Sony Cybershot DSC-V1 Review
The DSC-V1 uses a new lens carrying the 'Carl Zeiss' brand (which at least should mean it was designed by Carl Zeiss). The lens provides an equivalent zoom range of 34 to 136 mm (4x) with a maximum aperture of F2.8 at wide angle and F4.0 at telephoto. This is interesting because that makes it less impressive (certainly from a spec point of view) than both the Nikon lens on the 5400 (which has a wide bottom end) and the Canon lens on the G5 (which has a fast F2.0 - F3.0 max. aperture range). The lens extends 16 mm (0.6 in) at wide angle and 27 mm (1.1 in) at telephoto.
Lenses compared (all Prosumer, 5 mp, 4x zoom)
|Sony DSC-V1||34 mm||136 mm||F2.8||F4.0|
|Canon PowerShot G5||35 mm||140 mm||F2.0||F3.0|
|Nikon Coolpix 5400||28 mm||116 mm||F2.8||F4.6|
Base / Tripod Mount
On the DSC-V1's base you will find a metal tripod mount which is located a little close to the front of the camera for my taste, it runs the risk of the camera tipping forward slightly on tight tripod mounting plates.
The DSC-V1's flash unit pops up from the right edge of the camera (from the front). It has a quoted range of 3.5 m (11.5 ft) at ISO 100. It pops up automatically if the camera decides it is required (Auto flash) or when requested (Manual flash on).
Hologram AF Assist
The DSC-V1 is Sony's first compact digital camera to use the laser based Hologram AF assist system seen on the DSC-F707 and DSC-F717. A weave pattern is produced by a small laser mounted above the lens. This pattern is used to assist the contrast detect AF system to lock AF in low light situations. The pattern appears for approximately one second, as per our previous experience this system works best on large subjects which are covered by virtually the entire pattern.
The DSC-V1 is the first Sony digital camera to have a hot-shoe with full two way communication between the camera and flash unit. To take advantage of this Sony has also launched a new advanced external flash, the HVL-F32X (see below). The manual notes that Sony flash units HVL-F1000 (requires additional connection to ACC terminal) or HVL-F32X can be used in any exposure mode, third party flash units must be configured manually and used in exposure modes Manual or Aperture Priority.
Sony HVL-F32X Flash (optional)
The HVL-F32X flash is the first Sony external flash unit not to require connection via a cable to the camera's ACC terminal, this is because it now has a full set of connections through its shoe. As you can see from the images below the flash head can be tilted to any position between 90 degree vertical and straight ahead. There is also a drop-down diffuser (see third image). The flash is powered by four AA batteries, it provides a secondary AF assist beam (two brightness levels), modeling light ability, red-eye reduction and manual flash exposures (6 levels). The unit has a guide no. of 32 (i.e. 11.4 m @ F2.8).
As you can see this flash really is far to big to be used (sensibly) on the DSC-V1, it's a shame Sony didn't also introduce an ultra-compact external flash unit for digital cameras of this size.
Supplied in the box are:
|Memory Stick Media
(up to 128 MB)
|Memory Stick Pro Media
(up to 1 GB)
|Tele conversion lens *
|Wide conversion lens *
|Soft Carrying Case
|Tripod with Remote
* Includes lens thread adapter
** Partial list
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