Sony DSC-W1 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1

Review posted 4/29/2004

Click on the W1 for a 360° QTVR tour

The Cyber-shot DSC-W1 is an affordable yet high-performance 5-megapixel digital camera that offers a Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens, large 2.5-inch color LCD, automatic simplicity and advanced features that you can "grow into" later, housed in a very compact, stylish and durable metal body about the size of a deck of playing cards.

The Cyber-shot W1 is the perfect camera for photographers desiring to step-up to a higher resolution and faster performing camera or for those who are just beginning to explore the wonders of imaging in the 21st century. Sony's new Real Imaging Processor was specifically designed for fast camera response time and extended battery life. The Cyber-shot W1 is powered by two AA type cells with an average life of up to 340 shots when using high-capacity NiMH rechargeable. A set of these batteries and a compact AC charger are included with the camera outfit for a suggested price of only $400.

Sony DSC-W1

The Cyber-shot W1 also comes in black

Capable of capturing full-resolution images in a little over one second intervals, you'll never have to worry about missing any of the action. Burst mode lets you capture four Fine quality shots at 1.7fps or up to seven if using Standard quality. An even better way to capture the action is to use the W1's motion video recording mode. The VX Fine mode records full VGA (640x480) resolution with audio at 30 frames per second when using Memory Stick Pro media. The VX Standard mode records 640x480 video at 16fps on regular Memory Stick media. The length of video capture in either mode is limited only by the amount of available space on the memory card.

Beginners or anyone can capture a picture quickly using the Auto or Program AE exposure modes. For those wanting complete control over the photographic process, the Manual exposure mode has shutter speeds from 30 to 1/1,000 seconds. And the six pre-programmed Scene modes set the camera to capture optimum images in difficult lighting situations. Other advanced features include five-area auto focus, multi-pattern metering, auto fill flash, live histogram, USB 2.0 speed and connectivity and the ability to use high-quality auxiliary wide angle and telephoto lenses.

DSC-W1 Major Features:

  • Sony 5.1 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 6 Scene modes
  • 4-shot Burst (7 at standard quality) at 1.7fps
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 5 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • 2.5" TFT color (123,000 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 2100mAh NiMH batteries and charger included
  • Memory Stick & Memory Stick Pro compatible to 1GB, 32MB included.
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible

The Sony Cyber-shot W1 will be available in May 2004 for about $400

Physical Views

Sony DSC-W1

Sony DSC-W1

Sony DSC-W1Sony DSC-W1

Sony DSC-W1

Sony DSC-W1

Sony DSC-W1

The Cyber-shot DSC-W1 and a CD for size comparison.

Sony DSC-W1

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

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Sony DSC-W1 Specifications

Image Device: 1/1.8" 5.1 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 5M 2592x1944
3:2 2592x1728
3M 2048x1536
1M 1280x960
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 in 35mm)
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: 2.5" 123K Pixel LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: 1.6 - 12.5 ft. (0.5 - 3.8m)
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Burst Mode: 4 Shot (JPEG fine), 7 Shot (JPEG std.), 1.7fps
Picture Effects: Sepia, Black & White
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candle, Beach
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: No
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 1GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: "AA" NiMH, Alkaline
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: NH-AA-DA Rechargeable AA Batteries, BC-CS2 Battery Charger, A/V and USB Cables, Wrist Strap, MSA-32A 32MB
Memory Stick Media, Software CD-ROM
Dimensions: 3 9/16" x 2 3/8" x 1 7/16" (91 x 60 x 36mm)
Weight: 7.0 oz (190g) (without batteries or memory card)
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

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