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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot

Sony Digital Cameras


Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot Review

Review Date: Aug 25, 2003

Category: Serious to Advanced Amateur

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Photoxels Award
OriGenial: Hologram AF Illuminator that really works

Executive Summary

This Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

ROM Lobby Ceiling: Auto White Balance, 1/25 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100
Royal Ontario Museum Lobby Ceiling:
Auto White Balance,
1/25 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100
[Detailed picture of the window is above in the Navigation background]

The Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot is compact, light, extremely fast, and gives great results -- a perfect combination for discreet street photography. It looks and handles like a professional camera should, is targeted to demanding serious amateur photographers, and features the full set of flexible exposure control.

Though the V1 will not fit in your pants pocket, it is pleasantly light and compact enough to carry in one hand without any strain. It is very well constructed and its controls are user-friendly. The only two things you may have to get used to is to avoid putting your left finger on the pop-up flash, and get properly oriented with the up-down (instead of left-right) zoom lever.

For flexible exposure control, you can switch to one of the scene modes, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority or full Manual mode. However, it's easy to get good results with the V1 in Program AE mode, which I use almost exclusively in this review.

Two features that instantly win me over:

  1. The low-light hologram AF assist works like a charm and I never have to worry about not acquiring focus in low-light situations. All digital cameras should have this kind of fast and accurate low-light focus assist.
  2. The program shift feature allows me to change shutter speed/aperture combinations on the fly while still maintaining correct exposure. This allows me to instantly adjust the shutter speed or aperture (depending on the situation) without having to manually switch to either Shutter-Priority mode or Aperture-Priority mode for that one shot. Result: fast operation without taking the eyes off the picture.

If you are a serious amateur photographer looking for a top of the line consumer digital camera, or you are an advanced amateur photographer looking for a compact digital camera with superb image quality and flexible exposure control, then you should look seriously at the 5 megapixels Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot with its 4x optical zoom Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar lens, bright and excellent LCD, and Hologram AF Illuminator. See if you fit the Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot User Profile below:

Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot
User Profile
Desire a quality 5 MP resolution digital camera capable of producing prints of up to 11x14 in.
Need superb image quality, flexible exposure control, and professional features.
Are a serious amateur photographer and need Auto as well as full exposure control.
Require fast response in all lighting situation, including indoors low-light situations.
Want a digital camera that can be sometimes used as a point-and-shoot and at other times used for more creative photography.
Want a compact and light camera that can be easily carried in a coat pocket, purse, or belt case.


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