Sony DSC-U30 Review

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CyberShot DSC-U30

Posted 7/29/03

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-U30Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

Sony DSC-U30

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

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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.

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Features & Controls

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