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I've had mine for over 7 years now and it truly is a quality and robust piece of kit. I've travelled the world with it and used it in all kinds of extreme conditions from +48 down to -25 degrees. IT HAS NEVER FAILED ME YET! I highly recommend this camera, even if it is a bit bulky by today's standards. For a camera of it's age it has all the bells and whistles on it and it still can cut it with today's compact cameras. I'm still on the original Sony batteries, which last forever. A small disadvantage is movies aren't great quality but for stills (which I've taken over 15,000 on this camera) it's very hard to beat for the money you pay. I'm only just getting around to upgrading my camera and am going to be hard pressed to find a new camera of similar quality - it goes without saying I'll be looking for a Sony.
I have had this camera for over 3yrs now, and it is still going strong. At first, I was a little confused with all of the features but after exploring all of the options, I soon got the hang of it. The picture quality is amazing, and I am amazed by the zoom feature. The high quality image is still maintained even when you have to zoom feature on. I know of some cameras where the picture quality is nowhere near as good. The timer delay is great for capturing those family moments! It is also very easy to remove the memory stick and also to connect to the PC and upload photos. The only bad thing I find with this camera is the delay between taking photos, when you have to wait for the camera to process the image and reset ready for next use. Sometimes you miss brilliant photo opportunities. Mine is still going strong, and I won't give up on it yet!
The usual clicks and mechanical whirring transcend into the fore as the majestic, awe-inspiring backdrop is captured by the camera. Memories and time held forever in your hands. The user checks the number of photos still left to take, time to change the film? I don't think so! Sony's wonderful, cheaper digital camera offering, the Cybershot P52 is sleekly designed in a high quality, silver finish which is not cluttered or looks like a way-laid piece of machinery from a generic sci-fi film. Have you seen some of the camera's out there? The designer's of these deserve nothing less than a swift slap on the wrists for producing something so hideous and convoluted a stray octopus could easily find a new mate for a day. A big thank you to Sony then for producing the Cybershot range which is something you wouldn't be embarrassed to whip out from your trousers at a moments notice when the chance arises........ (apologies for the awful innuendo!) Trying extremely hard, and failing, not to sound like a certain young lady married to Brad Pitt, the specifications are very important when purchasing a digital camera so be careful not to get your optical and smart zoom's confused. *cough* Here comes the science part! Specs --------- Dimensions (WxDxH) ::12.3 cm x 5.2 cm x 5.8 cm Weight :: 280 g Localisation :: English Flash Memory :: 1 x 16 MB Supported Flash Memory Memory Stick :: Memory Stick PRO Sensor Resolution :: 3.2 Megapixel Shooting Modes :: Frame movie mode Lens Aperture :: F/3.8 Focus Adjustment :: Automatic, manual Min Focus Range :: 8 cm Focal Length :: 6.3 mm - 12.6 mm Optical Zoom :: 2 x Digital Zoom :: 3.2 x Camera Flash :: Built-in flash Red Eye Reduction :: Built-in Microphone Microphone :: built-in - electret condenser - mono Viewfinder Optical :: real-image zoom Display LCD display :: TFT active matrix - 1.6" - colour Battery :: 2 x battery AA type - rechargeable - Nickel Metal Hydride - 2100 mAh Manufacturer Warranty :: 1 year warranty Taking the pictures This is pretty straight forward, point the camera at whatever takes your fancy and press a button, with the choice to look at the subject through a decent quality LCD screen. Please note; you may need to clean this screen frequently as it can get dusty and smeared easily. However, this may be ammended by the care you give to the camera, the typical student hovel which mine found itself in most of the time was probably not the optimum conditions required. A drawback of the P52 is only the 2X manual zoom, other cameras on the market can zoom in further, but to be honest this is not needed in most situations. A 3.2X digital zoom can also be used for pictures which need it. Viewing and Deleting ------------------------------ Viewing pictures or movies is as simple as pressing up or down on t the back of the camera. They can then be deleted straight away on the memory stick, kept until later use or transferred to your computer via the USB cable. The 16 MB memory stick is adequate for infrequent use, but you may soon want to purchase a new one, which can hold more data (pics and movies). You can pick up a 64 MB stick for around 20 pounds which is reasonable. Many options can be used on the pictures, such as the colour optimised for different conditions, e.g. starker colours if in the Antarctic to cope for the lac k of differentiation. Hint::: A simple way to allow the stick to hold more pictures is to reduce the photo resolution, to example to 2M (Million Pixels) which has been fine for me. For those higher quality photos, you can increase the resolution back up fairly easily. Movies ---------- These are of fairly low quality but still pretty useful as they come with sound! The microphone is built into the camera and records the audio well. Durability and longevity -------------------------------- Considering the surroundings my camera found itself in, a student flat with the majority of members holding a severe disrespect for hygiene, it was not uncommon I would find it in the morning under cushions on the sofa or inside ringlet of beer cans. To this end, it has held up really well and is testament to a solid camera design put into practise well by Sony. To this day, after 6 months of heavy use it only has a few scratches on it and is in full working order much to my amazement. A camera case is well and truly on my shopping list this summer but not due to the Cybershot's good durability as it ticks all boxes here. Batteries ------------- Well worth a section on their own, the rechargeable batteries last for ages and then only take 5/6 hours to recharge when needed. The camera turns itself off after a period as well to reduce the use. Accessories ----------------- Come mainly in the guise of memory sticks (a worthwhile purchase for heavier users) Upload pics ----------------- It is very simple to load the pictures to your computer, after installing the initial software just attach the USB cable into the slot on the back of the camera and put the other end into a free USB port on your computer (wh at looks like where the mouse is, usually next to it) and the pictures/movies are loaded automatically. The other software included isn't fantastic but you should be able to find alternate programs easily on the 'net. Compared to the rest of the Cybershot range ---------------------------------------------------------------- Nestled lovingly between the Cybershot P32 and P72, the P52 is well priced and can be picked up for only 5-10 pounds more than the P32 if you shop around. In my opinion it has better looks than both of these, although this probably shouldn't be your priority for choosing a camera! The P72 is slightly better with a higher manual zoom so this is a more intelligent purchase if you require this, for approx 10 pounds more than the P52. Final Word --------------- The indomitable Sony brand has really struck again with the Cybershot, as quality is guaranteed for the hard earned you part with. The Cybershot P52 is not the best digital camera in the market but you could go far worse than to purchase this one. The price has also gone down dramatically over the last 6 months as Sony has released newer models and so gives another incentive to look in the P52's direction with your credit card at the ready.
Sony's DSC-P52 Cyber-shot digital still camera proves that price is irrelevant where Sony quality is concerned. Providing great value, you're getting a camera with functionality that rivals more sophisticated models. The DSC-P52 offers 3.2 megapixel effective resolution, 2x optical zoom, 0 to 3.2 Smart Zoom (at VGA size), and Sony features that make it easier than ever to take exciting digital photos with point-and-shoot ease. From 16-frame multi-burst, MPEG movie modes, and smart auto-focus functions to an intelligent flash, multi-pattern measuring and voice memo and e-mail modes. The DSC-P52 also includes a USB 2.0 interface and convenient rechargeable NiMH batteries with included charger.