DCRP Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: May 8, 2003
Last Updated: June 20, 2003

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The review has been finished using a production model camera. Product shots have been updated where necessary, and all sample photos are from this shipping model.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 ($699) is easily one of the most anticipated cameras of 2003. It appears to be going after two types of buyers: those considering the Canon PowerShot G3 (read our review), and those who want Sony's DSC-F717 (read our review) in a smaller package.

Folks considering the G3 will be drawn to the DSC-V1's 4X optical zoom lens, manual controls, hot shoe, and higher resolution CCD (5MP vs. 4MP). Then there are those who love the Sony-specific features of the DSC-F717 (Hologram AF, Nightshot, NightFraming, etc), but want something a little less, shall we say, bulky.

Learn if the V1 is right for you in our review!

What's in the Box?

The DSC-V1 has a very good bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:

  • The 5.1 (effective) Mpixel Cyber-shot DSC-V1 camera
  • 32MB Memory Stick
  • NP-FC11 InfoLithium battery
  • AC adapter / battery charger
  • Hand strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROM featuring Pixela ImageMixer software and USB drivers
  • 130 page manual (printed)

Sony gives you a 32MB Memory Stick in the box, which is (barely) enough to start with. You'll want a larger card right away -- I'd say 128MB at the very least. The V1, like all the 2003 Sony models, supports Memory Stick Pro cards, which come as large as 1GB. These Pro cards are quite expensive, though -- the 1GB card will cost you over $600 (twice as much as a 1GB CompactFlash card).

A smaller camera like the requires a small battery, so Sony uses their proprietary NP-FC11 here. Battery life is one area in which the V1 really pales in comparison to the DSC-F717 and PowerShot G3:

Camera Battery Power # of shots, 50% LCD use Mins in playback mode
DSC-V1 2.8 Wh 175 175
DSC-F717 8.5 Wh 410 350
PowerShot G3 8.1 Wh 750 360
PowerShot S50 4.2 Wh 335 180
(note that the DSC-F717 is always using the LCD/EVF)

As you can see, it's not even close. The InfoLithium battery used by the V1 and 717 is nice, in that it gives you the number of minutes remaining until you run out of juice. The negatives of this battery are the same as all proprietary batteries. For one, it costs $60 for another one. Secondly, if you're "on the go" and the battery dies, you can't just shove a regular battery in to get you through the day, like you could with an AA-based camera.

When it's time to charge the FC11 battery, just plug in the included AC adapter and wait for 150 minutes.

The camera has a built-in lens cover, so no lens cap is needed. You can get an idea for the size of the V1 in this shot, as well.

There are quite a few accessories available for the DSC-V1.

If you want some telephoto or wide-angle action, Sony has several lenses available. There's the VCL-DEH17V telephoto adapter (shown above) and the VCL-DEH07V wide-angle adapter, both of which cost $150. Both of these include the required conversion lens adapter. If you're interested in filters, Sony sells those too, but you'll need to buy the VAD-VHA adapter first, which gives you 52mm threads.

There are two flash options available as well. Sony offers their old HVL-F1000 ($120) or the more advanced HVL-F32X flash ($200, shown above). The latter offers automatic flash level adjustment and an AF fill light shooting function. It also has an AF illuminator (not that the V1 needs a lot of help in that department). You can also a non-Sony external flash.

Other accessories include an external dual battery charger ($70), a wired remote control ($50), various Memory Sticks and card readers, and a camera case ($30).

The included Pixela ImageMixer 1.5 software is okay, but is no substitute for Photoshop Elements (or the real thing). You can view and organize your photos as you can see above.

You can also do basic editing, like adjusting color, brightness and contrast, and redeye. The Windows version of ImageMixer can also be used to produce a Video CD (VCD).

The software is not Mac OS X native -- you have to run it in classic mode. Once there, you're kind of stuck in it until you quit, because Pixela chose not to follow Apple's interface guidelines (this seems fairly common with these kinds of products).

The camera itself does work in OS X with iPhoto and Image Capture. The camera and software work with modern versions of Windows, of course.

The manual included with the V1 is decent, but still has that "VCR manual" feel typical of Sony products.

Look and Feel

I must confess that I thought that DSC-V1 would be smaller than it turned out to be. It's still fairly small, but not as tiny as I imagined. It's smaller than the G3, but not pocket-sized by any means.

