Pre-PMA 2003, 15:00 GMT: Sony has today announced its first foray into the compact prosumer market since the excellent DSC-S85. The DSC-V1 is designed to battle against Canon's hugely popular PowerShot G3, Nikon's Coolpix 4500 and Olympus's C-5050 Zoom. The DSC-V1 has a five megapixel sensor and a four times 'Carl Zeiss' zoom lens. It has all the major manual controls you would expect, as well as various shared enhancements including MPEG VX (VGA, 16 fps), USB 2.0, color saturation / tone adjustment, Smart Zoom and MS Pro support. All this plus a flash hot-shoe, metallic case and it measures just 99 x 65 x 57 mm (3.9 x 2.6 x 2.2 in) - about the same size (from the front) as Canon's PowerShot S330 (Digital IXUS 330).

Click here for our hands-on preview of the Sony DSC-V1

Press Release:


PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 24, 2003 - For all those digital photographers who spend time on web sites or with magazines obsessing about the trade off between features and pocketability, Sony is introducing the Cyber-shot® DSC-V1 digital still camera.

"A signature of Sony design is an ergonomically comfortable device small enough to become part of everyday personal gear, but powerful enough to satisfy sophisticated needs," said Steve Haber, senior vice president for Sony Electronic's Digital Imaging Products Division. "The Cyber-shot V1 camera is just this combination."

Available in May for about $700, and barely larger than a deck and a half of cards, the Cyber-shot V1 camera will offer a 5-megapixel imager and a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar® lens with 4x optical zoom sharpness and color accuracy. It will also feature a hot shoe and accessory terminal. Plus, there are several Sony-only features, including a rechargeable Infolithium® battery system, with to-the-minute awareness of remaining battery life, along with Nightshot® and NightFraming features for taking crisp pictures in no or low-light conditions.

Let the User Experiment

This model was built for a special class of photographer who wants ultimate control over the picture-taking process, but who also wants the option to call upon automatic features to help balance light and exposure. Among the features that will appeal to the purist are:

Manual Exposure Controls: Flexible exposure control is provided with aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes for better command over motion and depth of field.

Program-Shift Dial: Situated next to the LCD for easy access, this dial allows the user to select from a range of available combinations of aperture and shutter settings for control over motion and depth of field while remaining in an automatic exposure mode.

Five-area Multi-Point Auto Focus: The camera evaluates five separate areas of the frame and intelligently focuses on the subject, displaying the selected focus point, or the user can choose any of the five points for manual control.

Hologram AF™ Illuminator: Projects a laser pattern on the subject to create contrast for precise focus, even in low or no light.

Multi-Pattern Measuring: Independently meters the light in 49 points of the frame to establish the optimum exposure, even when highlight and shadow aren't centered in the frame.

Auto Fill Flash: When the subject is backlit or in shadow, the fill flash automatically fires to provide optimum exposure.

NightShot Infrared System: Captures infrared images in total darkness at a distance of up to 15 feet.

NightFraming System: To capture crisp images in low or no light, this feature illuminates the subject with the NightShot system for proper framing, focuses with Hologram AF illuminator and lights the scene with the appropriate amount of flash.

Sony DSC-V1 specifications

Sony DSC-V1

Street price US: $700
Sensor • 1/1.8" CCD
• RGB Color Filter Array
• 5.24 million pixels total
Effective pixel count 5.0 million
Image sizes • 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1728 (3:2)
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480, 16 fps, media limit only
• 160 x 112, 8 fps, media limit only
* All with audio
File formats • Still: TIFF, JPEG (EXIF 2.2) Fine / Standard
• Movie: MPEG 1
Lens • 4x optical zoom 'Carl Zeiss' lens
• 34 - 136 mm equiv.
• F2.8 - F4.0
• 8 elements in 7 groups
Filter thread 52 mm with adapter
Digital zoom * Up to 4.0x (VGA)
Focus • 5 area Multi-Point AF
• Selectable AF point
• Manual focus (13 positions)
• Hologram AF assist beam
• Continuous AF
Focus range • Normal: 40 cm (1.3 ft) - Infinity
• Macro: 10 - 40 cm (3.9 - 15.7 in)
Manual exposure • Program AE (with program shift)
• Aperture Priority AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Manual
Metering • Multi-Pattern (49 segment)
• Center weighted average
• Spot
Exposure compen. +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
Shutter • Auto: 1/8 - 1/2000 sec
• Manual: 30 - 1/1000 sec
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
• Flash
• Manual
Picture effects • Black & White
• Solarize
• Sepia
• Negative Art
Night shot Yes, uses Infrared lamp illumination
Night framing Yes, uses Infrared lamp illumination for focusing
Noise reduction • Clear Color
• Clear Luminance
• Slow Shutter
Image adjustments • Sharpness
• Color saturation
• Tone
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 1.5" TFT LCD
• 123,000 pixels
Live histogram Yes

• Pop-up
• Modes: Auto, On, Off, Slow
• Red-Eye Reduction: On, Off
• Range: 0.5 - 3.5 m (1.6 - 11.5 ft)
• External flash via Hot-shoe / ACC terminal

Scene modes • Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Fireworks
• Fast Shutter
Drive modes • Single
• Burst (3 shot)
• Multi-burst (16, 320x240 images)
• Clip motion (GIF)
• Auto AE bracketing
• Self-timer 10 seconds
Connectivity • USB 2.0 (inc PTP)
• A/V out
Storage • Memory Stick / Select / Pro *
• 32 MB Memory Stick supplied
* No support for high speed transfer / access control function
Power • Lithium-Ion InfoLithium NP-FC11
• Supplied AC adapter / charger
Dimensions 99 x 65 x 57 mm (3.9 x 2.6 x 2.2 in)
Weight (inc batt) 298 g (10.5 oz)

* Sony's new "Smart Zoom" will only allow digital zoom at lower image sizes
and only when zooming will not affect image quality