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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100

Sony Digital Cameras


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 Review

Review Date: Oct 1, 2004

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100


Cineplex Odeon: 1/25 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100
Cineplex Odeon :
7.9mm, Program AE, Multi Pattern, 1/25 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 is a compact digital camera with dimensions of 108 x 52 x 26mm (4 1/4 x 2 1/8 x 1 in.) and weighing 147g (5.4 oz). It feels solidly built with a metallic body and a thin plastic strip going around the top and left side (viewed from back). It is compact enough to easily carry in a trousers pocket.

The Sony P100 is comfortable to hold despite its small size, thanks in part to the small raised bar at the back to anchor the thumb. It also helps that the brushed metallic body is not slippery and the slightly raised Cyber-shot logo provides some friction. I'd recommend using the wrist strap at all times to ensure you don't accidentally drop the camera.

Since the power button and the shutter release button are so close to each other, at first, I keep pressing the power button when I mean to press the shutter release button. The shutter release button is on the soft side and I have inadvertently taken a few shots when all I wanted was to pre-focus.

The P100 has a quick review feature: just press the left arrow to see the last picture taken. I wish it would also allow me to cycle through the other pictures, but to do that, you need to turn the Mode Dial away from your preferred shooting mode to Playback.

Startup time of the P100 is blazingly f-a-s-t! Yeah, get your left fingers off from in front of the lens because as soon as you press the power button, that lens just juts out in under 1 sec. I never have to worry that I will miss a shot because the P100 is turned off: I know it will be ready in about 1.5 sec. (about 1/2 sec. to wait for the image to appear in the LCD monitor). Power down is equally fast. Were it that all digital cameras had such fast startup times! There is no appreciable shutter lag.

The P100 has an optical viewfinder, but as is characteristic with compact digital cameras, the view is too tunnel-like and small. Fortunately, the 1.8 in. LCD monitor has lots of resolution (at 134K pixels) to allow precise focusing. Speaking of focusing, the AF Illuminator works like a charm in low-light situations (even complete darkness), allowing the AF to lock everytime without hunting. The LCD does not gain up in low-light, though the orange AF Illuminator light does allow you to kind of view what you are trying to take.

When you turn the Mode Dial, a visual representation also displays on the LCD monitor, and spins with the Mode Dial. I'm not too sure I like this implementation, though I guess this may be useful in the dark when it's difficult to read the engravings on the Mode Dial.

Controls are easy and straightforward to use, and the placement of controls at the front and back are such that there is enough space for your fingers and they do not get in the way of the lens or flash. The Menu structure is very simple (the way I like it) and remembers where you last left it. For example, if you go into the Menu and sets Sharpness, the next time you press the Menu button, the menu will be positioned on the Sharpness setting. Since Exposure Compensation is only accessible via Menu, I would recommend that you always navigate back to it before leaving the menu. This way, a press of the Menu button will automatically put you into exposure compensation mode.

Compact, pocketable, elegantly designed, and fast, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 is always ready to capture the important moments.

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