Sony DSC-N1 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N1

First Look posted 10/16/2005
Full review posted 11/11/2005

Click on the N1 for a 360° QTVR tour

The Cyber-shot DSC-N1 is about the same size as a deck of playing cards and incorporates a high-performance, 8-megapixel digital camera, with a large, 3-inch, touch-screen LCD. The N1's album function automatically stores up to 500 of your favorite images in VGA resolution, and uses them to create dynamic slide shows with music and transition effects - in the camera.

Take pictures with the confidence that you'll get excellent picture quality. With the N1's 8-megapixel imager, its resolution is extraordinary for a compact camera. The all-glass Carl Zeiss 3x zoom lens lets you capture images with the utmost sharpness and clarity. Sony's Real Imaging Processor LSI provides excellent color accuracy and incredibly fast response times. Its advanced power management system delivers long battery life; up to 270 shots per charge. With shutter lag minimized to just 9 milliseconds, you won't miss those important moments. Moreover, the N1 offers excellent ISO sensitivity, which is of particular importance when shooting in low-light conditions. You can capture faster action at night with less blur or, in certain conditions, avoid using a flash altogether.

With an optional Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media card, shooting high-quality video is a breeze. MPEG-VX fine mode allows you to record MPEG video with VGA (640x480 pixel) resolution at 30 frames per second, up to the capacity of the media card.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N1

Showing pictures to your friends and family is more enjoyable as the 3.0-inch LCD screen is almost the size of an actual photograph. The menu functions are accessible with your finger or thumb thanks to its innovative touch-screen interface that eliminates the need for most control buttons. With Sony's Clear Photo LCD technology, your images will be bright, with high-contrast, and easy to view in virtually any environment.

The N1's album function automatically stores up to 500 of your favorite images for a "pocket full of memories." By recording each image separately, once in full-resolution and again in 640x480-resolution, your favorite images accumulate for easy recall and sharing wherever you go.

Because you will take hundreds or perhaps thousands of pictures with your N1, the album function lets you protect the images you want to keep, so that over time you will have a collection of your favorite photos with you wherever you go. And with the camera's file management system, you can quickly locate your images; simply search for pictures by the month and date that you originally created them. To expand your playback options, you can view your photos on your television, through the optional Cyber-shot Station™ cradle, or on your PC. You decide how to share your photos, Sony lets you do it.

The N1 creates slide shows directly on the camera without using a PC. Images can be played back with such advanced features as transitions, pans, wipes, fades and zooms, choreographed to pre-loaded soundtracks. You can also use your own music, using the camera's supplied software. With the camera's built-in speaker, your slide shows are sure to have that cinematic effect with sound to complete the experience.

DSC-N1 Major Features:

  • Sony 8.1 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 3x Zoom (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
  • 3.0-inch Clear Photo wide angle viewable color touchscreen LCD
  • Stylish, durable, lightweight and thin aluminum body
  • Pocket Album function stores up to 500 VGA images
  • Unique slideshow feature with music and transition effects
  • Macro focus for subjects as close as 6cm (2.4 in.)
  • MPEG Movie: 640x480 VX Fine w/audio at 30fps (Memory Stick Duo Pro required),
    640x480 VX standard at 16fps, length limited only by media
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback modes
  • 5 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800 equivalent
  • Adjustable color saturation, contrast and sharpness
  • Noise Reduction: Automatically cleans up long exposure images
  • 14bit DXP A/D Conversion - allows a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
  • Flash with Auto, Fill, Forced Off, and Slow Synchro (Red Eye reduction available)
  • USB 2.0 high speed Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and AC charger included
  • 26MB internal memory + Memory Stick Duo & MS Duo Pro cards
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible
  • Optional Cyber-shot Station docking cradle

The Cyber-shot N1 digital camera will be available in mid-November for about $500 online at, at Sony Style retail stores (, and at authorized dealers nationwide. Pre-orders taken online at

The camera comes supplied with a Lithium Ion battery, battery charger, multi-connector cable, wrist strap, stylus, and software CD-ROM. Optional accessories include the Cyber-shot Station cradle, a marine pack, and leather carrying case.

Physical Views

Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1

The N1 compared in size to a standard CD.

Sony DSC-N1

Sony DSC-N1

Compare the Cyber-shot N1 and the 5-megapixel Casio EX-S500

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Features & Controls

Sony DSC-N1 Specifications

Imaging Device: 1/1.8" 8.1MP Super HAD CCD
Recording Media: Memory Stick/Pro Duo
Zoom: 3.8X / 4.8X / 7.7X / 15X Smart Zoom Feature (depending on resolution) + 3X Optical / 6X Precision Digital
Focal Length: 7.9 - 23.7 mm
35mm Equivalent: 38 - 114 mm
Aperture: 3X, f2.8-5.4
Focus: 5 area / Center selectable
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50 cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 2.4" (6 cm)
Aperture Range: Auto, (f2.8-8 W)/(f5.4-16 T)
Shutter Speed: Automatic 30-1/1000 sec, 46 step
Exposure Compensation: ±2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Step
LCD: 3-inch 230,000 pixel hybrid Clear Photo LCD Plus touchscreen
Flash Modes: Auto/On/Slow Synch/Off
Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off (all modes)
Flash Effective Range: 0.6 - 16.4 ft, (0.2 - 5m)
White Balance: Auto, 5-presets
ISO: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800
Scene Modes: 8-preset select
Still Image Modes: JPEG
MPEG Movie Mode: VX Fine/Std, Video Mail
Microphone / Speaker: Yes / Yes
USB Terminal: Yes, Supports USB 2.0 High Speed
Recording Media: Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Battery Type/Capacity: Lithium Ion NP-BG1
Supplied Software: Windows: Picture package™ for Sony v1.6.1 Pixela™, ImageMixer VCD2, USB Driver. Macintosh: ImageMixer VCD2 + Music Transfer
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 98, 98SE, 2000 Professional, ME, XP Home and Professional; Macintosh® OS X (v 10.1.5 or later). OS must be installed at the factory.
Supplied Accessories: Rechargeable Battery (NP-BG1), Battery Charger (BC-CS3), A/V/USB Multi Connector Cable, Wrist Strap, Stylus, Software/Driver CD-ROM, *NOTE: No Memory Stick media or adapters are included.
Dimensions (WHD): 3 13/16" x 2 3/8" x 7/8" (96.7 x 61.1 x 22.7mm)
Weight: 5.5 oz (151 g) body; 6.8 oz. (185 g) including battery and Memory Stick media
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

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