Sony DSC-M2 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M2

Review posted 2/27/2006

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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M2 is a true "hybrid" digital camera that combines great quality digital still photography and impressive movie-shooting capabilities. It features 5.1- megapixel resolution, a Carl Zeiss 3x zoom lens, a large 2.5-inch color LCD and Sony's Real Imaging Processor circuitry in a compact and stylish metal body.

Designed for optimal photo taking and video making, the vertical one-handed grip sits comfortably in the palm of your hand. With just a gentle push to the side of the LCD panel, the camera powers up, the 2.5-inch LCD screen flips out, and it's ready to shoot. There are two shutter buttons, one to capture still images and one to record video - this eliminates the need for the usual mode switch.

The MPEG MOVIE 4TV movie function captures high-quality video with stereo audio at 640 x 480 VGA resolution and 30 frames per second which are ideal for viewing on television. The MPEG4 compression captures high-quality video in far less space than other cameras using MPEG1 technology. You can record high-resolution still images and video clips without a large-capacity media card. With a 2 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media card you can record up to 1-1/2 hours of continuous video.

With each full-resolution image shot and stored on your Memory Stick, the camera's pocket album function automatically stores a duplicate 640x480 resolution image in its internal memory, which holds 1,100 images. When the maximum capacity is reached, unprotected images are deleted leaving ample room for your favorites in pocket album for sharing wherever you go.

The slide show function brings photos to life without using a PC. Images and video can be played back with pans, wipes, fades and zooms, and then choreographed to pre-loaded soundtracks. You can even upload your own music to personalize slide shows using the supplied Picture Package software. A built-in speaker gives your slide shows that cinematic effect with sound to complete the experience. And, of course, a television can be connected for added enjoyment.

The camera comes with Nero Vision Express 3 software so that editing footage and burning it to DVD is effortless. Convert video clips into home videos for everyone to enjoy. The supplied Cyber-shot Station cradle provides a convenient connection point for television viewing, USB transfer, and in-camera battery charging.

DSC-M2 Major Features:

  • Sony 5 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss "folded" 3x Zoom (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
  • Magnifying Glass Mode for photos as close as 1cm
  • MPEGMovie 4TV (MPEG4): 640x480 w/stereo audio at 30fps
  • Auto, Program AE plus 9 Scene modes
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 5 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • Swiveling 2.5" TFT color (123,000 pixels) LCD Screen
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 64, 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, Forced Off, and Slow Synchro (Red Eye reduction avaliable)
  • USB 2.0 Hi-speed Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Rechargeable InfoLithium battery and charger included
  • Cyber-shot Station camera dock included
  • Memory Stick Duo & MS Duo Pro compatible to 1GB, 32MB included.
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible

The Cyber-shot DSC-M2 retails for about $500 at authorized dealers and is supplied with a Cyber-shot Station™ cradle, an InfoLITHIUM™ battery; AC adapter; AV/USB cables, PicturePackage v. 1.2.1 and Nero Vision Express 3 software; and a wrist strap.

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Sony DSC-M2

Sony DSC-M2

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Sony DSC-M2

Sony DSC-M2

Sony DSC-M2

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Sony DSC-M2 Specifications

Image Device: 1/2.5" 5.1 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 5M 2592x1944
5M(3.2) 2592x1728
3M 2048x1536
1M 1280x960
VGA 640x480
Recording Media: Memory Stick Duo Media (32MB included), Memory Stick Duo PRO Media
Zoom: Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar "folded" (internal) 3X Optical, 6.33 - 19mm (38-114mm equivalent)
11 elements in 8 groups, 3 aspheric elements
Digital Zoom: Precision, 0 - 2.0X Range, 6X Total
Filter Diameter: n/a
Auto Focus: 5 Area Multi-Point AF, Center Weighted AF, Spot AF, 5-Step Manual
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 3.1" (8cm)
Magnifying Glass Mode: 1-20cm (0.39-7.9 in.)
Shutter Speed: Auto: 1/8 - 1/1000 sec.
Program Auto: 1 - 1/1000 sec.
Aperture Range:F3.5/F8.0 (W); F4.3/F10.0 (T)
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Color LCD: 2.5" 123K pixel hybrid LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: 4" - 8'6" (0.1 - 2.6m)
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Burst Mode: 4 frames @3fps (5M JPEG fine)
Picture Effects: Sepia, Black & White
ISO: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400
Scene Modes: Beach, Candle, Fireworks, High Speed Shutter, Landscape, Magnifying Glass Mode, Snow, Twilight, Twilight Portrait
Self-Timer: 10 Seconds
Video Output:NTSC/PAL Selectable
Still Image Modes: Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Auto Bracketing
MPEG Movie Mode: MPEGMOVIE 4TV with Stereo Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps),
MPEGMOVIE 4TV with Stereo Audio (320 x 240 at 30fps),
MPEGMOVIE 4TV with Stereo Audio (320 x 240 at 15fps)
Hybrid Record Mode: Continuously accumulates 320x240 15fps video with sound, and records 5 seconds before still image capture and 3 seconds after. Still image recorded at selected resolution.
Microphone/Speaker: Yes, Stereo/Yes
USB Terminal: Supports USB 2.0 Hi-speed
Cradle Compatible: Yes, included
Compatible Battery: Sony InfoLithium NP-FT1 3.6v 2.4Wh
Supplied Software: Picture Package™ for Sony v1.2 (Windows) for DSC-M2, Nero Vision Express 3. Macintosh®: ImageMixer VCD2 + Music Transfer
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 98, 98SE, 2000 Professional, Me, XP Home and Professional.

Macintosh® OS 8.5.1, 8.6, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, OS X (v10.0/v10.1)

Supplied Accessories:NP-FT1 Rechargeable InfoLithium® Battery, ACL-S5 AC Adapter/In Camera Battery Charger, UC-MB Cyber-shot® Station, Stereo A/V Connecting Cable, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Software CD-ROMS (2x).
Dimensions: 2" x 4" 7/8 x 1/14" (51.2 x 123.1 x 32.0"mm)
Weight: 6.6 oz (180g) Body; 7.7 oz (210g) Body including Battery and optional Memory Stick Media
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

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