Sony DSC-S40 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Review posted 6/30/2005

Introduction & Physical Views

Click on the Sony S40 to take a QuickTime VR tour

Sony's new Stamina series of Cyber-shot digital cameras set a new standard for speed, battery life and picture quality in compact cameras. The DSC-S40 is an easy-to-use, four-megapixel camera that's packed with features like Sony's Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry for better battery efficiency, more responsiveness and high quality movie taking. The Carl Zeiss 3X optical zoom lens complements the high resolution imager for great picture clarity, while 32 MB of internal memory and a Memory Stick media slot provide plenty of storage capacity.

The 1.5" color LCD Monitor can be used for framing shots and reviewing pictures. So that pictures are captured in-focus with the proper lighting and exposure, the S40 has 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. The S40 lets you take approximately 110 shots while using two "AA" type batteries and around 550 shots while using a NIMH rechargeable battery.

Easy shooting with fully Automatic, Program AE and 7 Scene Modes, parameters can be matched to the shooting conditions. Choose from one of the following: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, and Candle. Or choose Manual mode when you really want to get creative. Burst mode lets you capture up to 4 shots at full 4MP resolution at 0.7frames/sec. Perfect for high speed subjects or fast moving action such as sports or small children. And MPEG Movie VX Mode with audio captures VGA (640 x 480) high frame rate (up to 30 frames per second) audio/video clips with length limited only by the capacity of the media.

Optional accessories include Sony 2500mAh NiMH batteries, AC charger and the Cyber-shot HVL-FSL1B Slave Flash.

Sony S40 Features:

  • 4.1-megapixel Sony Super HAD CCD imager
  • Carl Zeiss 3X optical zoom (32-96mm 35mm equiv)
  • 5-Area Multi-Point AF system with AF-assist illuminator
  • 1.5-inch color LCD with 77,000 pixels
  • 4 Shot Burst mode (4MP/Fine) for fast action or children
  • MPEG VX 640x480 movies w/sound at 30fps, length limited only by memory
  • Auto, Program, Manual and 7 Scene exposure modes
  • Multi-pattern metering with Spot option
  • Slow shutter Noise Reduction for cleaner long exposures
  • Playback options: Single, 9-image thumbnail, Slideshow, 5x magnification
  • Built-in Speedlight with Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Fill flash, Flash cancel and Slow sync.
  • High-speed USB 2.0 connectivity
  • USB Direct-Print PictBridge compatibility
  • Powered by two standard AA type batteries
  • 32MB of internal memory plus MemoryStick Pro card slot

The DSC-S40 Cyber-shot camera will be available this June for about $199

Physical Views

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

The Sony S40 compared to a standard CD disc.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S40

The Cyber-shot S40 and the Cyber-shot S60.

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Page Two

DSC-S40 Specifications

CCD Imager 1/2.7" Sony Super HAD
4.1 Megapixel Effective
Image Resolutions Still (JPEG Fine/Std or TIFF):
2304 x 1728
2304 (3:2)
2048 x 1536
1280 x 960
640 x 480

VX Fine (640 x 480, 30fps)
VX Standard (640 x 480, 16.6fps)
Video Mail (160 x 120, 8.3fps)

Lens Carl Zeiss 3x Zoom, 5.1 to 15.3mm (32 to 96mm equivalent), F2.8 - F5.1
7 Elements in 6 Groups with 3 Aspheric Elements
Digital Zoom 0-2.0x "Precision Zoom"
Focusing System 5 Area Multi-point AF, Center AF, 5-step Manual
Focusing Ranges 19.7" (50cm) to Infinity
Auto Focus Assist Illumination AF assist up to 3.2m
Aperture Control Automatic: F2.8 - F5.1, automatic ND filter
Shutter Control Automatic: 1/8 seconds to 1/2000 second
Program AE: 1 sec to 2/1000
Manual: 30 sec to 1/1000
Exposure Metering Multi-Pattern or Spot
White Balance System Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV in 1/3 EV increments
Exposure Control Full AUTO
Program AE
Scene Mode (Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Candle)
ISO Auto (80-200) or fixed 80, 100, 200, 400
Recording Mode(s) Still image: JPEG, Email (adds 320x240)

4 Shot Burst
16 frame Multi Burst
MPEG Movie Modes: 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

DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date/time; Trimming
Noise Reduction Auto at 1/25 second or longer shutter speeds
Clear Color / Clear Luminance NR
Image Effects Sepia
Black & White
Viewfinder Optical real image zoomed
LCD 1.5" TFT LCD (77,000 pixels) for viewing or reviewing
Flash Built-in Flash
Flash Modes Auto Flash
Red-eye Reduction
Slow Synchro
Fill-in (forced on)
Flash Off
Flash Working Range When ISO is set to Auto: ~0.5 - 12.5 ft (0.2 - 3.8m)
Flash output power is adjustable (-, 0, +)
Storage Media 32MB of internal memory (~30MB available)
Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro card slot
Selftimer 10-second delay
Outer Connectors USB (Auto-Connect) v2.0 hi-speed
Auto-connect USB Compatible with Microsoft®Windows®98/98SE/Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro; Macintosh®OS 9.1/9.2/OS X (10.0 - 10.3)
Supplied Software Picture Package™ for Sony v1.6 (Windows), Pixela™ ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows)
Image Playback Index display 9 or 16 frames, 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 Two AA type NiMH, Alkaline or lithium batteries

Battery life: 110 shots with the supplied alkaline batteries and up to 550 shots with optional NiHM rechargeable batteries

Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Size 3 5/6" x 2" x 1 1/3"
(99 x 51.7 x 34.2mm)
Weight 4.76 oz. / 135g (without battery, Memory Stick)
Supplied Accessories Two alkaline AA batteries, USB cable, wrist strap and software CD-ROM
NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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