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Stuge

Stuge's MZ-DH10P-Black (Minidisc Walkman) review

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Introduction and Glimpse to what you are after !

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Well, I got this MD camera Walkman (Sony’s MD player walkman with camera feature )quite a while back ,but I haven't posted any pictorial or review of it ,but now I’m doing it .:).

Interesting !

As, far as I know (from reliable source ) Sony originally planned a 5MP camera, but that would have driven up cost, especially at the time when it was launched in 2005 .

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Illuminated Mini Disc (Due to Luminescence)

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So, I will first of all like to start of with its pros and cons(little detail ) .

Pros :

1. Durable: Soild, Sturdy.

2. Very Good Screen

3.1.3 MP camera but image quality and chromatic aberrations are not very good.

4.1 GB Hi md discs and MD disc.

5. Last is its a collectors model.

6. Rechargeable battery.

7. Sony only Walkman with Camera feature .

8. G protection prevents skipping etc

Con's

1. very few now .

2. Battery life is terrible (one needs to keep extra battery that’s comes with it )

3. Writing time on the disc is little slow after taking a picture.

4. Only downloader, no recording possible like with other MD models.

5. Pricey.

Technical Details:

• Integrated 1.3 Mega pixels CMOS digital still camera.

• Still camera functions: auto focus, self timer, macro, flash

• 1.5 inch TFT full color LCD screen

• Simultaneous music and slide show playback

• Jpeg image viewer (Displays DCF standard compliant images stored from PCs)

• Can record music and still pictures together on the same 1GB Hi-MD disc

• Direct playback: ATRAC / MP3

• Linear PCM high sound quality recording & playback

• Long battery life of up to 14 hours (approximately)

• Unique charging and recording (USB) cradle.

Packing:

Box is of normal recycled cardboard (Sony is quite concerned about environment .Good to see that.) and the picture of the box gives you an idea ,what’s really there in the box. There is a inner box and an outer box (already explained).Inner box has two compartments one holding accessories and one holding walkman + Manual .

Box (Covers)

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Body/Construction:

When you first hold it for the first time it feels tad heavy. Its construction is really good and body looks rock solid to last for a long time or one can say its build quality is exceptional. The player is made of Metal (Aluminum) except for the screen, four buttons in the front and Battery lid, which is made of plastic .Screen looks tough ,but I’m using screen protector to protect it from scratches .

Width wise speaking , it is quite thick in comparison to other Mini disc players due to in built camera, but it still looks Stylish, Solid and Sturdy. Now days most of the players in the market are made of plastic, this is where it scores.

Ergonomically speaking unit fits nicely in hand and Paint fishing is Amazing ,specially the way walkman name is placed, it looks really sexy .

MZDH10P with cradle

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MMZ-Dh10p without cradle

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Closeups

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Battery

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Camera :

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NOTE:other half posted :)(

Edited by stuge

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Cradle

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User Friendly:

I have to agree that it is little heavy,but ones forgets that as soon he starts using it .Manual provided isn’t really required to start of with and buttons given on the walkman are clearly marked(tactical buttons ) and if you are used to using any other Sony walkman, then you know what button will do what .All the buttons are placed well, so it makes it really easy to use it .

Moving onto headphone jack -> The headphone jack is placed on the left hand side ,which sometimes makes it difficult to use the walkman due to interference with the wire ,specially if one is using a remote with it ,but once you get use to it ,its not a big deal .This is the only flaw ,I see ,but not a very difficult to overcome .

Jog dial provided in the middle of walkman is used to switch between different albums or songs.

Photography at ease :In photo mode walkman is extremely easy to use .One just needs to slide of the lens cover and use the buttons provided on the top to click pictures .Jog dial can be used to select nigh shot ,Marco etc .I will discuss this in detail later in the review .

Screen/TFT screen and Menu

Screen/TFT screen and Menu

It has a 1.5 inch TFT full colour LCD screen , and It is the only Mini-disc player or MD player with a colored screen ,One can use it to see whether the picture has-been taken correctly or not .Even slide show can be seen, while playing a song,but remember it will drain battery like anything .

Album art can also be seen with it .It is because of this TFT screen, its battery life is a bit short of what it is for other walkmans .As, we know Sony is known for its battery life in walkman Arena .

Well, cover art makes it easier to search files across the disc.

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Transfer Rate:

Sony manual says it’s a HI-Speed USB (USB 2 Complaint).

Transfer rate of transferring songs via sonic stage is Just Ok; it is neither too fast nor too slow. Sometimes Sonic Stage hangs a bit, if you by mistake move your curser over it , while transferring of song is taking place .

Media Files Supported.

ATRAC3, ATRAC, MP3 and Linear PCM are supported .Unfortunately, it doesn’t support manyother formats available in the market like WMA,.FLAC etc .

Well, If you are using Hi-Md disc ,then Atrac3 plus 64kbps will allow 503 songs approx and with Atrac3 Plus 256kpbs will allow about 118songs.

It is same with Mp3’s with same bit rate.

To understand in layman language Atrac is a format just like MP3 ,as per few it is better than Mp3 ,but now days it is dropped by Sony .These days Atrac is only supported in Japanese walkmans only ..

Above taken from Sony.net

Recording

Sadly MZ-DH10P doesn’t have any line in or microphone in to record like other MD players have. .

