Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Very Good resolution
- Low noise with some noise reduction
- Good macro performance
- Excellent build quality, good ergonomics
- Proper hand grip
- Excellent auto focus speed
- Very fast shot to shot times (just over 1 sec)
- Excellent write speed (up to 4 MB/sec)
- Good battery life
- Optional screw mounting lens adapter
- Very large 2.5" LCD with anti-reflective coating
- Multiple media support (MS Pro & CF)
- External flash support via Hot-shoe
- Fast USB 2.0 transfers
- Combined AC Adapter / Battery charger
Conclusion - Cons
- Tendency to use small apertures
- Design fault with jog dial & program shift
- About a third of a stop less sensitive than indicated
- Limited image parameter adjustment
- Poorly fitting flash unit
- Lens retracts too quickly in play mode
- Sharpening halo artifacts at default setting
The DSC-V1 was a relatively compact camera, so it's clear the same can't be said of the DSC-V3, but curiously the increase in size has really only improved its usability. Normally I'm not a big fan of chunky cameras for the sake of it but the DSC-V3 strikes an imposing shape with a nice soft rubber hand grip and cool metal surfaces. Also it does look better in black.
The next thing which will strike you about the DSC-V3 is how quickly it focuses, almost literally as soon as you can half-press the shutter release you'll see the comforting green AF bracket indicating the camera has done it's stuff and it's ready to take the picture. Sony truly have made great strides in auto focus speed in their latest generation of cameras and the DSC-V3 is a great example of that.
Good AF improves lots of things, most notably shot to shot time which for the DSC-V3 was very fast indeed, just over a second. This camera's slowest function is startup which is down to a rather sluggish lens extension mechanism (Olympus seem to have this nailed). Otherwise there's virtually nothing in the everyday use of the camera which will leave you tapping your fingers against the body in anticipation, it will be ready.
Image quality wise it's perhaps a fraction behind the Canon PowerShot G6, only because the G6 has a better lens and a more sophisticated sharpening algorithm. The DSC-V3 can leave some relatively strong halo sharpening artifacts on certain types of images, dropping the sharpening down a level can help but you may then lose some detail.
And now the pinch, well the DSC-V3 does appear to have two issues which lead to the same outcome, small apertures. The first is that the jog dial's default action is program shift and it's all too easy to roll the dial without realizing and leaving it with a small aperture. The second is that the metering system's program line appears to begin shifting to smaller apertures once shutter speed reaches 1/250 sec. This kind of program line would be fine on an SLR but on a compact camera with such a small lens shooting at F8 can only mean one thing; softer images and a loss of resolution.
Used with this knowledge (which you will of course have because you read this review from the beginning, you didn't skip to the conclusion, did you?), the DSC-V3 can produce great images with real punch and great resolution. And it will do so quickly, without fuss or effort.
Rating (out of 10)
|Lens / CCD combination||8.5|
|Ease of use||8|
|Value for money||8|
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.