IntroductionCamera make and model:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1
Review camera serial number:
Average street price (6th April, 2004): UK£399, US$499, EUÄ525
The Cyber-shot DSC-V1 is currently Sony's highest-specification 'compact' digital camera model and boasts a 1/1.8 inch five megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor, which is a typical size for this category of camera.
Notable competitors include the Nikon CoolPix 5400, Olympus C-8080WZ and the Canon Power Shot G5.
Top of the list of features offered by the V1 is its Carl-Zeiss designed 7-28mm Vario-Sonnar lens with a zoom range equivalent to 34-136mm (4x). That's an improvement in range compared to the V1's predecessor, the Cyber-shot DSC-S85 (3x) but is only about average among the current competition.
At its widest setting, the V1 is at a disadvantage compared with a few competitors that cover a wider field of view, like Nikon's CoolPix 5400 and the Olympus C-5060WZ, for example. These go as wide as 28 and 27mm, respectively. The V1's lens brightness is also average, f/2.8 at the wide end of the zoom range and f/4 at the other extreme.
Measured from side to side, the V1 certainly boasts a compact dimension of just under 100mm. However, unlike its new T1 sibling, the V1 is not a slim camera, feeling almost box-like in the hand, but it does feel light in its satin aluminium skin.
Users that require wide-ranging control over camera settings are catered for well by the V1. Full manual mode, plus shutter and aperture priority and fully programmed automatic modes are provided.
A nice touch is a super-simple programmed auto mode that you can select instead of the standard Programmed mode. You also get a selection of scene-specific auto modes. ISO sensitivity can be manually set between 100 and 800 or fully automatic.
The built in pop-up flash has a slow sync mode and a dedicated hot-shoe is provided to accommodate a more powerful external flash unit, like the Sony HVL-F32 which sells for around £130.
A well-specified autofocus system can be set to multiple focus points or a single central point.
The V1 uses a compact smart lithium ion battery
For power, a compact 3.6V 2.8Wh smart Infolithium Li-ion rechargeable battery is used. Being a smart monitored battery, the V1 can indicate how many minutes of battery life remain.
Here you can see a memory stick half inserted into its slot next to the battery.
This shows the relative sizes and positions of the battery and memory stick.
Sharing the same compartment is the V1's Sony Memory Stick card slot. Like all the latest Sony's, the V1 is compatible with both 1st-generation Memory Sticks and the latest faster and higher-capacity Sony Memory Stick Pro cards.
The V1 is not short of relatively unusual features. For example, like its F717 and F828 siblings, the V1 uses a three dimensional laser (harmless) hologram projection for low light focus assist.
Two modes for low light shooting are also provided. Night Framing switches out the camera's internal near-infra red filter and switches on an infra red illuminator. The result is a ghostly monochrome view using the LCD viewscreen, but it means you can actually see something
When pressing the shutter home the ir filter is reinstated with a click and the picture is taken in full colour. Shutter lag is something to watch in this mode. However, in conjunction with the holographic AF assist and flash, Night Framing works very effectively. Night Shot mode very similar, but the picture is taken in mono ir mode and there is no flash or holographic AF assist. Night Shot is ideal for use when itís very dark and you don't want to use flash.
Notable features missing
In this category, buyers are looking for features like a flip-out viewscreen monitor for low or high angle shooting, dioptre-adjustment for the eye-level viewfinder, a RAW image format option for maximum flexibility in image processing and, maybe, programmable buttons and custom functions. You won't find any of these on a V1.
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