The V1's body is mostly metal, with a little plastic thrown in for good measure. The body feels very solid and should take whatever you throw at it. Be warned that metal cameras tend to scratch easily.

Here are the dimensions of the DSC-V1, PowerShot G3, and the Pentax Optio 550 (a 5MP/5X zoom camera) for comparison:

  DSC-V1 PowerShot G3 PowerShot S50 Optio 550
Dimensions
(W x H x D, inches)
4.0 x 2.6 x 2.3 4.8 x 3.0 x 2.5 4.4 x 2.3 x 1.7 3.9 x 2.3 x 1.6
Volume (AKA bulk) 23.9 cu. in. 36 cu. in. 17 cu. in. 14.4 cu.in.
Mass 300 g 410 g 260 g 205 g

Note that the V1's mass includes the battery and memory card.

Let's begin our tour of this camera now.

On the front of the camera, you can see the V1's 4X Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens. The lens has a maximum aperture range of F2.8-F4.0, with a focal range of 7 - 28 mm. The 35mm equivalent for the lens is 34 - 136 mm. The lens barrel is threaded, but you'll need the conversion lens adapter if you want to do anything with it.

At the upper-right of the photo is the V1's built-in flash. This is one of those pop-up designs that I'm not terribly fond of, for reasons you'll see in a bit. The working range of the flash is 0.4 - 2.8 m at wide-angle and 0.4 - 2.0 m at telephoto. As I mentioned, you can use an external flash via the hot shoe that you'll see in a moment.

Directly below the flash is the self-timer lamp and infrared emitter (used for Nightshot and NightFraming).

To the lower-left of the flash is the Hologram AF laser. The laser projects a grid (shown above) onto the subject, which greatly aids in focusing. This allows the V1 to focus in zero light conditions. This system is quite a bit better than traditional AF-assist lamps, as well. By the way, the laser is safe to use on people.

A reader asked me to find out whether conversion lenses blocked the laser. At least for the telephoto adapter I tried, the answer is yes.

Continuing further to the left, you can see the microphone. Still moving left, you'll see the optical viewfinder. While it obviously won't affect your picture, I found it easy to block the viewfinder with my right hand fingers.

On the back of the camera, you'll find a whole lot of buttons!

But first, let's talk about the LCD. The 1.5" LCD display is high resolution (123,200 pixels) but is a little small for my taste. Then again, I don't think they could've fit a larger one in that space. The images are on the LCD are fluid, except at slower shutter speeds when the ISO is fixed at 100 (at Auto ISO it is fine). The LCD is bright, can you make it brighter by using the setup menu.

Up at the top-center is the optical viewfinder, which is good-sized. Nose smudges on the LCD may be a problem if you use your right eye, however. There is no diopter correction on the V1 -- a bit surprising given its cost and target audience.

To the left of the optical viewfinder are three buttons:

  • Exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV, 1/3EV increments) {record mode} / Thumbnail mode {playback mode}
  • Focus (Auto, preset distance, focus point selection) - more below
  • AE lock - locks exposure until photo is taken or button pressed again

There are two manual focus modes. The first lets you choose the distance to the subject, using the jog dial. The distance is shown on the LCD, and you can choose from 0.1 - 15 m (with many stops in between), or just use infinite focus. One downer: the image on the LCD isn't enlarged -- like on some other cameras -- so you can confirm that your subject is in-focus.

The second manual focus mode allows you to pick the area of the frame that the V1 focuses on. By using the jog dial, you can choose the center, top, bottom, left, or right of the frame. This isn't as nice as the FlexiZone system on Canon cameras, but it's better than nothing. Two other focus modes include the standard Multipoint or Spot AF.

On the right side of the LCD there are many more buttons. The top one is the display button, which toggles the LCD on and off, as well as the information shown on it. To the right of that button is the jog dial, which you'll use to adjust the manual camera settings like shutter speed and exposure compensation.

Below that is the four-way controller (with an "ok" button in the center), which is used for menu navigation, plus:

  • Up - Flash setting (auto, forced, slow synchro, no flash)
  • Right - Macro mode
  • Down - Self-timer
  • Left - Quick Review (jumps to playback mode)

Continuing downward, we encounter the menu and quality/delete photo buttons. I'll have more on the image quality options in the next section.

