Image Sharpening

The DSC-P5 offers control over the cameras internal sharpening algorithm with a setting of -2 to +2 (minus being less sharpening, positive being more). The samples below are 200% crops of different sharpening levels for the same scene.

Sharpening -2
Sharpening -1
Sharpening 0 (Default)
Sharpening +1
Sharpening +2

As with the S75 the P5's sharpening algorithm is actually quite reserved, the default sharpening is just enough to pull details out of the image without introducing too much in the way of visible sharpening artifacts (such as white halos). Some people may find it too soft, in which case simply leave sharpening set to +1.

Night / Twilight exposure mode

The DSC-P5's auto exposure won't allow shutter speeds lower than 1/30 sec, however switching to Twilight exposure mode (the moon symbol) allows exposure as slow as 2 seconds locked at ISO 100. At full wide angle this means that the darkest exposure the camera can capture is 2 EV, which is a little brighter than the average night scene.

Twilight exposure mode, 2 seconds, F2.8

Low Light Focus

In our low light focus test we're aiming to measure the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away. Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus.

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most "contrast detect" AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), if the subject were less easy to focus upon then you would need more light.

  • Sony DSC-P5 best low light focus: <0.5 EV *

The DSC-P5's surprisingly powerful focus assist lamp means that it can focus in complete darkness up to an amazing distance of 9 m (30 ft).