Sony DSC-V1 Review
Features & Controls
The DSC-V1 is equipped with a F2.8-4.0 7-28mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 4x optical zoom with 34 to 136mm coverage (as compared to a 35mm camera.) The lens retracts into the body when powered down and is protected by a built in lens barrier. Optional wide angle VCL-DEH07V and telephoto VCL-DEH17V lenses can be attached using the adapter ring that comes with the conversion lens.
The DSC-V1 employs a 5-point Multipoint auto focus system, with automatic or user selectable AF point. The center AF target area can be wide or narrow. The working range is from 15.7 inches to infinity in normal mode and in Macro the coverage is from 3.9 inches to infinity. You can also manually select one of thirteen focus distance presets from 0.1m to infinity.
And one other feature to note is the zoom control "toggle" switch on the back of the
camera can be set by the user to work in either direction. i.e. Push up to go Tele and
push down to go Wide or the other way around -- a nice touch.
The DSC-V1 uses the same Hologram AF Assist as that found on the DSC-F717. The Hologram AF feature is a Sony-exclusive
laser focusing system designed to achieve accurate focus on subjects with little
contrast in dark conditions. It projects a safe, visible laser hologram pattern directly
onto the subject so the camera can detect the contrast between the edge of the laser
pattern and the subject itself.
The eyelevel optical real-image zoom viewfinder has a field of view of approx. 80-85%
(80% in wide and about 85% at tele) of the
captured image. Strangely there is no diopter adjustment even though this is a high-end
consumer camera. The LEDs indicate card activity/Self-Timer, Autofocus/Auto Exposure Lock
and Flash status.
The built-in flash automatically pops up when needed and has modes for Auto flash, Red-
Eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Flash Cancel. 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 1.6 to 11.5 feet (0.5 to 3.5m).
The hot shoe allows the use of the new Sony HVL-F32X Auto-Programmable external flash or
the HVL-F1000 external flash. We even hear that Sony has a new HVL-F2000 external flash
coming that will offer more advanced features. See the hot shoe with its TTL contacts
in the next frame.
The Mode Dial has positions for SETUP, Movie, Playback, AUTO, Program AE, Shutter-speed
priority, Aperture priority, Manual and SCeNe. The SCeNe mode has 8 settings for
Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fast Shutter, Fireworks.
On the back is a 1.5-inch color TFT LCD monitor with 123,000 pixels of resolution. It can be used as a live viewfinder, for image review or accessing the menu system. Controls on the back: Above the color LCD (left to right) is the Exposure Compensation button, it acts as the Index button in playback. Pressing the Focus button enables the manual focus mode, the distance is set by rotating the Command Dial. The AE Lock button locks the current exposure and white balance values - very handy when shooting multi- picture panorama shots. Just below the optical viewfinder is the Monitor button, it turns the color LCD on and off and controls the amount of information that is displayed. To the right is the Command Dial, it can be pushed and turned to change various onscreen items like shutter speeds, aperture values, focus distances etc.
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. The MENU button calls up or
dismisses the onscreen menus. The button on the bottom right lets you quickly change
the image size in record mode and acts as the image delete button in playback.
The I/O ports are found behind a door on the side and include a USB 2.0 compatible port for transferring images to the computer.
The Audio-Video Out port lets you display images and movies on a TV. The video signal can be set for NTSC or PAL standard. Audio is monoraul.
bottom is the jack for the AC-LS5 battery charger / power adapter.
Located on the bottom with the battery is the Memory Stick card slot. The DSC-V1 comes
with an 32MB Memory Stick and can use any capacity Memory Stick, Memory Stick Select or
Memory Stick Pro card.
Power is supplied by a Sony NP-FC11 780mAH InfoLITHIUM rechargeable battery pack. The battery is charged in-camera with the supplied AC-LS5 AC adapter/charger and a fully depleted battery is recharged in 150 minutes.
Sony quotes a battery life of approx. 85 minutes (170 images) with the LCD on and approx. 120 minutes (230 images) with the LCD turned off. Viewing time is approx. 180 minutes.
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