Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1
A 10.3-megapixel, all-in-one camera with an APS-C-sized image sensor and full-time live preview
The R1 lets you shoot 7-, 5-, 3- and 1-megapixel images as well as 10.3-megapixel photos, not only in JPEG format but also in RAW format. This means that if you need, say, a 5-megapixel image, you can have it and still enjoy the benefits of RAW. (Most cameras with RAW capability provide it only at the highest resolution setting.) Images can be stored on CompactFlash cards or Memory Sticks; a 1 GB card or stick will hold around 40 10.3-megapixel RAW images, 200 10.3-megapixel highest-quality JPEGs and 400 5-megapixel highest-quality JPEGs.
Crisp, wide-range 10.3-megapixel images aren't all the R1 has going for it. Another feature is the excellent 24-120mm (35mm-camera equivalent) ƒ/2.4-4.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens, which takes the photographer from true wide-angle capability (rare in an all-in-one) to portrait telephoto and beyond. Zooming is mechanical, via a ring on the lens, a much friendlier method than the arrow keys used on most all-in-ones, while manual focusing (via another ring on the lens) is electronic-way better than arrow-key manual focusing, but it takes a little getting used to for those accustomed to mechanical manual focusing rings. Wide-angle fans will enjoy the fact that there's barely any distortion at the wide focal length, another rarity in all-in-one cameras.
About the size of a D-SLR with an equivalent-focal-length zoom attached, the R1 is larger than most all-in-ones, and fits the hands comfortably. The controls are well thought out, as are the menu-driven adjustments. While many all-in-one cameras make things a bit difficult for those who wish to adjust settings themselves, the Cyber-shot DSC-R1 is more than user-friendly. List Price: $999.
Contact: Sony, (800) 222-SONY, www.sony.com.
Lens: 24-120mm ƒ/2.4-4.8 (35mm equivalent)
Focusing: Single AF, Monitoring AF, Continuous AF, One-Push AF, Manual
Metering: Multi-Pattern, Center-Weighted, Spot
Storage: CompactFlash, Memory Stick
File Types: RAW, JPEG
• Unique, top-of-camera position for the two-inch tilting/swiveling LCD
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