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Sony DSC-P9, 4mp, 3x zoom

By dpreview staff on Mar 12, 2002 at 04:00 GMT

Pre-CeBIT 2002: Sony Japan has today announced the four megapixel sucessor to the ultra-compact DSC-P5, the new DSC-P9. In a joint press release covering the recently announced DSC-P31 and DSC-P71 Sony Japan has also let the DSC-P9 out of the bag. The new DSC-P9 has a 3x optical zoom lens, 4 megapixel sensor, expanded white balance settings, multi-point AF (although in automatic mode) and the new 320 x 240 unlimited recording time MPEG Movie HQX. We've had a DSC-P9 'in house' for a week or so now in preparation for a review, unfortunately at this time Sony are still tweaking image quality so we can't post samples.

Sony DSC-P9 in pictures

Diminuitive proportions and an update design, the P9 retains the P5's great anti-reflective LCD and overall control layout. There are lots of 'incremental improvements' including the more noticable 'finger grip' on the front.
The DSC-P9 takes the InfoLithium C battery (which is the same size as four stacked Memory Stick's). As seems to be the trend in ultra-compacts it's one compartment door does all. On the back of the DSC-P9 we now get a colour coded compartment door which conceals the power input for battery charging, USB in/out and A/V out. I wish more manufacturers would support in-camera charging, it's far more convenient.
Here's the DSC-P9 beside the recently announced (but lower priced) 3 megapixel DSC-P71. You can clearly see the difference in size. Don't be fooled, those are two very slightly different lenses.

Sony DSC-P9 specifications


Sensor 1/1.8" 4.1 megapixel CCD
Effective pixels 4.0 megapixel
Image sizes  • 2272 x 1704, 2272 x 1520 (3:2)
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 640 x 480
Image quality  • Fine (JPEG)
 • Standard (JPEG)
Lens 3x optical, 39 - 117 mm equiv., F2.8 - F5.6
Digital zoom Yes, 2x
Focus  • Auto (Multi 3-area / Center AF)
 • Manual (5 positions including Infinity)
ISO sensitivity  • Auto
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
Metering  • Multi-Pattern
 • Spot
White Balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Cloudy
 • Fluorescent
 • Tungsten
Exposure modes  • Auto (Program AE)
 • Scene modes (Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape)
Shutter speed  • Program AE: 1/30 - 1/2000 sec
 • Twilight: 2 - 1/2000 sec
Noise reduction  • Clear Color / Luminance NR (normal exposures)
 • Dark frame for exposures slower than 0.5 sec
Exposure compensation +/2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Flash modes  • Auto
 • Auto & Red-Eye reduction
 • On
 • On & Red-Eye reduction
 • Off
 • Slow Sync (Twilight Portrait scene mode)
Flash compensation  • High
 • Normal
 • Low
Flash range 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.8 - 12.5 ft)
Movie modes  • MPEG 160 x 120 (with audio, unlimited)
 • MPEG 320 x 240 (with audio, unlimited)
 • MPEG 320 x 240 HQX (with audio, unlimited)
 • Clip-motion (160 x 120 or 80 x 72 animated GIF)
 • Multi-frame 16 (7.5, 15 or 30 fps - max 16 - 320 x 240 frames)
Playback modes  • Single image
 • Magnify (up to 5x)
 • 9 thumbnails (3 x 3)
 • Exposure information
Viewfinder Optical, no dioptre adjustment
LCD monitor 1.5" 123,000 pixel
Storage Memory Stick (16 MB included)
Power NP-FC11 InfoLithium C, 2.4 Wh, (battery & charger included)
Connectivity  • DC in
 • USB
 • A/V out
Dimensions 113 x 53 x 36 mm (4.4 x 2.1 x 1.4 in)
Weight (inc. batt) 206 g (7.3 oz)
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