Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P31 review
I bought this camera to use at work. It takes quite a beating.
I think it's a great value for the money.
The main feature that it is missing is optical zoom. Most people would not want to go without it. I don't need it at work. I use it to take pictures of machines that I work on (broken parts, etc). I need to be able to grab the camera and take a pic while my hands are covered in oil, grease, and dirt. So, the zoom would be at risk of getting gummed up and such. But, when I have used the camera for sightseeing and the like, I have really missed the zoom.
I've dropped the thing about 4 times, with no damage.
The Sony Memory Stick is a nice compact design. But I wish they would just come up with a standard memory card that everyone uses. I think Sony's memory is a little more expensive than other types. I paid $80 US for a 64MB card (it only came with an 8MB card).
All in all, it's a good camera, at a great price (I paid $220 US).
I wish that I could plug the USB cable into any computer and download the pics from the camera. As it is, you must install some software on your computer before it will recognize the camera.
Sony sells a 3 1/2" floppy adapter that you can put the Memory Stick into, then use that to get your pics onto your computer. But it's useless. I paid $70 US for the thing. It too needs special software to be recognized. WTF, the only reason I got it was to be able to move pics to anyone's computer. If you must install software to get the thing to work, you might as well install the USB software (it's at least 10x faster than the floppy adapter). I guess if you have a computer without USB, you would need the floppy adapter (but who has a computer without USB these days).
Edit: I read a review that says you don't need special drivers for WinXP. I have XP on one of my computers, and don't remember if I did or didn't. That computer sits in my hotel room, when I'm working on the road. I want to be able to use a customer's computer at their plant to save, edit, and email my pics back to the office. Nearly every one of my customers use Win2k, so I'm still screwed. If I have to send a pic back home right away, I have to go back to my hotel to do it. I need a laptop badly. Boss, if you read this, go buy me a laptop!