Sony DSC-P7 Review

Steve's Digicams

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P7

Review posted 7/21/2002

Click on the P7 for a QTVR tour

The DSC-P7 is the 3-megapixel sibling of the physically identical but 4-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-P9 digital still camera. It packs a high-resolution Sony HAD CCD imager, 3x optical zoom lens and state of the art imaging electronics into an ultra-compact and highly durable aluminum body. Still images and movies are stored on small, reusable Memory Stick media cards and can be easily downloaded to virtually any USB-equipped PC or transferred to other digital devices like PDAs and printers.

The DSC-P7 makes it easy to get the right exposure even when the lighting is irregular thanks to the multi-pattern metering that divides the scene into a matrix of 49 independently metered cells. The camera calculates exactly the right exposure for each cell so that a brightly lit portion of the picture doesn't cause the rest to be underexposed. In low or no light conditions, the DSC-P7 employs built-in pre-flash exposure metering to calculate the right exposure with light from the flash itself. The flash strobes twice with every shot - once to illuminate the subject and work out proper exposure, and again to capture the moment without washed-out faces or unexpected shadows.

Proper exposure is only half of the equation, the picture must also be well focused. The DSC-P7's multi-point auto focus allows it to intuitively choose between three separate areas within the frame and automatically select the best one. In less than perfect lighting conditions the camera's AF Illuminator emits a beam of infrared light to insure an accurate focus lock, even in total darkness.

The DSC-P7 records more than just high-resolution still images, with the multi-frame burst mode this Cyber-shot camera can capture fluid movement by taking 16 rapid-fire sequential pictures at any of three selected intervals. Saved as a single 1280x960 image, it can be used to analyze a golf swing, catch a jet-ski in midair or capture any action that's too fast for the human eye. The camera also features Sony's new MPEG Movie HQX video mode that records non-stop, full-screen, high-resolution MPEG videos with audio up to the capacity of the Memory Stick media.

DSC-P7 features include:

  • 1/1.8" Super HAD 3.2 Megapixel effective CCD imager
  • Sony 3x optical zoom (39-117mm equivalent) + 2x digital zoom
  • Still Image: 2048x1536, 2048(3:2), 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240
  • MPEG Movie w/audio: 320x240 HQX, 320x240, 160x112
  • Scene Selection (3 modes: Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Landscape)
  • Auto Focus with 3 Area Multi-point or Center AF
  • Low light focus assist illuminator
  • Noise Reduction is automatic at 1/2 second or longer shutter speeds
  • 14bit A/D Conversion - allows a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
  • Adjustable Flash with Red Eye Reduction
  • 1.5" TFT color (123,000 pixels) LCD with Auto Brightness
  • USB data transfer to PC or Mac computers
  • NP-FC10 InfoLITHIUM rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Sony Memory Stick media, 16MB card is included
  • Audio and Video (NTSC or PAL selectable) output
  • Ultra-compact and highly durable metal body

The DSC-P7 ships with a 16MB Memory Stick card and rechargeable InfoLITHIUM battery pack and is available now for about $499.

Physical Views

Sony DSC-P7

Sony DSC-P7

Sony DSC-P7Sony DSC-P7

Sony DSC-P7

Sony DSC-P7

Sony DSC-P7

The Sony DSC-P7 compared in size to a standard CD

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Cyber-shot DSC-P7 Specifications

CCD Imager 1/1.8" (.8475" / 8.98mm) Sony Super HAD
3.3 Megapixels (gross)
3.2 Megapixels (effective)
Lens Sony 3x Zoom, 8 to 24mm (39 to 117mm equivalent)
Maximum aperture: F2.8 - 5.6
Filter Thread: none
Digital Zoom 2x stepless
Aperture Control Automatic: f/2.8 ~ 8.0
Shutter Control Automatic: 2 seconds to 2/1000 second
Exposure Compensation "+" or "-" 2 Stops(EV) in 1/3 EV increments
Exposure Control Program AE (Automatic)

Scene Selection (3 modes: Twilight /
Twilight Portrait / Landscape)
ISO Auto (100-400) or fixed 100, 200, 400
Recording Mode(s) Still image: JPEG, Email (adds 320x240)

Movie Mode: MPEG HGX: 320x240 - full screen playback- 16fps - length determined by media capacity - with Audio

Clip Motion Mode: Animated GIF (160x120 or 80x72)

Multi Burst: 16 - 320x240 frames recorded as parts of a single 1280x960 JPEG at 1/7.5, 1/15, 1/30 sec. selectable intervals

Image Resolutions Still:
2048 x 1536
2048 (3:2)
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
640 x 480
320 x 240 (email mode only)

320 x 240 HQX
320 x 240
160 x 112

DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date/time; Trimming
Noise Reduction Auto at 1/2 second or longer shutter speeds
Image Effects Sepia
Black and White
Negative Art
Viewfinder Optical real-image viewfinder
LCD 1.5" TFT LCD 560x220 (123,000 pixels) for viewing or reviewing
Focusing System 3 Area Multi-point AF: Automatic w/ indication as to "Wide" or "Center-Weighted"

Manual Focus: 5 Step Preset
Focusing Ranges Standard AF: 19.7" (50cm) to Infinity

A/F Macro: 3.9"(10cm) to Infinity

Preset Manual Focus: 10cm(3.9"), .5m, 3m, 7m, or Infinity

Auto Focus Assist Illumination Selectable: ON / OFF
Exposure Metering Multi-Pattern or Spot
White Balance System Automatic
Flash Built-in Flash
Flash Modes Auto Flash
Red-eye Reduction
Fill-in (forced on)
Flash Off
Flash Working Range When ISO is set to Auto:
1.6 to 12.5 Feet (0.5 to 3.8m) wide angle
2 to 7.9 feet (0.6 to 2.4m) Telephoto
Removable Media Card Memory Stick (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 MB)
16 MB card included
Selftimer/Remote 12-second delay
Outer Connectors USB (Auto-Connect), Video, DC input
Auto-connect USB Compatible with Windows 98 rev2/ME/2000 Pro/XP - MacOS 8.6-9.01/OSX
Image Playback Index display 9 frame, up to 5X enlargement, Slide-show
Operating Environment Operation: 32° F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C)
Storage: -4° F to 140°F (-20°C to 60°C)
Power Supply Sony NP-FC10 3.6V 675mAh InfoLITHIUM

AC-LS1A AC adapter/charger included
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Size 4-1/2" (W) x 2" (H) x 1-3/8" (D)
(114mm x 51.5mm x 35.8mm)
Weight 7 oz. / 206 g (with battery & Memory Stick)

NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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