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Sony DSC-P71 Review

March 2002 (updated August 2002) | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production Sony DSC-P71

The DSC-P71 is the top of a new line-up of entry-level digital cameras from Sony. The three cameras are the DSC-P31 (2 megapixel, fixed lens), DSC-P51 (2 megapixel, 2x optical zoom) and the DSC-P71 (3 megapixel, 3x optical zoom).

New features / improvements

All three cameras have several new features and 'improvements' over previous entry-level cameras:

  • Wider range of white balance modes (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent)
  • New 3 area multi-point Auto Focus (fully automatic, no option to select AF point)
  • New scene modes (twilight, twilight & portrait, landscape)
  • New noise reduction algorithm (based on that first implemented on the F707, but improved)
  • Multi-Pattern metering
  • Slow shutter noise reduction (dark frame subtraction - again first seen on the F707)
  • Multi-burst continuous mode (16 frames on a single JPEG - 30 / 15 / 8 fps)
  • MPEG HQX movie (320 x 240 unlimited @ 8 fps - 5 mins 55 sec on a 128 MB MS, no audio)
  • 2 x AA batteries (no Lithium-Ion at this level) - rechargeable NiMH and charger included
  • 16 MB Memory Stick now standard (used to be 8 MB)

Review Updated August 2002

This review was updated in August 2002 using a full production DSC-P71. The following review sections were added / updated:

  • Standard Resolution Chart
  • Standard Colour Chart
  • Quality / Resolution
  • Sharpening
  • ISO Noise
  • White Balance
  • Macro
  • Flash
  • Distortion
  • Fringing
  • Image Quality Specifics
  • Comparison
  • Conclusion
  • Samples gallery


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This review is Copyright 2002 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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