! Yes, I'm not kidding. It's awesome and really fun. Eileen was kind enough to let me playwith the camera for a minute. I captured an image of Kathy Downs doing jumping jacks (just before class started). Viewing the image on screen, there was barely a hint of movement because of the camera's New Optical Super Steady Shot® Optical Image Stabilization System that uses motion sensors to remove unwanted camera 'shake'. MPEG Movie Mode gives you up to 60 seconds of video with sound. Voice Memo mode allows for narration of photos. Zowie!

The literature continues: because you capture to floppy disk, this is the fastest, easiest way to get video into your personal computer, for E-Mail, Websites, or presentations, etc. MPEG Movie offers 2 settings: Presentation Mode, up to 15 sec. (320 x 240) and Video Mail Mode, up to 60 sec. (160 x 112).

New Voice Memo mode
This mode allows you to conveniently add 5 seconds of narration to a still image. Use in presentations, or slide shows to describe and demonstrate products, or personal images.

New 2x High Speed Floppy Disc Drive
This new exclusive technology developed by Sony allows for double the speed when recording or playing back images. The high-speed spindle motor combined with new DSP also allows for quicker JPEG compression. Sony's new 2x floppy drive is the fastest drive available.

Removable 3.5" 2 HD Floppy Storage Media
The floppy disc is still the storage media of choice. Floppy discs continue to be inexpensive, universally compatible, and easy to use. No hassles with connecting wires or interfaces, just insert into your PC's floppy drive. Each disc will store up to 40 still images per disc, or 60 seconds of MPEG audio and video.

Whole Disk Copy
Sony's the only company that lets you share your images right on the spot with anyone. Whole Disk copy lets you make a copy of your images, videos, or voice memos, right inside the camera. Simply select Disk Copy from the menu with your original disk in the camera and your Mavica® camera will save images in temporary memory. Place a new disk in and you have an exact copy of all your pictures to share with anyone. You are not limited to only pictures, spreadsheet, presentation, and word processing files can also be copied from disk to disk.

Bitmap Mode (Non-Compression)
For the best images choose the non-compressed mode to display your images in a bitmap format (VGA only).

E-Mail Mode
Need to send images over the Internet? For still images, E-mail mode reduces the size of your file to 1/4 the standard file 320 x 240 for fast Internet downloads. To send MPEG files over the Internet, the E-mail mode will reduce the image size to 160 x 112. Now your pictures or videos will be sent with ease and speed.

Picture Freeze on LCD with Quick Replay
Take a close look at the image you're capturing by instantly freezing it on your LCD. Simply press and hold the shutter button down. For convenient playback, return to the play mode and use quick replay to display the last image captured.

Built-In Intelligent Pop-Up Flash
Use to brighten your pictures in low light conditions. You can select from three modes: On, Off or Automatic in which the camera will automatically turn on in low light and/or adjust for the optimum amout of flash. Th 'Pop-Up' flash offers the ability to conceal the flash when not in use.

Auto Exposure With Three Pre-Programmed Exposure Modes
To give you the best possible results when shooting in difficult light conditions. The different AE modes are: Shutter Priority, Iris Priority, and Twilight. 2.5" Advanced Color LCD with Brightness Control (84k Pixels) What you see is what you get! Large, full color LCD display lets you preview or review your shots right on the camera back, with great detail and clarity.

1/60-1/4000 Second Shutter Speeds
Allows you to control the representation of motion in your pictures, like creating a slight blur on fast moving objects, or freezing them in mid-motion.

Auto Exposure and White Balance
Assures correct exposure of subjects automatically. White balance automatically adjusts color for true to life images.

Manual Exposure
For the best results, exposure can be manually controlled with 7 different settings. (-1.5 to +1.5 EV)

Flicker Free
This feature will automatically eliminate any flicker in your images that is caused by certain types of lighting conditions.

InfoLithium® with AccuPowerTM System
A rechargeable lithium-ion battery with lots of stamina. Good for up to 1500 consecutive shots with a single battery (flash off with optional Battery NP-F550). That's the equivalent of 50 floppies in the fine mode, or shot after shot every 10 seconds, for two solid hours! An integrated chip in the battery lets you know how much time is left, in minutes, displayed on the LCD.

Use On Any WindowsTM 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NTTM. 4.0, or MAC OSTM System 7.5--Compatible PC With 3.5" 2HD Floppy Disc Drive MSRP: $1099

Most of the specs listed have been obtained from the Sony online spec sheet found on their web page.

Check out the Digital Camera Resource Page for more info at: http://www.dcresource.com/

For more photograpy-related sites, go to page 11. v




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