Sony DSC-P100 Review

Go to Steve's Main Menu

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P100

Review posted 4/29/2004

Click on the P100 for a 360° QTVR tour

The Cyber-shot compact P100 digital camera is a stylish, pocket-size (about one-inch thin) 5-megapixel camera with specifications typically found only on more full-sized, high-end cameras. For the first time in a Cyber-shot P-series camera, Sony is offering a Carl Zeiss 3X optical zoom lens to complement the camera's high resolution imager for great picture clarity.

So that pictures are captured in-focus with the proper lighting exposure, the camera enlists the aid of a smart auto-focusing and exposure system ; meaning that even if the subject is off-center and in a difficult lighting situation, the camera can automatically make the necessary adjustments. Additionally, nine preset scene modes are available so that the user can quickly select the best setting for the shooting conditions.

For those wanting greater flexibility, the Cyber-shot P100 camera also features manual flash power output and exposure settings, and it accepts the VAD-PHB lens adaptor bracket allowing use of telephoto and wide angle conversion lenses.

Cyber-shot Station: The Perfect Companion

There's a better place to put the digital camera other than a desk or table drawer. Designed to reside next to a TV or PC, the new Cyber-shot Station CSS-PHA camera accessory, available in May 2004 for about $80, accommodates the Cyber-shot DSC-P100 camera for playing back slideshows on a TV, while charging the camera's battery.

The included infrared remote controller commands the docked camera via the Cyber-shot station to toggle between captured videos and still pictures. And when connected to a PictBridge compatible printer such as the new Sony PictureStation DPP-EX50 digital photo printer, printing a specific image is easy as a press of the remote controller's button.

DSC-P100 Major Features:

  • Sony 5.0 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 3x Zoom (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
  • Still Image: 2592x1944, 2592(3:2), 2048x1536, 1280x960, 640x480
  • MPEG Movie: 640x480 VX Fine w/audio at 30fps (Memory Stick Pro required),
    640x480 VX at 16fps, length limited only by media
  • Auto, Program AE, Full Manual plus 9 Scene modes
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 5 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • 1.8" TFT color (134,000 pixels) LCD Screen with Auto Brightness
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100, 200, 400
  • Adjustable color saturation, contrast and sharpness
  • Noise Reduction: Automatically cleans up long exposure images
  • 14bit A/D Conversion - allows a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
  • Built-in flash with Auto Fill, Red Eye Reduction and Slow Synchro
  • USB 2.0 Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Rechargeable InfoLithium battery and charger included
  • Optional Cyber-shot Station camera dock and controller
  • Memory Stick & Memory Stick Pro compatible to 1GB, 32MB included.
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible

Available in three striking colors (red, blue and silver), the stylish P100 camera will sell for an estimated $400. A 32MB Memory Stick memory card, InfoLithium battery and AC adapter are included.

Physical Views

Sony DSC-P100

Sony DSC-P100

Sony DSC-P100Sony DSC-P100

Sony DSC-P100

Sony DSC-P100

Sony DSC-P100

The Cyber-shot P100 and a CD for size comparison.

Sony DSC-P100

5-Megapixel duo, the Cyber-shot P100 and the new DSC-W1.

Go to
Page Two

Sony DSC-P100 Specifications

Image Device: 1/1.8" 5.0 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 5M 2592x1944
3:2 2592x1728
3M 2048x1536
2M 1600x1200
VGA 640x480
Recording Media: Memory Stick Media (32MB included), Memory Stick PRO Media
Zoom: Carl Zeiss 3X Optical, 7.9 - 23.7mm (38-114mm equivalent)
Smart Zoom™ Feature: 0 - 4.0X (at VGA Resolution), 12X Total
Digital Zoom: Precision, 0 - 2.0X Range, 6X Total
Filter Diameter: 37mm (requires VAD-WA lens adapter)
Auto Focus: 5 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, 5-Step Manual
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 3.9" (10cm)
Shutter Speed: 1/8 - 1/1000 sec. (auto/program)
2 - 1/1000 sec. (twilight)
30 - 1/1000 sec. (manual, 46 steps)
Aperture Range: F2.8 - F5.2, 2 steps
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Color LCD: 1.8" 134K Pixel LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: 0.8 - 11.5 ft. (0.2 - 3.5 m) Wide
1.0 - 8.0 ft. (0.3 - 2.5 m) Tele
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Burst Mode: 9 Shot (5M JPEG fine), 15 Shot (5M JPEG std.), 1.7fps
Picture Effects: Sepia, Black & White
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candle, Beach, Snow, High Speed Shutter and Fireworks
Self-Timer: 10 Seconds
Video Output: NTSC/PAL Selectable
Still Image Modes: Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Multi-Burst
MPEG Movie Mode: MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps),
(MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick PRO media)
MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16fps),
Video Mail (160 x 112 at 8fps) with Audio
Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
USB Terminal: Supports USB 2.0
Cradle Compatible: Yes
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 1GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: Sony InfoLithium NP-FR1 3.6v 4.4Wh
Supplied Software: Picture Package™ for Sony ver 1.0, USB Driver
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 98/98SE/Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/X (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3)
Supplied Accessories: NP-FR1 Rechargeable Battery, AC-LS5 Battery Charger / AC power supply, A/V and USB Cables, Wrist Strap, MSA-32A 32MB
Memory Stick Media, Software CD-ROM
Dimensions: 4 3/8" x 2 1/8" x 1 1/16" (108 x 51.5 x 26.6 mm)
Weight: 6.5 oz (183 g) (without battery or memory card)
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

Go to
Page Two

Return To Steve's
Reviews Index

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.