Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 Review
Date: Oct 1, 2004
Thursday, Sep 16, 2004 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- Sony P100
- 32MB Memory Stick
- Wrist Strap
- Interface Cables: USB and Video
- Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery and AC Adaptor
- English & French Instruction Manuals:
Operating Instructions Manual
- Software CD: PicturePackage ver1.0
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 is quite
compact and definitely JeansPocket
Certified. It is very well designed and built,
and looks elegant whether it is powered on or
I like the AC adaptor which means I do not have
to remove the battery from the camera to recharge
it, plus you use it when transferring images to
your PC and won't risk a dead battery midway during
the transfer. On the other hand, this also means
that you will not be able to recharge a depleted
battery and use the camera for picture taking
at the same time. An optional compact battery
charger BC-TR1 is about CAD$99.99, ouch! An optional
InfoLithium rechargeable battery NP-FR1 will set
you back another CAD$79.99. A CAD$20 on-line accessory
coupon is included with the P100.
The Sony P100 comes with all kinds of optional
accessories: wide-angle and telephoto converters,
a docking station, polarizing filter kit, Neutral
Density (ND) filter, water-proof housing (underwater
rated up to 132 foot depth), tripods, and flash.
At 5MP resolution (at 2592x1944 pixels), the
supplied 32MB Memory Stick can hold about 12 images.
Remember, this memory card is for you to practice
using your new camera; when you are ready to go
out and start shooting, you would most certainly
need a larger Memory Stick: a 256MB Memory Stick
holds about 94 images, so we recommend a 512MB
Memory Stick Pro. Buy the "Pro" since
the hi-res movie can only be recorded on the Memory
The viewfinder is optical and gives a small tunnel,
though quite clear, view. I prefer to use the
1.8 in. LCD monitor to frame the shots since I
can see exposure information on the screen. At
134K pixels, the LCD monitor is quite clear and
very usable outdoors even in the sun. I do find
it a bit difficult to see in very bright sun.
The Sony P100 does not have manual White Balance,
but its intended audience will probably not care.
It does have an AF Illuminator but no high-gain
LCD so, though you won't be able to see much if
anything in extreme low-light, you'll still be
able to lock focus (your subject will be bathed
in the strong orange light of the AF Illuminator).
The PicturePackage software is barebones
and basically allows you to transfer images from
the camera to your PC, then to view them. You
can rotate them, too, and that's about it (you
can't even delete an image). Sony here is betting
most of its intended users either will not bother
to post process images, or already have an image
editing software, such as Photoshop Elements.
I, for one, am very glad they got rid of Pixela
ImageMixer, and let's hope PicturePackage will
be improved shortly.
The Operating Instructions Manual is well
illustrated and explanations are clearly written,
though the fonts are quite tiny.
7.9mm, Program AE, Multi Pattern, 1/500 sec.,
F5.6 and ISO 100
Besides the Auto mode, the Sony P100 also has
Program Auto mode which is similar to Auto except
you have control over the ISO, white balance and
can dial in an exposure compensation. The menu
system remembers which function you last set,
so it's a good idea to leave it at Exposure Compensation
before you turn off the menu. This way, a press
of the menu button will immediately bring you
to exposure compensation. You would then use the
Up and Down arrows to select a +ve or -ve exposure
there is also a Manual mode, allowing you to change
both aperture and shutter speed, with an EV value
displayed to indicate how much above or below
you are compared to what the camera determines
to be the correct exposure. In Manual mode, you
can take long night exposures of up to 30 sec.
number of Scene Modes provide easy automatic exposure
determination for preset situations. You have
to memorize the symbols to know which scene mode
you are setting, though they become quickly intuitive:
Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap,
Snow, Beach, High Speed Shutter, Fireworks, Candle.
can display a live histogram in Shooting mode.
Usually I prefer to use Center AF but I find that
the Sony P100's 5 Area Multi-Point AF works very
well so I default to it. I also usually prefer
to use Spot metering but the P100's Multi-Pattern
metering works quite well.
P100 displays the amount of time left before the
rechargeable Li-ion battery fails. Note that it
takes about 1 min. before the correct battery
remaining time displays. This is only a guesstimate
and, under certain conditions, the time remaining
may not be correct, so don't become overly reliant
on it. Better to have a spare battery ready just
Transfer is average at about 3-4 sec. per image.
The Sony P100 provides an AC adaptor that plugs
directly into the camera to recharge a completed
depleted Li-Ion battery in about 200 min.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100 is an elegant,
compact digital camera that gives great results
in point-and-shoot mode. It's a camera that turns
head, with people exclaiming how compact and light
it is when they handle it. Also, I find that its
cool form and shape screams "digital"
and, looking less than a conventional rectangular
camera, seems to put people more at ease. For
a 7.2MP resolution version, check out the Sony