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*When reading the reviews about this product please bear in mind that the others were written at least 6 years ago, so what was said about the camera then may not be as relevant now*
*I have also put this review on ciao*
The sony cyber-shot DSC-P71 is getting on in years and while it may have been an excellent digital camera in its day, it is now past its best.
The camera is only 3.2 mega pixels - this is very low compared to modern cameras but is still adequate for regular size prints eg. 6x4 and 7x5.
Unfortunately the camera takes 2 AA batteries - while these are cheap and easy to obtain, they don't last very long and as a consequence battery life is very poor versus that of other types.
For a compact camera it's very heavy and chunky with only a small viewing screen.
In low light conditions I've found it performs very badly (I'm classifying low light as pretty much anything other than sunlight and not using flash) - the images are very noisy.
Uses a sony memory stick which are not the easiest memory sticks to get hold of (the camera comes supplied with a 16mb one which is tiny by today's standards and even with the low megapixels of this camera it can still only manage to hold a dozen photos).
The DSC-P71 does have a viewfinder which helps to save on battery life.
Built in flash - helps in above mentioned low light conditions.
The camera does have the ability to record video - while not the best of quality, this is still a useful feature.
There are a number of different options available in the menu for the user to adjust such as the white balance settings, ISO (from 100 up to 400) and the option of spot metering.
Due to the vast number of improvements in digital camera technology over the last few years, this camera is now pretty much obsolete - there are better camera's available on the market at very low prices, which surpass this camera in all aspects.
If you have this camera or have been given it I'm not suggesting you throw it away, it still has its uses but it's not something I would recommend buying.
I don't know how i managed without this fantastic camera, with a self timer and various colour options and photo sizes that are easy to use, taking photos has been made a pleasure. I use to run from the camera but now i know that if i dont like it i can delete it and do it again! I would recommend this camera to all people, for beginners, for those with poor eyesight, for young people and for those who are even a little technologically minded like me. Its not too simple, but its not difficult - the camera is what you make of it and every photo will be of great quality. Only things that may bother those who are going to be replacing a camera is that you may miss a handling strap, however this is not a real problem as the other features, red eye flash, black and white photos, and many others will make up for it.
My daughter needed a digital camera for her college work, so I gave her my trusty old Kodak DC215 (see review). I replaced it with a cheapo which I will not go into now. On my way out to China a couple of week ago I decided to have a look at the digital cameras at duty free in schipol. After much deliberation I chose the Sony DSC-P71 which was offered at a reasonable price of 499 euros. My first impression was the quality feel to it. It is not the lightest camera in this range, but it feels substantial without being cumbersome. My first surprise however was the ease of installation of the USB software on my WinXP home edition based laptop. It worked 1st time, no downloads needed from the web. This was definitely a big thing in my book as every other peripheral I have bought has took eons to get up and going. To the camera , well I played around taking a couple of silly pictures i.e. the pint of beer at the bar I was drinking from, a fag packet etc. Once downloaded into my machine I could immendiately see the effect that having 3.2 megapixels gave me, the beer looked so inviting long after it was consumed. Seriously the results are good. This was using the default settings. In fine mode - even better. Good clear images. The operation of this camera seemed a little daunting at first, but on reading a very well produced manual all became clear quite quickly, even to an old dinosaur like me. I love the scenery mode as it allows shots to be taken without flash due to the shutter times being extended. I got some damn good shots without flash inside - without camera "shake". There is a movie facility which I did not think I would use, but on site I saw a problem with some machinery I was working on and using a 15 second burst of video was able to mail this back to my office to illustrate a design problem. It came with a 16meg memory stick, which in Hi res fine mode gave me 11 shots. I bought another one at 32 meg, to give me a bi
t more capability. Down side of this system is price of memory sticks. It aint too bad though if like myself, I usually have my laptop around to download the images to and clear the memory. To sum up I think Sony have got digital photgraphy bang on. Heavy on batteries, especially with the LCD screen on all time, but the rechargeables once charged seem to give a good long run. One advantage is you can stick a couple of AA cells in if caught without charging facilities.
I don't know what's happening.... Recently, many of my purchases have been Sony devices. It started with the Playstation, then the TV, a Sony radio seperate followed soon after. Then, the inevitable happened. They released the PS2. That was soon followed by a Clie 770C and now, a P71 camera. To be honest, I think part of my buying decision must have been psycological. You see, I didn't realise that I owned so many Sony products! They just look good and do the job that they were designed to do. And very well it seems. I was browsing in a high street store and thought about the up-coming holiday. The guys at work all have amazing pictures from digital cameras, and to be honest, I was feeling left out! A helpful chap (who actually knew what he was talking about) showed me through the models. Canon Ixus (nice and small), Fuji (small, abit pricey, best magazine reviews), Kodak (bulky designs) and somewhere amongst them, the Sony. I found it the easiest of all to use, light, high quality build and a good price for a 3 Mega-pixel camera. The Sony it had to be. Thinking about my purchase on the way back from the shops, I remembered that it came with a 32Mb Memory Stick. Hmmmm, I already have a 128Mb MS with my Clie (see seperate review!). So I took some pictures, popped the MS into the Clie and hey presto! Perfect pictures! The USB interface provides adequate upload speed to a PC (<1 min for a full 32Mb MS). The lens on the P71 has an automatic lens cover, something I really wanted after having bought a video camera without one. The battery life has been OK so far, although I'd be tempted to buy a spare set for use in anger with a 128Mb Memory Stick. Image quality is superb. Whether 3MPixels is THAT much better than 2MPixels is debatable, but the colour contrast and brightness/sharpness of picture quality are impressive. I'm no professional phot
ographer, however the auto-everything mode takes pictures which put my previous efforts to shame. I've started to experiment with the manual modes, of which there are plenty. Perhaps this years holiday snaps will be more 'artistic'? The only downsides I can think of are:- Anyone who dislikes Memory Sticks will choose something else anyway. Extreme use of the LCD and Flash can drain the batteries quickly. To sum up:- This seems to be another Sony product that is stylish, and does its job well.