Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P31 review

Started Sep 25, 2002 | User reviews thread
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Thomas Kohl New Member • Posts: 5
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P31 review

Mucho features and HQ..very pleased. Got this one as a company gift which I wouldnt have picked myself, but turned out being better than expected. At +/- USD220 this is an excellent bang for buck camera. Fairly easy to quick shoot yet enough 'manual' features to tweak if you have the time or so inclined.

- Features -
Too many to mention them all, most all are useful ones (iso setting maybe the least). See dpreview DSC P71 for an idea of some of these which are common

- Quality -
Both fine/std are very good, maybe could use a third level of compression. Great twilight mode cleans up low light pics, so you rarely need the (overbright) flash. I find this one of the best features. Focus light is also great for such low light conditions, another good feature for such price range.

- Memory -
With my added 128meg I get about 130 pics at 2 megpixel on fine, or about 5 min of 'high' quality video. Both considerably greater at lower settings (up to about 2000 pics at 640)

- Video -
Very nice to have length limited only by memory. My software video editor indicates 25 fps (although specs seem to say its slower at 16 fps). Bit of a pain with its mpg format to convert to avi first for editing. Lacking sound could be an issue, but in a pinch I've used an external recorder and synched back later. Hey its not a video cam,and dont expect such quality, but it comes in handy sometimes. Video RCA output also very good to TV to show yr pics in a slide show, both USA and overseas TV standards

- Zoom -
Camera is faster without optical zoom..and you can always zoom / crop later in an editor. The built in digital zoom used while photographing is not very functional, but it does work well AFTER the picture is taken. Wide angle works well for most occasions, also covers for good close ups without macro.

- Charger -
I noticed some complaints due a 13hr 'slow' charger but what do you want for having it included. 'Overnight' is good enough for me, I'll get some kodak 1850 AA's for spare, the included 1700's are good enough. Charger aslo works overseas at 220v (and 110v), useful feature for some people

Pics are generally a bit dark even for my prefered darker taste on film, but can easily be 'pushed' up either with care while photographing or later in 'darkroom'. Flash is a bit too stark bright for my taste, even on lower setting.
Included pc software is weak, but possibly ok for a firsttime user who has no other software. I wonder if the USB driver could be made better. Otherwise my impressions are extremely favorable.


Have had the unit about 2 months and over 600 pics, no real notable problems or shortconings other than those mentioned in my opinions.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P31
2 megapixels • 1.6 screen • 33 mm
Announced: Feb 20, 2002
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