Cyber-shot DSC-V1 Digital Camera - Review

Product: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 Digital Camera (5.0MP, 2592x1944, 4x Opt, 32MB Memory Stick)


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 Digital Camera

I was very impressed with all the bells and whistles that come on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 Digital Camera. I did not learn or use them all, but those I played with did not disappoint. I took the camera recently on my trip to Copenhagen, to the Royal wedding, Cannes, to the Film Festival, Italian Rivera, to escape from Cannes and to Italian Grotto's and to Stockholm for the Polar Prize and Astrid Lindgren Memorial Awards. I have included photos of some of these events to show the quality of the images. All the photos are as they were taken, no touchups.

Fountain at Tyvoli Gardens - Copenhagen

Royal Wedding - Copenhagen

Coming in 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, the Sony DSC-V1 Cyber Shot has all the control and functionality you expect, but at a much more manageable size. Which works much better than having to lug around a monster of a camera.

Sweets from St. Tropez

For those who doubt the photo quality and usability of such a small digicam, try it out and compare. This camera is fairly intuitive, not at all difficult to use, even in those crazy, harried situations when you find yourself flashing off photo after photo without thought to exacting compositions and light levels. It uses both an optical viewfinder and LCD viewfinder. And the camera uses advanced technology to compose the photos for even colors, compensating for overexposure and other photo faux pas. The Super HAD CCD image sensor delivers impressive 5.0 megapixel resolution.

Harbor in Portifino - Italy

Rock formations the Grotte di Toirano - Italy

The zoom is nice and clear, clicking into position well. Also, when you're "flipping" through your memory card and don't want to overwrite a saved photo, this camera makes it easy to sort through your previous photos. I like to take photos in low light and so I really love the fact that the camera is equipped with a Hologram AF illuminator that "paints" the subject with a safe Class 1 laser pattern. You don't even need to look at any view finder just point the laser & shoot, its one of my favorite featues. Low-light shooting is further enhanced by slow shutter noise reduction that uses a dark-frame subtractive method to produce the clearest possible image. Also of note is the exclusive Nightframing and NightShot modes using built in infrared illuminators for image capture in total darkness up to 15 feet. You can use the flash for full-color photos, or leave the flash off for the more greenish-tinted night photos.

Building in Eze Village

However, one thing to be careful of is the position of the automatic flash. The pop-up flash is awkwardly located exactly where a photographer's finger normally rests while snapping shots. Because of this, the automatic pop-up function is easily stopped by the resting finger, resulting in some dark images. It is real frustrating trying to get in the habit of putting your right index finger somewhere other than its instinctive position. It's not that the camera didn't detect the need for a flash, it's jus that the flash couldn't activate because of it's positioning under the finger.

Crowd in Royal Square in Copenhagen after wedding

When it comes to downloading images onto my PC, it's as easy as plugging into the computer and boom, boom, boom-it's downloaded. Users will probably like the way the photos are shown on-screen briefly during the download process. This allows you to view what is being transferred off the memory stick.

Open Air Museum at Skansen - Stockholm

A super-easy thumb control mechanism on the back of the camera allows for convenient menu control. The hardware is well engineered, making for simple shutter and aperture adjustment. With such a heavily-featured camera, ease-of-use is a primary concern.

View at Eze looking out at ocean

For such a detailed and technie-lovers camera, the battery is surprisingly small. Users should be cognizant of this while spending the day out. Make sure to have a second battery available. As with most digicams, frequent zooming eats away at battery life, and this model's autofocus while zooming is no different. Be aware. Also, the supplied memory card doesn't have enough capacity. We suggest you upgrade. For the price, it would be nice if these things were included.

Protesters at the Cannes Film Festival

It took some time to go through the manual for a list of all the features. I can't say I studied them all-it would have taken more time to familiarize myself with the massive offerings from this baby.

Paraggi Bay - Italy

Overall, the resolution was great, the functionality was extremely user friendly, and the size made for easy handling--once the lens was sheathed, the camera fit easily in my pocket. Upon returning this camera to the manufacturer, I soon realized how much I was going to miss it. With a few small upgrades, a truly great little camera for all your needs.

Your trusted journalist in Cannes

Features: Photo Date/Time Stamping, Red-Eye Reduction, Self Timer, Slow Speed Sync, Still Image Capture, 4X digital zoom, manual exposure settings, TTL auto flash, auto focus. It also has a 1.5 inch LCD viewing screen. The maximum aperture is 4.0 1/f, and the maximum zoon is 16x. Uses a Sony memory stick. Uses JPEG and TIFF formats, with MPEG for video capture segments. Interfaces directly to computer using a universal serial bus USB interface, lithium battery.

Warranty: One year limited.

Price: $399

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