At the top-right, you can see the zoom controller. When I had the pre-production V1, I complained that the zoom controller was too stiff. Well, Sony must have either loosened it a bit, or repeatedly pressed it before sending me the camera, because it's better on my production model. It took a bit over two seconds to zoom from wide-angle to telephoto.

The zoom controller is a "soft button", meaning you can select which way the lens moves when you press the lever in a specified direction. So if you like to zoom out while pressing the lever up, you can do that -- and vice versa.

Over on the far left, under a somewhat flimsy plastic door, you'll find the V1's I/O ports. These include USB (2.0 or 1.1), A/V out, and DC-in (for included AC adapter).

On the top of the DSC-V1, you'll find the flash (closed here), hot shoe, Nightshot switch, power button, mode wheel, and shutter release button.

First, let me mention one of my pet peeves about the V1: the pop-up flash. When it's closed, it's not a problem: your finger can rest there. Now pretend the flash is popped up (see the picture earlier in the review): your left hand suddenly has nowhere to go. The lens barrel is too small to hold on, so I found myself awkwardly putting my fingers on the back of the camera. A minor issue for some, but it bothered me right away.

One solution is to use an external flash -- and Sony makes that possible with the V1's hot shoe. You can use the two Sony flashes I mentioned in the beginning of the review, or your own (non-Sony) flash. Do note that if you use your own flash, you'll have to select its settings manually.

Continuing to the right, you can see the Nightshot/NightFraming switch. The Nightshot feature uses infrared light to illuminate a subject, and the CCD captures it (in green) by placing an IR filter in front of the CCD. Nightshot works for stills as well as MPEG movies. Sony has been using this technology for several years on their camcorders.

NightFraming takes Nightshot, Hologram AF, and TTL Flash Metering (where the flash fires before the shot is taken to obtain proper exposure) and combines it to allow you to take photos in zero light. When turned on, the LCD shows everything in green Nightshot mode.

Here's how it works: First, you compose the picture, and press the shutter release button halfway. At that point, the NightShot system turns off (so back to normal colors now), the Hologram AF uses the laser to focus, the flash double-fires, and the picture is taken. It's a little awkward at first, but soon it becomes almost second nature. Below are two examples from the DSC-V1 that illustrate how this works.


A shot of my home office using Nightshot mode.


Here's the same shot taken with the NightFraming feature.

Above the Nightshot switch is the power button. To the right of that is the mode wheel, with the shutter release button inside it.

The items on the mode wheel include:

  • Auto mode - nearly all settings locked up, totally point-and-shoot
  • Program mode - unlocks all settings, still point-and-shoot
  • Shutter priority mode - you choose shutter speed, camera chooses aperture. Shutter speed range is 30 - 1/1000 sec.
  • Aperture priority mode - you choose aperture, camera chooses shutter speed. Aperture range of F2.8 - F8.
  • Full manual - you choose both the shutter speed and aperture (same ranges as above)
  • Scene mode - camera picks best settings for these situations:
    • Twilight
    • Twilight portrait
    • Landscape
    • Portrait
    • Snow
    • Beach
  • Setup
  • Movie mode
  • Playback mode

Everything up there should be self-explanatory, but I wanted to cover one feature found in program mode: program shift. This allows you to scroll through several aperture/shutter speed combinations by using the jog dial. So if you want a slower shutter speed to reduce camera shake, or a higher F-value to increase depth-of-field, here's an easy way to do it. The LCD will show the current mode as P*, instead of P, when you're using this feature.

On this side of the camera, you'll find the ACC port and the closed door over the I/O ports. The ACC port is where you'll plug in the HVL-F1000 flash or the wired remote control.

Nothing to see here...

Our tour ends with a look at the bottom of the camera. Down here you'll find the metal tripod mount, speaker, battery compartment, and Memory Stick slot.

The tripod mount is neither centered, nor inline with the lens.

A sturdy door protects the battery and Memory Stick compartment. As I mentioned, the V1 can use the new Memory Stick Pro or classic Memory Stick formats.

The included battery, plus an optional 512MB Memory Stick Pro are shown on the right.

Using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1

Record Mode

The DSC-V1 starts up quickly, taking a little over 3 seconds to extend the lens and "warm up" before you can start shooting.

Press the shutter release halfway, and the camera locks focus very quickly -- in about half a second. If the camera has to use the Hologram AF system, it may take an additional second to lock focus. Fully press the button and the photo is taken without delay -- even at slower shutter speeds.


