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Sony DSC-P9 Review

April 2002 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production Sony DSC-P9

Sony's DSC-P9 is a natural progression from the three megapixel DSC-P5 (which itself succeeded the original DSC-P1). The DSC-P9 (expected street price around $600) joins a growing segment of four megapixel ultra-compact digital cameras which also includes the Canon PowerShot S40 ($650), Pentax Optio 430 ($700), Olympus D-40Z ($700) and the new Minolta DiMAGE F100 ($700). Interestingly three of that bunch have gone for the long / thin body design which we first saw with the DSC-P1.

Note that because the DSC-P9 is very similar to the DSC-P5 many sections of this review are based on that review, notably the body/design and operation sections.

Sony DSC-P9 compared to Sony DSC-P5 (differences only)

  Sony DSC-P9 Sony DSC-P5
CCD 1/1.8" 4.1 megapixels 1/1.8" 3.3 megapixels
Effective pixels 3.9 megapixels 3.1 megapixels
Image sizes 2272 x 1704, 2272 x 1520 (3:2),
1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
2048 x 1536, 2048 x 1360 (3:2),
1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Image formats JPEG JPEG, TIFF
Lens 3 x optical zoom
39 - 117 mm equiv. (F2.8 - F5.6)
3 x optical zoom
39 - 117 mm equiv. (F2.8 - F5.6 )
Auto focus Multi AF (3 point), Center AF, Manual Focus Center AF, Manual Focus
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten Auto, Indoor, Outdoor, Hold
Program AE modes Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape Twilight
Noise reduction Clear Color / Luminance NR, Dark frame subtraction (slower than 0.5 sec) Dark frame subtraction (slower than 0.5 sec)
Flash range 0.5 - 3.8 m (1.6 - 12.5 ft) 0.5 - 2.8 m (1.6 - 9.2 ft)
Burst mode Yes, Multiburst (7.5, 15 or 30 fps, 16 320 x 240 frames) Yes, 2 frames (1.4 fps)
MPEG Yes, HQX (320 x 240 inc audio) only space limited Yes, EX (320 x 240 inc audio) only space limited
Displays LCD Monitor LCD Monitor, status LCD panel
Storage Memory Stick, 16 MB included Memory Stick, 8 MB included
Compartment Door opens vertically Door opens horizontally
Grip Front metallic finger 'hook' grip Plastic dots
Dimensions 113 x 53 x 36 mm
(4.4 x 2.1 x 1.7 in)
113 x 53 x 36 mm
(4.4 x 2.1 x 1.4 in)
Volume 216 cm3 216 cm3
Weight (inc. batt) 203 g (7.2 oz) 214 g (7.8 oz)

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).

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. 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.

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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