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I love this camera. It takes excellent quality pictures, it is very easy to use, and it is so quick too: about 1 second to load when you turn it on!! The camera comes with re-chargeable batteries and a charger, which gives it more life and lets you take more videos/pictures, as it increases the memory. I found it very easy to set up and, once I had gone through the instructions leaflet and tried a few things out, I found it easy to use too. - Instruction leaflet: very detailed and well explained. - Battery life: On the condition that you use the rechargeable batteries, supplied with the camera, here is an idea on the battery life: - Shooting images under average conditions: 3.1 Megapixel pictures or VGA movies: between 320 and 540 (160 to 270 minutes battery life), depending on whether the LCD screen is left on or off. - Playing back images: approximately 6000 (300 minutes) - Shooting movies: between 160 and 210 minutes, depending on whether the LCD screen is left on or off. - Memory stick: 16MB supplied; I recommend that you buy a memory stick of higher capacity (I got a 128 MB), to make the most of your camera and be able to use it as you wish. This will depend on your needs obviously but the bigger the memory stick, the more images and movies you?ll be able to take before having to delete. Also by having an extra memory stick, you can always keep the 16MB with you in case you?re out and about and the bigger one gets full a bit too soon!! - Features: - 3.2 effective Megapixel - Smart Zoom (up to 3.2x ? not fantastic but does the job for me) - Different flash modes (auto, off, forced, slow syncro, red eyes reduction) - Self timer - Viewing images: o Images can be viewed on the LCD screen, either individually, or within an index of 3 or 9 pictures. When viewing the images, you can change its settings, its size, or even delete or protect it (to stop it from being deleted by accident) o They can also be viewed on your TV screen with the supplied A/V cable o Finally you can upload them easily and in a few seconds to your PC, either through the provided software, or through software of your choice. When you plug your camera into your PC through the supplied USB cable, your computer will automatically detect it and will offer you to save the contents to a folder of your choice. Couldn?t be easier. - Folders: within the camera, you can create sub-folders where you wish to save your pictures/movies as you go, so they are already organised before you even upload them to your PC. - Multi-burst mode: to record 16 frames in a row - Shooting still images with audio file: you can add sound for up to 40 seconds to a simple picture. - Special effects: solarise (like an illustration with clearly delineated bright and dark conditions), black and white, sepia (makes the picture look like an old photograph) and negative art - MPEG movie with audio, which you can edit and cut to the scenes you want. The software provided is also very easy of use and lets you edit your pictures and movies, make the changes of your choice and create a photo album. The only thing that is not so good is the flash, which is very bright and therefore makes the subject blink more often than not when you take the picture (especially when taking pictures of children). Generally a good camera to have, I recommend it.
I thought it was about time I got myself a digital camera. I'm not really a huge camera user - in the last 6 years of using my old trusty Olympus I probably took a grand total of 200 shots. Mostly I used it for taking pictures of things I was selling on eBay, then scanning the processed picture into my PC. Eventually I thought if that's all you want to do then why not cut out the middleman and buy digital? As such after Christmas I had a shufty on the 'Net and came up with this little number via Amazon. Common consensus via the High Street prices it at around £150 but Amazon are doing it at the moment for £137.99 with free postage. Not bad for a 3.2 megapixel camera from a very well-known manufacturer. If you want more features and functionality (more on that subject later) then there are more models in the range (the DSC-32P being the baby) for more money, but they all seem to share a common casing design, in currently-trendy silver, and external dimensions. So what do you get for your money. Well, it was a lot smaller than I expected. About the size of a Nokia 3310 or a packet of 20 cigarettes (comparing it to other things I have on my desk at the moment!) or say 10cm by 5cm by 2.5cm in old-fashioned raw dimensions. It?s not what I?d call avant-garde or cutting-edge in it?s design, but then what can you do in such small dimensions? Especially as all the controls fall easily to the fingertips. On the front you have the lens and the flash (no great surprises there, then) whilst the back is dominated by a (it says here in the manual) 1.6? LCD screen. Next to this you have a rotary dial which accesses the various menus (which come up on said screen) for the features of the camera. Selecting various functions is then achieved by pressing one of four buttons for up, down, left or right, arranged in a circle, and pressing a button in the centre of the circle to proceed. It?s very intuitive and I have only needed to look through the manual o
nce (when first unpacking it), which is more than can be said for most video recorders I?ve had the misfortune to own. So what is it like in operation? Very good indeed. It?s supplied with a 16Mb memory stick as standard, which unfortunately on the top resolution setting (3.2 megapixels) only allows for 10 photos to be stored in memory, but of course you can fit bigger-capacity sticks which will allow more to be stored. It?s really just as simple (if you want it to be) as pressing the power button, moving the rotary dial one notch (to open the lens cap), aiming the camera, holding down the shutter button halfway (until it flashes a green light to indicate it has a light reading and has auto-focussed), then pressing a bit harder to take the photo. This is accompanied by a sound effect of, well, a normal camera motor drive. It must be said that, in standard mode, the colours are almost too rich and bright (giving pictures an American TV-like quality, if you know what I mean), but you can fiddle around with the colour settings according to the type of ambient light you have. I?m not going to bore you with details but suffice to say 5 minutes perusal of the relevant section in the manual will allow you to fine-tune those details to perfection. One thing that this camera doesn?t have is an optical zoom facility. Well, that?s not quite true, in certain lower resolutions (1.6 or 2 megapixel) you have a small (1 to 1.3) zoom. Personally, I don?t find this a problem ? provided you have steady hands you will find that you can take decent-focus pictures at ridiculously short ranges. Therefore, in order to provide a zoom facility, I simply walk forwards or backwards until I?m happy. Simple. But, personally, the coolest thing on this camera is a feature that is seemingly at odds with it?s model name. Y?see, DSC stands for Digital Still Camera, but this little baby also shoots movies ? with sound! The quality is low ? VGA standard ? so you shouldn?t be
throwing out your camcorder, but it?s an excellent feature and the length of the film is only limited by the size of your memory stick (42 seconds for the standard 16Mb). It?s a bit jerky when played on your computer (at twice the normal size), but looks excellent when played back on the camera?s little screen. Praise also for the simplicity of hooking the thing up to your computer. Install the provided software. Plug the supplied cable into your PC?s USB port. Pull a rubber clip away from the corner of the camera, plug the other end of the cable in and then double-click on ?My Computer? in Windows. The PC recognises the camera as an extra hard drive, and you can then view or edit the pictures (as JPEGs) and videos (as MPEGs) to your heart?s content. So to sum up, I like this camera a lot. I must say that I only bought it due to the combination of the low price point, 3.2 megapixel capability and Sony brand name (plus the movie facility), but I?m not disappointed. The only black mark I can give it is the lack of extras ? a case would have been nice, but you can?t have everything. Anyway, I?m off to take a picture of my old Olympus so I can auction it on eBay?