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taxboy4
19-12-2003, 09:40 PM
Hi all I'm looking to buy my missus a Sony Digital Camera DSCP32 for Xmas

Its basic stats are

Specifications:
• Imaging Device: 1/2.7" 3.2 Megapixel Effective Super HAD™ CCD
• Recording Media: Memory Stick® Media, Memory Stick PRO™ Media
• Zoom: Fixed Focal Length 3.2X Smart Zoom (at VGA size)
• Filter Diameter: N/A
• Focal Length: 5mm
• 35mm Equivalent: 33mm
• Aperture: f2.8 - 5.6
• Focus: 3 Area Multi-Point AF, 5 Step Manual Preset
• Minimum Focus Distance: 3.9" (10 cm)
• Macro Mode: Auto
• Shutter Speed: Auto, 1/30 – 1/1000 sec, Twilight 2 sec – 1/1000
• Manual Exposure: ±2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
• Color LCD: 1.6" 61K Pixels Low Temperature Polysilicon TFT
• Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro
• Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
• Flash Effective Range: 1.6 – 12.5 ft (0.5 – 3.8m)
• White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
• Picture Effects: Black & White, Solarize, Sepia, Negative Art
• ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400
• Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Beach, Snow
• Self Timer: Yes, 10 Seconds
• Video Out: Yes NTSC/PAL Selectable
• Still Image Modes: JPEG (Fine/Std.), Burst, Email, Voice Memo
• MPEG Movie Modes: MPEG VX (640x480, 16fps, with audio); MPEG Video Mail (160x112, 8 fps with audio)
• Clip Motion: Normal (160x120), Mobile (80x72)
• Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
• USB Terminal: Yes, Supports USB 2.0
• Memory Stick PRO™ Media Compatibility: Tested to support up to 1GB media capacity; does not support high speed transfer function; does not support Access Control security function
• Battery Type/Capacity: NiMH AA, 2100 mAh rated
• Supplied Software: Pixela™ Image Mixer Software for Sony v1.5, USB Driver SPVD-008
• OS Compatibility: Microsoft® Windows® 98/98SE/Me/2000 Professional/XP Home/Pro; Macintosh® OS 8.5.1/8.6/9.0/9.1/9.2
• Supplied Accessories: NH-AA-DA Rechargeable NiMH Batteries, BC-CS2 NiMH Battery Charger, A/V and USB Cables, Wrist Strap, MSA-16A 16MB Memory Stick® Media, Software CD-ROM
• Dimensions (W/H/D): 4" x 2 1/4" x 1 5/16" (101 x 57.7 x 32.6mm)
• Weight: 7.9 oz (217g) (w/Battery, Memory Stick® Media, Strap)
• 1 Available storage capacity of Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO media may vary. A portion of the memory is used for data management functions.

Its retailing for $529.

Will this specs allow her to take and then print off photo quality pics? Or easily transfer to PC?

Any advice - ta

Susan B
19-12-2003, 09:55 PM
I am not familiar with this camera but you can read some user reviews here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read_opinions.asp?prodkey=sony_dscp32).

It is a 3.2 Megapixel camera so the prints should be good quality. As for easy transfer to your computer, what operating system are you using? With Win XP it is a breeze (normally).

Smurf
19-12-2003, 09:55 PM
Hi. I have a Sony DSC-P72 which is similar to the camera that you mention.

I have been extremely satisfied with my Sony and as for transfering the images to a computer....it is a breeze and fully automated. I have yet to print photos but the quality I believe would be excellent. i personally thinkthe camera would be good value for the money mentioned.

JohnD
19-12-2003, 09:56 PM
I have the Sony P51 2MPixel camera (about a year old). I have found that shots taken at 640x480 in fine mode give shots that look the same as a SLR when taken to the shop for printing. So in my opinion, 3M pixel will be perfectly adequate unless you want shots of photo quality much much larger than post card size.

The amount of optical zoom is important - mine is 2x optical, 3x digital and to be quite honest I don't use the digital zoom at all. The more optical zoom you get the better - 2x is minimal.

I think that all these Sony cameras use block USB device technology - which means that you don't have to have any special software to download shots to Win98E or later, Win2000 or later and Linux kernel 2.4 or later.

