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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

Image Quality

Would you dare to take pictures of a black column in a dark room? Or, how about a one second handheld picture of a dinosaur lighted by red light in very dark conditions? Both without flash and using auto everything? Can your digital camera do that? Well, it can if it's the Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot.

The Sony V1 gives consistently excellent images at 5 megapixels resolution thanks to its Carl Zeiss lens. It also has a couple of features that give it an advantage over other 5MP digital cameras when it comes to image quality: the Hologram AF for low-light focus really works; program shift to select different shutter speed/aperture combination on the fly (while maintaining the correct exposure) means better depth of field control; very fast focus and shot-to-shot operation mean you get a better chance of capturing "the moment."

The V1 is targeted to serious amateur photographers or prosumers who want a smaller, lighter, carry-anywhere camera but with still the type of image quality they are used to with their prosumer digital cameras. You can use the V1 strictly as a point-and-shoot digital camera (and that's how I used it mostly for this review), but it also has the flexible exposure you need for creative exposure control.

All the pictures on this and the other pages (including the navigation pictures at the top of each page) have been taken by the V1 for this review. Since one of the forte and distinguishable feature of the V1 is its hologram AF, I have concentrated on indoors low-light shots. The pictures on this page provide a good sample of what the V1 is capable of in the hands of a beginner amateur photographer -- for that is how I have approached this review: basically, point and shoot in Program AE mode, auto ISO, auto White Balance, auto Flash, and Multi-Pattern metering mode.

Unless otherwise specified, all pictures on this page are taken in SuperFine Large 2592x1944 pixels. All are original, direct from the DSC-V1 (except for the panorama pictures of the Dragon Mural which may have been automatically retouched in and by Photomerge, and the navigation background above which has had its level adjusted in Photoshop Elements to bring out the details in the shadows). I have provided the 800x600 version. Remember that this version is of slightly lesser quality than the original 2592x1944 version. Please open and download only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

Clicking on a picture will display the 800x600 image in a separate window. Leave that separate window up for all the other original images will also display in that same separate window.

Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland: 1/250 sec., F6.3 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)
Architecture: 1/400 sec., F8 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.0 MB)
All Aboard in Kidzville: 1/160 sec., F4 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.3 MB)
Six billion plus and counting...: 1/60 sec., F4 and ISO 100 with flash (File size: 1.5 MB)
Garbage History: 1/3 sec., F3.2 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)
Mastermind: 1/30 sec., F3.2 and ISO 320 (File size: 2.2 MB)
Converging lines: 1/60 sec., F4 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.0 MB)
Black-Eyed Susan: 1/60 sec., F8 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)
Repeating Elements: 1/250 sec., F4 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.2 MB)
Richmond Hill Library: 1/250 sec., F7.1 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.3 MB)
Light Wells: 1/60 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.1 MB)
Bathurst Clark Reference Library: 1/30 sec., F2.8 and ISO 100 (File size: 2.0 MB)
Dragon Mural (File size: 3.7 MB)

Click here for comments accompanying pictures.

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A Personal Word

The Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot inspires confidence. I shoot almost exclusively in Program AE mode, taking full advantage of the program shift function (which basically makes having Shutter-Priority mode and Aperture-Priority mode kind of redundant). The autofocus is fast and works in all lighting conditions.

The Sony DSC-V1 Cyber-shot is a serious contender to the top place of the best digital camera for serious amateur photographers. Its unique combination of features set it apart from its competitors. With the V1, Sony has signaled it is staking a claim not only in the point-and-shoot category, but it is also firmly committed to earn its rightful place among the traditional camera manufacturers.

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