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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

Handling & Feel

ROM Mosaic: 1/60 sec., F3.5 and ISO 100 with flash
Royal Ontario Museum Mosaic:
16.5mm, 1/60 sec., F3.5 and ISO 100 with flash

The Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot is a compact digital camera with dimensions of 99.0W x 65.2H x 56.9D mm (3.9W x 2.6H x 2.2D in.) and weighs 298g (10.9 oz.) with the battery and recording media card. With the V1, Sony has returned to a more traditional styling that looks and handles very professional.

The first thing you notice when picking up the V1 is how light it feels! Too bad it's not quite pocketable due to the protruding lens and viewfinder, but the dimensions just feel right for the features it provides. [One thing I also notice is the size of the lens: it seems bigger than the competition, and certainly a 1/1.8 in. CCD image sensor does not need such a large lens, eh? I wonder if Sony is cooking something else with perhaps a bigger sensor later on. I personally hope Sony could fit a 2/3 in. sensor in there.]

The V1 has a stylish handgrip that I find quite adequate, but it's one of those things that you must try out for yourself. The buttons and controls are placed strategically on the back and top of the camera, and are precise in operation.

If you're still wondering about the size and weight of the V1, here's the scoop that may put your mind to rest. I find the V1 surprisingly light so that it is not tiring to carry it in my hand for a long time. This is surprising because, according to specs, it is not necessarily any lighter than other cameras I have handled and which felt heftier. Maybe it has something to do with how the weight of the V1 is distributed across its compact body. Though the V1 will fit into my large pants pocket, it is not very comfortable carrying it this way, and I've only done it to free my hands for other things. Your best bet is probably a belt case, one of those bags that sling across the chest, or to carry it in a coat pocket. I would recommend a soft pouch for protection.

Wish list:

  • Pop-up flash. It's natural to put your left finger on the flash when holding the camera, with the result that the flash does not go off and an underexposure results. The flash needs to be redesigned or moved somewhere else.
  • To review the pictures, you have to turn the Mode Dial to the play symbol (that's 2 clicks anti-clockwise from the P mode). I wish there was a dedicated button that I could just press to go into quick display.

With some camera, I use the viewfinder; with others, I prefer the LCD. With the V1, I use the LCD almost exclusively. It's probably because the viewfinder only covers about 85% of the frame and does not give me the confidence that I am including elements at the edges of the frame that I want to capture. The V1's LCD is fortunately very clear, crisp and so easy to compose with that I don't miss rarely using the viewfinder.

The V1 feels solid and everything works quite smoothly. It gives excellent results and, combined with its low-light hologram AF assist and program shift function, there is now no excuse for not getting the shot.

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