Bazza
19-12-2003, 10:02 PM
Yes, Taxboy, a 3 mp camera will provide very good prints, and should easily transfer images to the pc.

Although I am not familiar with this camera, I suspect, as the lens is a fixed focus, the "smart zoom" is merely a digital zoom, which degrades the quality. Reviewers say to disregard digital zoom. The optical zoom provided by the lens gives far better quality images.

For the price you quote, I imagine you can get a similar camera with optical zoom.

Craigb
19-12-2003, 10:19 PM
Hi taxboy4
Where are you getting it from. The DSCP32 is the lower end Sony model. I looked at the DSCP72 and some accessories all for on special for $650 from Harvey Norman. You may still be able to get the special if interested. Try and squeeze as much as possible out of them especially if your paying cash. As for as downloading to PC, I have XP Home and it was just a matter of plugging in the camera and waiting while the computer found it and loaded to software and away I went. No problems at all. Not sure about printing. Not really interested at present. If you want prints, I'm pretty sure that you can load the images onto a floppy or CD and take them to a photo place. I think most can do prints from digital now. That way you get only the prints you want. Hope this helps. Just a bit of advise though. If price is an issue, you would be better getting the cheaper camera and spend an extra $100 or so on a decent size memory stick. The camera comes with a 16Meg stick which isn't enough if you want printable pictures. I got an extra 128Meg which was about $120 (I think).

Merry Xmas
Craigb.

Susan B
19-12-2003, 10:28 PM
I have noticed that Harvey Norman is one of the more expensive places to buy a camera though they are rather flexible when presented with the opposition's prices sometimes (at least with some goods anyway). It pays very well to shop around, including online, but do keep in mind the possiblity of needing warranty backup.

Agree about getting lots of extra memory - the amount that comes with the camera is pathetic.

JohnD
19-12-2003, 10:56 PM
>The camera comes with a 16Meg stick which isn't enough if you want printable pictures.

I guess it is a matter of opinion - but I disagree with the above. As I mentioned above, 640x480 at fine resolution on my P51 gives photo quality at the shop for post card size shots - and you can fit 96 of these onto a 16Mbyte memory stick. Sure a bigger memory stick could be handy - but not often necessary.

Bazza
19-12-2003, 11:42 PM
Yes John, you are correct, if you only want to print postcard or 6x4 pictures.

But the 640x480 images you mention will fall apart if printed at bigger, like 8x10..

It depends on what you want.

I've found images from digi cams of 2 or 3 MP, at the best resolution, will print very good up to 8x10, especially with the Canon printers.

Robby
20-12-2003, 07:58 AM
gidday,

I have the sony DSC72, which is very similar to the DSC32.
I am very pleased with my camera, just a couple of things. to watch,
the 16 mb memory card isnt big enough, it fills very quickly, when
using a higher pixel setting, and movies. either a 64 or 128 is needed
really.

for printing photo's for postcard size, vga setting is fine, but for larger,
the setting needs to be 1.2 or higher.

enjoy,

cheers,

Robby

somebody
20-12-2003, 09:06 AM
I'd say go up to the DSCP52. I recently bought that camera for $599 from Noel Leemings, and they threw in a free 64mb memory stick (part of a promotion). It's an extra $70 you pay for 2x optical zoom (aka. REAL zoom). It's a very solid, good quailty camera. The batteries last for ages, provided they've been charged properly.

I disagree with others saying that you can get photo quality shots from VGA resolution files (640x480pixels). To get photo quality, you need to print at 300dpi or higher. In that case, at 3.2megapixels (2048x1536), you can print the "5 by 7" type prints and get the same quality as you'd get using a normal film camera. At 2.8megapixels, you can get the same quality as the normal "4 by 6" real photo prints. Of course, if you don't intend to print the photos, then it wouldn't be of concern. The camera comes with all the software and cables you need to transfer photos to the PC.

Murray P
20-12-2003, 01:23 PM
IMO, you take your shots at the highest resolution you can stand then, once downloaded to your PC, you can fiddle around with them to your hearts content.

Croping, adjusting light levels and colour stauration (white balance if the camera allows that type of file), and zooming for detail is all best done with as much info captured in the original shot as possible with minimal compression (if it's JPEG) which means biggish files and a requirement for biggish storage.

Once satisfied with he result you can then reduce to managable sizes for email, web or print definitions.

