Sony DSC-M1 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Features & Controls
The DSC-M1 employs a high-quality F3.5-4.4 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 6.7-20.1mm optical zoom lens with 38 to 114mm coverage (as compared to a 35mm camera.) This is an all-glass lens consisting of 11 elements in 8 groups with 3 aspheric elements and 1 prism. When powered down, the lens is protected by a built in lens barrier.
The DSC-M1 has a 5 Area Multi-point auto focus system, with Center AF and 5-Step Manual. The working range is from 19-5/8 inches (50cm) to infinity. Macro mode is automatic with a coverage of 3-1/16 inches (8cm) to infinity. The Magnifying Glass Mode covers an even closer range down to 3/8 inches (1cm.)
The DSC-M1 features an AF Assist beam designed to achieve accurate
focus on subjects with little contrast in dark conditions. It also
makes the LCD screen image brighten to aid in framing.
The built-in flash has modes for Auto, Forced On, Forced Off, and Slow Synchro.
Red-eye reduction can be enabled or disabled via the Setup menu. It uses a pre-flash
for precise metering of the exposure. It also has auto daylight synchro
fill flash for backlit or shadowed subjects as well as dynamic flash white
balance for greater color accuracy. The working range for the flash is approx.
11.8 in. - 5ft. (0.3 - 1.5m), when using ISO Auto.
The M1 has a large 2.5-inch Transflective LCD that swivels 270° and rotates 90°
from the closed to open position. It is the only viewfinder, and is
also used to browse the menu system and review photos and movies.
On the side is the Power button, note that the M1 powers on automatically when the
LCD is opened. The Charging, Record and Playback indicator lights
can be seen from this side or the back.
Controls on the back: Top right is the MODE button to select the REC or PLAY mode. There
are two Shutter Releases, one for Photo and another for Movie recording. The Photo release
has a selector switch for Normal or Hybrid recording, hybrid records a still image
followed by a short movoie clip. The Movie release has a Normal and 5-Sec position.
Inbetween is the Zoom lens control, in playback the Zoom controls also act as the magnify
and index options. The MENU button call up and dismisses the onscreen menu system. The 4-
way selector lets you navigate through the menus or select images during playback.
Pressing it in the center accepts selections. In record it lets you select the flash
mode, spot metering, self-timer and Quick Review mode. To the bottom left of the 4-way is
the Image Quality button, which lets you quickly change the image size in record mode and
acts as the image delete button in playback. The Monitor button controls the amount of
information (and histogram) that is displayed. And
Located on the side with the battery is the Memory Stick DUO card slot. The DSC-M1 comes
with an 32MB Memory Stick DUO card and can use any capacity Memory Stick DUO or Memory
Stick DUO Pro card. The use of a Memory Stick DUO Pro card is required for recording
either 640x480 or 320x240 30fps mode movie clips.
The M1 is the first digicam that we've seen with stereo microphones.
Power is supplied by a rechargeable Sony InfoLithium NP-FT1 3.6v 2.4Wh battery.
Sony includes the AC power adapter/charger and this Cyber-Station docking cradle, the
battery is charged in-camera. As always, we recommend the purchase of a second battery
pack, just in case.
The Cyber-Station docking cradle provides the USB 2.0 connection to the host computer as well as the Audio (stereo) and Video (NTSC or PAL selectable) output.