Sound Quality is Excellent or awesome as with all Sony products .It has 6 band Equalizer and with High Definition Digital Amp

It has a build in EQ

  1. Pop
  2. Jazz,
  3. Unique and
  4. two custom .Jog dial makes it easy to select equalizer and save it as per the SQ liked by the user .
  5. I have used this walkman with MDR-E931 .

Listened to Various Genres

Pop, Rock, House/Trance, Western Classical and many others.

After doing critical listening, I can say that Bass and treble produced by it is excellent, songs have clear voice with very less distortion and sound quality is very balanced If you listen Mozart Symphony E Flat ,K16 then one can clearly make out ..No static noise at all what so ever.,But remember that too depends upon the headphones /earphones you are using ,they do require good quality headphones to do any kind of justice to this master piece.

Moving on : My favorite of all is the Unique Equalizer, which gives the right bass and treble .Though ,I do sometimes use Custom Equalizer too .

FM tuners:

No FM tuner has been provided with it .So ,for this price it’s a disadvantage.

Accessories Supplied

  1. Sonic Stage 3.0 cd | I have tested player with the Sonic Stage 4.3 only.
  2. Stereo Headphones | I have used is MDR-E931
  3. Remote Control without backlight |though I have remote with backlit also and it works like a charm.
  4. USB cradle | It is also known as recharging cradle .Charging the walkman while keeping it on the pc table can a be a nice show piece.
  5. Dedicated USB cord | Well, Normal usb doesn’t fit it in .It comes with a dedicated USB cord .
  6. AC adaptor | Comes with a 6V adaptor.
  7. Carrying pouch | Grey colored carrying pouch is being given though, I use Case logic black colored pouch with it.
  8. 1GB Hi md blank Disc | 1GB

Accesories

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Battery Life:

Well ,this is only thing where this Camera walkman fails quite miserably and that’s why it remains a collector model only, Since ,battery life is about 10- 13 hours only, Depending upon the bit rate of the files you have transferred.

Like if you have taken about 20-30 pictures walkman battery indictors starts to flash low battery .So, this can give you an idea! No serious photography ,if somebody is thinking on that lines .Though ,one can take about 100 pictures if flash is turned off.

Battery life as per Sony JEITA testing

Software:

Unfortunately, no drag and drop is possible and it uses old Sonic Stage to transfer songs to it .Currently, I'm using Sonic Stage 4.3, which is most stable version and the last version of Sonic Stage released.

Sonic Stage is dropped from today’s Sony player and it has not been updated, but for such a nice player I can live with it .

At last !!

the main attraction of this walkman is Still Camera:

Well, it has a decent 1.3 Mega pixel auto focus camera having macro, flash and self timer capabilities .Camera is really nice if you compare it with mobile cameras (specially low end ones ) even 1.3 MP beats many of the mobile cameras in the market.

Shutter button is present at the top and by pressing it half way one can auto focus first, and then shoot the picture as he desires.

Macro mode given with the walkman helps to take close-up pictures and Night shot allows one to take pictures in dark by switching on Flash .

One can assign taken photos as album art, and I feel it is a very nice feature.

I have posted few pictures taken with the camera too. :).

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Well, Below you can see the Pictures taken with MZ-DH10P,SE-K550i and Canon IXUS 950IS .

MZ-DH10P

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SE-K550i

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Canon IXUS 950IS

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Well, If you see the pictures above, the you can clearly make out that camera provided with DH10P isn’t that bad at all ,though it could have been better ,but yes we are expecting too much from a dedicated audio player .Colours are little unnatural in my opinion faded too and many other faults .

Conclusion: Well, I’m very happy with MZ-DH10P . I hope Sony could have worked on a battery a little bit more .Mp3 playback is ok ,but real feature IMO is camera that’s the reason I purchased it .

Note: Sony has dropped Sonic Stage now.

Disclaimer :P

Banner Idea taken from Ishiyoshi's Review :)

I take no responsibility whatsoever if you have burned all your months mb(for limited plan owners ) in watching my pictorial +review

Edited by stuge

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Hi Stuge

Thanks for sharing, I think I want 1 or 2, great work and show

Bob

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congratulations stuge, you have a keeper.

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Thanks for the great pictorial & review Stuge - as a fellow black DH10P owner I can concur that this is an great unit - mine is still going strong.

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Just one question, maybe two....

Did I miss it or is there no LINE OUT on the MZ-DH10P?? I have little use for Sonic Stage so the very least needed item is the LINE OUT port.

IF there is no LINE OUT jack, do those electronic adapters that convert the HEADPHONE OUT jack down to LINE OUT levels work well??

It would be the only alternative I think.

I saw the pics of other MZ-DH10P owners and they are really quite good for a cam that was thrown in an MD unit for a CD jacket photo and doubling as a regular cam.

By the way, the black MZ-DH10P against the booze bottles really made a great picture, if only SONY thought of it first.

Thanks for the review.

Ody

Edited by Odyssey

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There is no line out on the MZ-DH10P. Headphone out provides acceptable level (US and Japanese models).

The feature I miss on the DH10P is a 'Track delete' button or menu entry. There is a 'File delete' for pictures !

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It doesn't have an optical in jack, either. Which is why I never went for one. IMHO, any unit in this price range should have that...

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Great unit! Alas, I'm downsizing my home and need to reduce the size of my collection.

I've decided to keep my MZ-RH1 and sell the DH10P. It's Silver and in great shape, PM me if interested.

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Is the mp3 playback good as the RH1 or not so good like the RH10?

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