A live histogram is shown in record mode. The yellow aperture/shutter speed on the right can be adjusted via the program shift feature.

Shot-to-shot speed is excellent -- about one second elapses before you can take another shot. If the Slow Shutter NR (noise reduction) is used, it will be a little longer. The camera doesn't show the photo you just took on the LCD. To see it, you must keep the shutter release button held down after you take the photo.

Now, here's a look at the image size/quality choices on the V1. Sony no longer lists the image size in terms of horizontal x vertical resolution -- now it's just Megapixels. Have a look:

Image Size # photos on included 32MB Memory Stick
Fine Quality Standard Quality
5.0M
(2592 x 1944)
12 23
4.5M/3:2 ratio
(2592 x 1728)
12 23
3.1M
(2048 x 1536)
20 37
1.2M
(1280 x 960)
50 93
VGA
(640 x 480)
196 491

The V1 has a TIFF mode, which is found in the Rec Mode section of the menu. Be warned, though: the camera will be locked up for over 40 seconds while the image is saved.

The file numbering system used by Sony is quite simple. Files are named DSC0####.JPG, where #### = 0001 - 9999. The numbering is maintained as you erase and swap Memory Sticks.

The DSC-V1 uses the familiar Sony "overlay-style" menu. The Sony menus are some of the easiest to use of any digicam out there. With the exception of the Rec Mode options, none of the items below are available in Auto Record mode. Here are the menu options:

  • Metering mode (Spot, center-weighted, multi)
  • White Balance (Auto, Preset, Flash, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Daylight)
  • ISO (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800)
  • Photo Quality (Fine, Standard)
  • Rec Mode (TIFF, Voice, E-Mail, Exposure bracketing, Burst 3, Normal) - more below
  • Flash Level (High, Normal, Low)
  • Photo Effects (Solarize, Sepia, Negative Art, Off)
  • Sharpness (High, Normal, Low)
  • Saturation (High, Normal, Low)
  • Contrast (High, Normal, Low)

As you can see, the V1 has manual (preset) white balance. This allows you to shoot a white or gray card/paper to be used as white, giving you perfect white balance every time.

The Rec Mode submenu has additional image resolutions. TIFF will record an uncompressed image at the 5.0MP resolution (with a long write time). Voice mode will let you record up to 40 seconds of audio with each picture. E-mail will save a 320 x 240 image, along with an image at the resolution you've chosen. Exposure bracketing takes three shots in a row, with the exposure value shifted for each shot. You can choose the bracketing steps in the setup menu. Finally, Burst 3 mode will take three shots in a row, with an interval between shots of 0.5 seconds. This is as close to continuous shooting as you'll get on the V1.

The setup menu (accessed via the mode wheel) contains some of the V1's most unique features. Here are the most interesting features in the setup menu:

  • Moving Image (MPEG Movie, Clip Motion, Multi Burst) - explained later
  • AF mode (Single, monitor, continuous) - see below
  • Smart Zoom (on/off) - see below
  • Date/Time (Day & Time, Date, Off) - whether date/time is printed on your photos
  • Redeye reduction (on/off)
  • Hologram AF (on/off)
  • Bracket step (±0.3, ±0.7, ±1.0) - for bracketing feature
  • Hot shoe (on/off)
  • Zoom lever - choose which way the lens moves when you press the zoom lever up or down
  • File numbering (series, reset)
  • Create/Change Rec folder - for managing images on a Memory Stick
  • LCD brightness (Bright, normal, dark)
  • LCD backlight (Bright, normal, dark)
  • Language (English, French) - this seems incomplete -- maybe the production model will have more languages
  • USB connect (PTP, normal) - you may need to change this depending on the operating system on your computer
  • Video out (NTSC, PAL)

The AF mode choices are new features on Sony's 2003 digital cameras. Single AF is just like you're used to: press the shutter release halfway and the camera locks focus. Monitor AF (called continuous on other cameras) lets the camera focus constantly, even without the shutter release pressed. This helps reduce the time required to take a picture. Continuous AF (I'd call this one tracking AF) will focus before the shot and will continue to focus, even with the shutter release halfway pressed. Confusing names aside, these features are handy. Continuous AF is especially good for action shots, where the subject is moving.

In the old days, digital zoom on cameras just enlarged the center of the image, regardless of the resolution. Quality suffered as a result. Sony has changed things around with their Smart Zoom system. The amount of smart zoom that can be used depends on the chosen resolution.

