Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P73 review
I bought this camera about 2 months ago and have shot just over 1600 pictures with it. Not a lot, but enough to give me an overall feel for the camera.
Overall the images are fairly good, but it seems that the JPEG compression is sometimes quite noisy and the images get fuzzy. This is particularly frustrating on landscape images where there is a lot of contrast in lighting. Some parts of the picture may be sharp but where there is less light it may be very noisy. The JPEG compression ratio of the images is actually pretty consistent with an older model (DSC-P31) that I also have so I don't know what the problem is. I have tried all the image resolutions and they all show this noise problem so my feeling is that it has something to do with the actuall compression rather than the sensor.
Close ups are generally pretty good, but the macro focus combined with the zoom (no digital zoom allowed on my camera!) seems to set the focal point a little behind the spot where you set the focus. I.e. if you focus on something 50 cm away, the focus seems to be 55 or 60 cm away, blurring the actual subject that should be in focus. Without the zoom it generally performs well with the macro focus. With upto 30 second shutter you can take nice night photos. Got a few Northern Lights pictures while I was in Iceland, but conditions were not good so they came out just about as well as was to be expected.
Overall it is not a bad camera, lots of options, not always easy to get to though, but nice as an experiment before you dive into a real SLR camera (which will be my next step).
I spent 2 weeks in Iceland in April and had some really cool weather with temperatures down to -10C. In that condition the camera would sometimes lock up and die with the lens open. When it was turned on again, it would retract the lens, extend it and die again. The trick was to set it to the "Setup" option, turn it on and the turn it off. Then it would retract the lens and close it before it died. I have not experienced this in warmer climates (I live in Texas) This would happend even when using new and newly charged batteries. I found that if I kept the camera in the breast pocket of my shirt until I wanted to use it, turned it on inside my coat and preferably adjusted it there too, I was able to get 10-15 pictures before it locked up. Keeping it close to the heater in the car also helped;) Manual states that operating temperatures are 0 to +40C (32-104F) so at -10C it was certainly outside it's operating temp, but it would be nice if it would retract the lens and close it before shutting off.
Without the sound for the shutter it seems there is no indicator as to when it actually closes the shutter, i.e. there is no activity on the LCD that I can find that positively identifies that the shutter has closed. You can leave the sound on for the shutter only.