You don't want to be running out of storage capacity while you have nowhere to dump your current shots either or the shot of the day is lost because you've run out of room. Get more rather than less storage.

Cheers Murray P

taxboy4
20-12-2003, 01:34 PM
Hi guys i have a 64M stick from my Sony Digital Video Camera - I'm sure they are the same ,ah?

taxboy4
20-12-2003, 01:39 PM
Actually after all the helpful comments above, I think I'm going to go for gold and buy a

Sony Digital Camera DSCP10


5.0 mega pixel super HAD CCD
3x optical zoom
Smart zoom
150 sensitivity setting
mpeg movie vx
Clip motion
Burst shot (3)
1.5" LCD screen
For more information about this product, or to order email Radfords

- bout $1100 but has real zoom , super high res.

My missus is a amatuer photographer so will want pics as high res as can and also that we canedit and print out.

So next thing (seeing I have XP) what sort of printer should I purchase and do i need special paper to print out the shots..

I took a normal camera overseas this year and with 30 films taken its costing me about 8$ to buy the film, and $35 each to process with double prints and to CD

Apart from the flexibility of the digital camera i figure going upmarket will future proof it better?

Gorela
20-12-2003, 01:55 PM
Howdy Taxboy,

A 5.0 mega pixel camera will allow for fairly high resolution photos up to about 8 by 10 AFAIK. The main problem is that the more pixels used to create/store the image means that the file is correspondingly larger.

This then leads to the need to purchase more or larger storage media. I think that you can store about twelve 3 mega pixel images on a 64MB card. Most sites do state the minimum and maximum storage capacity for each size of media.

If your are wanting to print reasonable images photo quality paper is a must and costs about 75 cents per A4 page. It is possible to buy a photo specific printer, but these are quite costly and most standard colour printers do a reasonable job.

Don't forget about the "hidden" costs of the ink refills as well. If you add up all the costs you might find that $35 is pretty cheap :)

Graham L
20-12-2003, 01:57 PM
I'd wait on buying a printer (they can only get cheaper and better :D) and look at getting printing done by professionals. They actually produce photgraphic prints (apart from the Kodak Kiosks at Warehouse which use dye sublimation). The prices are pretty good for 6"x4" but the prices for bigger sizes aren't always exactly proportional. Printing only the ones you like would be cheaper than the chemical photography.

Having your own printer gives convenience, but once you count the special paper and the ink costs, (and the bad prints ;-)) printing your own really means paying for convenience.

If you want to do lots of manipulation on your computer you can still do that and take the digital results to a processor on some portable medium (CD, FC, SD, etc ... even floppy). You can even email files to people like frogprint, and get the prints back by mail.

taxboy4
20-12-2003, 02:38 PM
Thanks guys

I might go with the higher pixel camera and wait to buy the printer...can use commercial for the pics that i want (a big advantage over a normal film where 50% are crap but u pay for those to be developed also)

..also I can be naughty and use the flash colour printer we have at work even if i pay for the paper / ink for a few pics...

Murray P
20-12-2003, 06:51 PM
Hi taxboy4

I see your a Welly person. Hop into Wellinton Photgraphic Supplies in Vivian St (south side, off the Kent/Cambridge Tce end). Great range of cameras and accecories, excellent advice, will produce of CD; camera card; or email. The best thing about them is that they know cameras and photography (they seem to have a resident expert on each aspect or brand) and IMO the advice you get there will save you not only money but time and frustration in the long run. I found the memory cards quite a bit cheaper there as well.

Cheers Murray P

FrankS
20-12-2003, 07:35 PM
Couple of sites that may be of interest
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2
http://www.frogprints.co.nz
The main problem I have found is always ensuring you have a couple of spare sets of charged batteries.

Susan B
20-12-2003, 08:57 PM
May I suggest that you pop this excellent book (http://www.frogprints.co.nz/buy/book.cfm) in the Xmas stocking along with the camera? :-)

_mike_
20-12-2003, 09:43 PM
Hi Taxaboy,

If you are looking at the Sony P10, check out the DSCV1... of course the price is creeping up with the models, but apparently the DSCV1 significantly reduces the shutter lag which is one of the most annoying digicam attributes, IMO. also has 5MP, 4x optical zoom, etc.

Cheers

_mike_