Resolution Max Smart Zoom Max Total Zoom
3.1M 1.3X 5.1X
1.2M 2.0X 8.1X
VGA 4X 16X

Note that you cannot use the Smart Zoom at the highest resolutions (4.5/5.0M). The Smart Zoom system allows you to take pictures using digital zoom with much better results than with the previous system.

Okay, enough about menus. Let's take a look at some photo samples now.

The DSC-V1 did a pretty nice job with this four second exposure. Noise levels are fairly low, leaving the image looks very clear (you can practically read the billboards). The V1 uses Sony's Slow Shutter NR noise reduction system at shutter speeds slower than 1/6 sec.

No complaints about the macro test shot. The subject is sharp and detailed, and the colors are nicely saturated. You can get as close to your subject as 10 cm at wide-angle, and 40 cm at telephoto.

I wasn't pleased with how the V1 fared in the redeye test. As you can see, the eyes above are bordering on demonic -- and that's with redeye reduction turned on. Compact cameras tend to have more redeye than larger ones, and that appears to be the case here. One great way to get around it (besides removing it in software): use an external flash.

The distortion test does a good job of showing the mild amount of barrel distortion created by the V1's lens. I don't see any vignetting (darkened corners) here either, which is a good thing.

Overall, the DSC-V1's image quality was very good, though not as good as some other 5 Megapixel cameras, in my opinion. In most cases, the V1's images were sharp and well-exposed.

I guess what bothered me the most were the rather dull colors at the default saturation setting, at least in some pictures.. Compare the V1 gallery to the Canon S50 gallery and you'll see what I mean (yes, I realize these weren't taken at the same time, but I don't exactly have an S50 on hand). Here are a few quick comparisons between the V1, Kodak LS663 (photos taken at the same time as V1), and S50.


V1

S50

Kodak LS633
(taken at same time as V1 shot)

 
   

V1

LS633

Section below added 5/28/03

One way to get around the unsaturated colors is to turn up the saturation a notch in the camera. To illustrate this, I took a picture of something that everyone knows the color of. I also brought along my Canon EOS-D60 as the "benchmark". They were taken within a minute of each other, on a tripod.


DSC-V1 - Normal Saturation
View Full Size Image

DSC-V1 - High Saturation
View Full Size Image

EOS-D60 (amazing how two cameras can record such a different image)
View Full Size Image
   

A Closer Look

Right: V1, Normal Saturation
Below Right:
V1, High Saturation
Below Left:
D60

Two conclusions: One, cranking up the V1's saturation helps somewhat, though not as much as I'd like. Two, the D60 has a much smoother, less noisy, more saturated image. Of course, it also costs twice as much.

The V1's noise levels were a little higher than I would've liked, especially in shadows and sky. The noise isn't nearly as bad as the Olympus C-50Z, but not as smooth as the Canon S50, either. On some cameras, you can crank the sharpness down to reduce the noise. I suppose that works here, as long as you don't mind getting a very soft image.

Normal Sharpness
View Full Size Image
Low Sharpness
View Full Size Image

Purple fringing was also a little higher than I'd liked to have seen. Though not horrible (not even close), it does look like the V1's compact lens is being pushed to its limits.

Please, don't just take my word for all this -- have a look at the gallery and judge for yourself! Also, check out the PowerShot G5 vs. DSC-V1 shootout for more pictures.

Movie Mode

The 2003 Sony cameras have the brand spankin' new MPEG Movie VX system, which is one of the best movie modes out there.

You can record at VGA resolution (that's 640 x 480), with sound, until the Memory Stick fills up. Of course, that doesn't take a long time with the included 32MB card, but with a larger card you can record for quite a while. Just to throw out some numbers, the max recording time is 87 seconds with a 32MB card, 5 min 54 sec with a 128MB card, and a whopping 44 mins 23 seconds with a 1GB Memory Stick Pro. Wow.

If the 640 x 480 resolution is too high for you, there's always 160 x 120.

If this all sounds too good to be true, keep in mind that you cannot use the zoom lens during filming. The 16 fps frame rate is also on the slow side.

Finally, a cool sample movie to share! Enjoy:


Click to play movie (4.0MB, MPEG format, 640 x 480)

Can't view it? Download QuickTime.

