Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1 review
This Camera is a great point and shoot with good image quality. Anyone who wants a camera that they can carry with them every waking moment of the day will be pleased with this cam. I carry it in a small zipper pocket on the sleeve of my uniform. (I'm in the Afghanistan w/ the Army) Sometimes I even forget it's there. But I hardly ever want to pull it out and use it because for one lots of times I know it won't perform, (low light, long distance shots, like in a hangar or large building). I would usually just bump up the ISO for shots like this with my dSLR, and use the flash but as with MOST ultra compact cameras, like this one, the noise gets pretty bad at ISO 400, not unusable but not suitable for photography or anything like it IMHO. Also the flash is a bit weaker than competitors, this is one of those things that I didn't think I would notice enough to care about but it is noticable. Even someone who is strictly a "point and shooter" will be displeased with the flash. People argue (even myself) that a weaker flash is okay because you get better battery life, however in this situation I'm in disagreance. The battery life is good enough that a stronger flash would have helped out a lot. Simply not worth that sacrifice. Tri-pod mound, yes it's very annoying having to use that little adapter but if you plan on just keeping the adapter attached to the tripod because it's your only camera, then you probably won't care. Keep in mind I didn't think I would care at all, but I do, it's annoying and just one morebulky peice of plastic to carry around. And it only serves ONE purpose. Lame.(you CAN access the thumb screw to attach the camera to the adapter while the adapter is mounted on a tripod, I was pleased to see that at least.) The video mode at 640x480 30fps is, of course very very good. I've been able to patch the video into slideshows I've made and it never dawns on anyone that it's not from an actual video cam, that applies to most cameras with this same resolution/frame rate video, but watch your finger while holding! The microphone is placed rather poorly. It would be nice to be able to zoom while recording, like on a previous Sony I owned (DSC P-51) but I understand that most cameras in this class don't let you zoom while taking video because the microphone would pick up the sound of the motor, it's just a bummer. The screen is small. While it is a great quality transreflective screen, it's just small. You want to be able to see your pictures well, and this screen just doesn't do that. For it to be the only "viewfinder" on the camera, I think it should be bigger, there is definitly room on the back for a bigger one. Boo on Sony for that one. All in all it's a good camera but consider the Canon SD-300 if you're looking for a great "take everywhere" cam. I'll be selling my Sony L-1 to buy a point and shoot with more manual control. I'll probably buy the DSC-W5.
I will only list issues that are camera specific not the things that ALL ultra compacts struggle with. In other words all these problems are resolved by competitors, btw the Canon mentioned above takes care of ALL these.
- Weak flash
- Small Screen w/o viewfinder
- No A/V out, period.
- Bateries must be charged in cam, no external charger incl.
- Excessive corner softness. (won't affect everyday user)
- Awkward to hold
- Poor microphone placement, watch your finger!