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Accessory Review Submission [Full Details]
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Sony Ericsson CommuniCam MCA-20 - Mobile Accessories Sony Ericsson CommuniCam MCA-20

18 September 2002
Written By Kinny Cheng


Sales package (should contain):
  • 1 x CommuniCam MCA-20 mobile camera accessory add-on
  • 1 x MCA-20 pouch
  • 1 x lanyard strap
  • 1 x user manual (multi-language)
  • 1 x warranty leaflet (multi-language)
Apart from the typical headset, the CommuniCam MCA-20 would probably be the next most popular accessory for Sony Ericssonís T68i colour display mobile phone.

What makes this camera accessory so popular is its ability to capture images anywhere and having them saved for later use or sent via email or MMS (multimedia messaging service) - with the help of the T68i. Currently, Nokiaís 7650 and the MCA-20/T68i combination are the only two devices on the market that supports this ability.

Practicality

The MCA-20 is quite a neat little accessory. Weighing at just 22 grams, it can be either worn around your neck (using the provided lanyard strap) or carried in your pocket. In both applications, the CommuniCam can be protected from accidental scratching of the case and lens by its little pouch. For people who have seen and/or used its predecessor, the MCA-20 comes less the viewfinder (making it smaller in size) and is 3 grams lighter than the MCA-10.

Operating the MCA-20 requires a T68i handset, and is easily attachable to the base of the phone by simply clicking it in (the action is something like attaching the power cable for charging). Once plugged in, the phone will detect the accessory - and within seconds - it is ready for use!

From the picture (right), you can see that the actual cameraís lens is placed on the back side of the phone. This is so because the MCA-20 uses the T68iís colour display as the cameraís viewfinder. As for the lens, there should be no issues with scratching the lens at all in cases where it is placed on a flat surface - as the silver plastic casing raises it away from any contact.

There are three ways for a typical user to take pictures with the MCA-20 - by pressing the little blue button on the actual camera unit, pressing YES, or pressing down on the joystick button. I found it more practical to press the blue button for landscape shots, and the YES button for portrait orientation snaps.

The MCA-20 supports various resolution settings for images - including 80x60 (usually for MMS messages), 160x120, 320x240, and a maximum of 640x480. All pictures are captured at 16 million colours (24-bit) and saved in JPEG format. Memory on the MCA-20 has been vastly improved - where I was able to store approximately 19 pictures taken at the CommuniCamís maximum resolution.

And to top it off, a white balance function is available - which helps improve the output of the image in different lighting situations.

Styling

In terms of colour combinations, the MCA-20 makes a pretty good attempt at matching the colours of the ďArctic BlueĒ variant of the T68i (although the white sections have a bit more silver base in it!) When compared to its MCA-10 predecessor, the MCA-20 comes with two extra corners on each side and more dynamic curvatures.

Wearing the MCA-20 around your neck via the lanyard strap is not going to make you look silly - trust me! Actually, I feel that itís actually better to have it around your neck than in the pocket - as you wonít even feel the little camera accessory go missing if it does (touchwood!) Once you need to use it, simply move the pouch upward, attach the CommuniCam to the base of the T68i and snap away!

Donít get carried away with hanging your T68i with the MCA-20 from your neck as well! Although you may think it will look even better that way, thereís no guarantee whether the phone is going to stay put like that forever! :) 


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Sony Ericsson CommuniCam MCA-20

Table of contents

Table of contents:

Overview (Page 1)
Road-testing (Page 2)
Outcome & Summary (Page 3)

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