There are two other movie-like features on the V1. Multi Burst mode takes 16 frames in a row, at the interval of your choosing (1/30, 1/15, 1/7.5 sec). The frames are compiled into one 1.2 Megapixel image. Clip Motion lets you take up to ten shots, and then combine them into an animated GIF file. I guess it's for those people interested in very short stop-motion animation movies.

Playback Mode

Like other Sony cameras, the DSC-V1's playback mode goes beyond the basic features found on most point-and-shoot cameras. Those basic features include slide shows, DPOF print marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, and "zoom & scroll".

The zoom and scroll feature (my term) allows you to zoom up to 5X into your photo, and then scroll around in it. It's by far not the fastest implementation of this feature that I've seen, but it works well enough. When zoomed in, you can also use the trimming feature I'll describe in a second.

Some of the more advanced playback features include:

  • Resize - change an image's size. You can upsize an image, but the quality will be degraded. The original image is not deleted.
  • Rotate
  • Divide - cut sections of movies
  • Trim - when zoomed into an image, you can crop the image down to the selected area. You choose the resolution of the new image (the old one is kept). Same rules that applied to resize function are valid here.

The V1 gives you quite a bit of information about your photos, including a histogram (see above-left). If you want a little more data, use the zoom controller to "zoom out". That gets you the screen on the right.

You can delete one photo, a selected group of photos, or all photos. A delete button on the back of the camera makes it painless.

The V1 moves between images fairly quickly in playback mode, and it shows a low resolution version instantly, before a high res one replaces it about two seconds later.

How Does it Compare

Sony set the bar very high with their Cyber-shot DSC-F717, and because of that, I had very high expectations for their smaller version, the DSC-V1. And while I like the camera, I can't help but feel a bit let down. The V1 is certainly loaded with features, and it's fun to use. From the hot shoe to the manual controls to the Hologram AF laser focusing system, this camera has it all. Unlike most compact cameras, the V1 supports external flashes, add-on lenses, and filters.The Nightshot feature is cool, but is pretty much a gimmick -- I found the NightFraming feature to be much more useful. Sony's MPEGMovie VX feature is top-notch, though the frame rate could be higher.

So what didn't I like? I found the photo quality to be inferior to the F717 and Canon G3/S50 for two reasons: noise and rather drab colors (turning up the saturation helps somewhat with that). Redeye was a problem as well, at least in my standard test. The camera body, too large to be pocket-sized, has a poorly placed optical viewfinder,no diopter correction knob, and a pop-up flash that gets in the way when in use. The battery life on the V1 is much worse than the competition, and the higher capacity Memory Stick Pro cards are nearly four times the cost of equivalent CompactFlash cards.

I hope that didn't sound too negative -- as I did enjoy my time with the DSC-V1. I would rate the camera as "above average" -- certainly better than the Minolta DiMAGE F300 and Olympus C-50Z, but I think the PowerShot S50's photo quality is better. Do note that the S50 (which is quite a bit cheaper too) lacks the fancy movie mode, hot shoe, and support for add-on lenses.

What I liked:

  • Good photo quality (though see negatives below)
  • Fast performance (except when writing TIFF file)
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Amazing Hologram AF laser focusing system
  • Support for add-on lenses, filters
  • NightShot and NightFraming are semi-useful
  • Full manual controls
  • Support for USB 2.0
  • Live histogram in record mode
  • Zoom controller direction can be set
  • Impressive movie, playback modes

What I didn't care for:

  • Drab colors in photos, noise levels higher than I'd like; some purple fringing
  • Redeye
  • Expensive camera, even more expensive Memory Stick Pro cards (for larger capacities)
  • No diopter correction knob
  • Watch those fingers: left hand fingers can block flash, right hand fingers block optical viewfinder
  • Poor battery life compared to competition

Other small, full-featured 4/5 Megapixel cameras to check out include the Canon PowerShot G3, S45, and S50, Fuji FinePix F700 (I suppose), HP Photosmart 935, Minolta DiMAGE F300 and S414, Nikon Coolpix 5400, and the Olympus C-50Z and C-5050Z.

As always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try out the DSC-V1 and it's competitors before you buy!

Photo Gallery

Check out our DSC-V1 photo gallery! You can also check out the PowerShot G5 vs. DSC-V1 shootout for more photos.

Want a second opinion? How about a third?

Read two previews of the DSC-V1 at Steve's Digicams and Imaging Resource.

Feedback

Jeff welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to jakeller@pair.com. Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for a personal recommendation.

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