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 article (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.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X, Y, and Z and ideally A, B, and C.

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