Sony DSC-U30 Review

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CyberShot DSC-U30

Posted 7/29/03

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Sony DSC-U30
Click on the DSC-U30 to take a QuickTime VR tour

Sony is blending their expertise in miniaturization, digital imaging and sophisticated design with a new class of ultra-small "Cyber-shot U" digital cameras. It began with the 1.3 megapixel DSC-U10 and continues with the 2.0 megapixel DSC-U20 and now the new DSC-U30.

With the Cyber-shot "U" series, Sony has engineered a sub-miniature model without sacrificing image quality or functionality. The lightweight body design turns this into a camera that is light enough to hook to a belt loop, drape around the neck or carry in a pocket. Smaller than many cell phones, the DSC-U30 weighs a scant 4.3 ounces (with battery and media) and offers a host of built-in photographic features. For those instances when the user wants to be a part of the picture, the Cyber-shot U30 model features a circular mirror on the sliding lens cover to ensure that the picture is properly framed.

For more accurate exposure, the camera incorporates a built-in advanced pre-flash metering system. At the time of exposure, the flash automatically fires twice: once to illuminate the subject and calculate correct exposure, then a second time to record the image with the best exposure possible. In addition, the automatic center-weighted focusing system helps ensure accurate capture of any subject.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U30
The DSC-U30 is also available in blue or charcoal grey.

Designed for impulsive picture taking, the Cyber-shot U30 reduces the time of having to remove and ready a larger camera from its case, as well as the need to set manual controls. The camera offers simple, single-handed operation; slide the door open for immediate powerup and then start shooting. Quick power activation and minimal processing time required between shots makes this one of the fastest shooting digital cameras - capable of capturing "on the fly" shots when other cameras are still preparing to do so.

For one-step USB photo transfer from the camera to a PC, the camera comes bundled with Sony's new Image Transfer software - a completely automated, plug-and-play program that offers quick downloading and storing of all digital photos.

DSC-U30 features:

  • 2.0 Megapixel CCD for up to 1632x1224 images
  • 12-Bit DXP A/D Conversion
  • 1.0-inch, backlit reflective color TFT LCD;
  • MPEG video recording (w/o audio) in 15-sec 160x112 clips;
  • Soft Snap Scene Mode for warmer skin tones;
  • VGA Burst mode captures up to five 640x480 frames at 2 frames/second;
  • 4 Mode Intelligent Flash with TTL Pre-flash metering and Red Eye Reduction;
  • Illumination Snap Scene Mode for shooting in low light;
  • Vivid Nature Scene Mode for vibrant landscapes;
  • Picture Effects: Negative Art, Sepia, Black & White, and Solarize;
  • Flash Modes: Auto, Auto Red Eye Reduction, Forced Flash, and No Flash;
  • USB 1.1 connectivity
  • "AAA" Rechargeable NiMH Batteries and Charger included,
  • Sony Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro media
  • OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 98 / 98SE / Me / 2000, Professional, XP Home and Professional, Macintosh® OS 8.5.1 / 8.6 / 9.0 / 9.1 / 9.2, Mac OS X 10.0 / 10.1

Supplied Accessories: "AAA" Rechargeable NiMH Batteries, Battery Charger, USB Cable, MSA-8A(8MB Memory Stick media), Neck Strap, Software CD-ROM.

Sony Cyber-shotU DSC-U30

The DSC-U30 is available now for about $199 (July 2003).

Physical Views

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U30

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30 Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

The DSC-U30 and the water-resistant DSC-U60.

Continue on to
Features & Controls

Cyber-Shot DSC-U30 Specifications

Imager 1/2.7" 2.0 Megapixel effective Super HAD CCD
Image Sizes Still: 1632x1224, 640x480
MPEG: 160x112
Burst: Up to five images @ 640x480 at 2fps
Recording Formats Still: JPEG
Movie: MPEG EX 160x112 in 15sec clips, no audio
A/D Conversion 12-bit DXP
Lens Sony single focal length 5.0mm (33mm 35mm equiv) F/2.8
No filter threads
Focus Auto Focus: (center weighted) 3.9 inches to infinity
Manual Focus: 4-Step Manual Preset from
3.9 inches to infinity
ISO Sensitivity Auto
White Balance Auto
Exposure Metering Auto
Shutter Speeds Automatic (1/8 to 1/2000)
Exposure Compensation N/A
Flash Modes Auto, Auto Redeye, Forced, and Off
Flash Range 1.6 to 6.0 feet (0.5m to 1.8m)
Color LCD Color LCD: 1.0" 64K Pixels TFT Reflective LCD
w/backlight(on/off option)
Picture Effects Solarize, Black & White, Sepia, and Negative Art
Playback Zoom none
Playback Index 4 frames
Storage Supplied 8MB Memory Stick, use any Memory Stick or Memory Stick Pro
Connections USB 1.1
Battery Supplied 2x AAA NiMH and charger
Supplied Software Pixela® ImageMixer for Sony v1.0, Sony SPVD-008 USB driver
Dimensions 3 3/8 x 1 3/16 x 1 5/8 inches (85 x 29 x 40mm)
Weight 4.3 oz. (123g) w/Batteries, Memory Stick Media, and Neck Strap
OS Compatibility Microsoft® Windows® 98 / 98SE / Me / 2000, Professional, XP Home and Professional, Macintosh® OS 8.5.1 / 8.6 / 9.0 / 9.1 / 9.2, Mac OS X 10.0 / 10.1
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

Continue on to
Features & Controls

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AC Travel Charger Adapter for Sony BatteriesPlease refer to Specifications below for specific battery high quality AC Travel Battery Charger for Sony Batteries.
We have all been in situations where we are forced to weigh the costs of taking the perfect photo with the risks of doing irreparable harm to our Sony DSC-U30.