Sony DSCP51 Cyber-shot 2MP Digital Camera w/ 2x Optical Zoom
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- 2-megapixel sensor captures 1,600 x 1,200 images for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
- Autofocus lens with 2x optical zoom and 3x digital zoom
- Includes MSA-16A 16MB Memory Stick media
- Connects with PCs and Macs via USB port
- Uses 2 AA batteries (rechargeables included)
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Pick up this digital camera and keep your friends and relatives updated on your family's current events. The 3x optical/6x precision digital zoom lens catches close up shots that are stored on an included 8MB Memory Stick«. Download shots onto your computer via the USB connector with cable and driver. The 3.21 mp effective CCD image sensor (3.34 mp gross) captures clean sharp details in every photo opportunity. The intelligent flash and high-speed scan Autofocus are other great features.
Sony's affordable DSC-P51 combines a 2-megapixel sensor, 2x zoom lens, and AA battery power in a pocket-sized package. If you're shopping for a family point-and-shoot that's easy to use, versatile, and small enough to take anywhere, the P51 is a great choice.
Optics and Resolution
The DSC-P51's 2-megapixel sensor captures enough detail for sharp prints at sizes up to 8 by 10 inches. For the typical family photographer, 2 megapixels is a great balance between price and performance. If you want a camera with even more resolution, you'll need to step up to a 3- or 4-megapixel model like the DSC-P71 or DSC-P9.
The autofocus lens features both a 2x optical zoom and a 3x digital zoom. Remember, however, that digital zoom tends to reduce the sharpness and detail of your image, so it's a good idea to use it sparingly. In low-light situations (a particular weakness for many digital cameras), a focus-assist lamp sends out a small patterned beam to help the camera accurately determine distance, and special circuitry automatically reduces the "static" that typically plagues nighttime digital shots.
To compose your images, either use the traditional camera viewfinder or the 1.6-inch LCD display (which is also used to review the shots you've taken). Having both types of viewfinders offers the best of both worlds: if you're used to using a film camera or want to conserve battery life, use the viewfinder. If you want to see exactly the picture you'll be capturing, use the LCD display.
Though the P51 is designed for point-and-shoot simplicity, there are several options for more adventurous photographers, including manual focus with macro, adjustable ISO and white-balance settings, exposure compensation, and the ability to shoot black-and-white, sepia, solarized, and negative images.
The P51 uses two AA batteries--a pair of high-capacity nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeables and charger are included. The benefit to using standard AA batteries instead of a custom proprietary battery is that AA batteries are widely available, so missing a once-in-a-lifetime shot due to dead batteries won't be an issue. The downside is that a digital camera will kill a set of alkaline batteries extremely quickly, especially if you're using the camera's LCD display. To ensure you'll be ready for action, we recommend getting a second pair of batteries so you can always have one set in the camera and the other set in the charger.
In movie mode, the camera captures silent video clips. Most digital cameras' movie modes are limited to 15- or 30-second clips, but in EX mode, the P51 can keep shooting until you've filled the memory card. The limited resolution of your movies guarantees that this feature won't replace your camcorder, but it's perfect for when you just want to capture a quick movie and e-mail it to a friend or relative.
Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on Memory Sticks, Sony's proprietary memory-card format. The included 16 MB stick holds approximately 24 images at the camera's default settings. Memory Sticks are reusable, but if you tend to take more than 24 images per outing, then you'll want a bigger card. A 128 MB stick is a great size for this camera, storing around 200 images. To transfer images to your computer, simply attach the included USB cable between your PC and your camera. Your computer should automatically recognize your camera and let you move the pictures to your hard drive. If you own a Sony desktop or laptop, your computer may already have a built-in Memory Stick reader.
At 5 by 2.4 by 1.75 inches and 10.4 ounces fully loaded, the P51 is a very compact and portable digital camera.
Contents and Recommended Accessories
The package includes the DSC-P51 camera, two rechargeable NH-AA-D1 rechargeable batteries, BC-CS1 charger, video and USB cables, wrist strap, 16 MB Memory Stick, and software on CD.
Everything you need to get started is included in the box, but we recommend these accessories to make the most of your camera: a carrying case, a spare set of NiMH rechargeable size AA batteries, and a higher-capacity memory stick. Compatible accessories for this camera are listed near the top of this page.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top customer reviews
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The twilight mode is ok. It requires a second or two's worth of time to acquire and capture the images though, so you better have a tripod or really steady hands if you don't want blurry pictures. The camera seems excessively sensitive to light sources than most other cameras I've used, and the entire picture will go dark if there's any "sunny spot" or other bright spots on the picture. In general, if done right, you get perfect pictures. If there's a slight error, you might end up with a dark or blurry picture.
The worst thing about the camera is the JPEG compression. Of course I don't expect it to save in TIFF or uncompressed mode (1600x1200x24bit = 5.49MB/shot) on ... Memory Sticks, but none of the pictures look "picture perfect" at 100% view due to the artifacts from JPEG compression. Hence why I have to either resize my pictures to 1024x768 or crop to 1500x1200 and reduce to 1280x1024 for my 17" monitor. A pain that I will always have to put up with, but ok for those who just want to print on photo media.
All that aside, this is a really good 2MP camera for the price it goes for. It's loaded with features that I haven't even gotten around to using yet, and with 3 hours of battery time, I'm loving it. I'd recommend the camera to anyone who is a veteran of digital photography and know how digital cameras work. Even if you're not, it's an ok camera to start out with, but don't expect to get good pictures first try - takes a lot of practice. But after you get the hang of it, the camera is definitely worth the money.
This is my first camera and i was amazed by the quality of pics , I think now i am a professional photographer with this. At the price it is offered it is best deal.
I like the feature only problem is battery but then i have spare battery but execellent camera
My favorite feature I've found so far is the low-light outdoor portrait. My friends and I took a trip to DC a couple years ago, and took some pictures in front of different attractions at twighlight with a film-based camera. When we got them developed, all you could see was us... there wasn't enough light for the camera to caputre the background. With the Sony, however, that's a thing of the past! Simply put the camera on a solid object or tripod, and turn on low-light portrait mode (very easy to do). The flash on the camera goes off twice really fast,and then continues capturing in low light mode. What it does is uses the first flash to find what is close enough to get with the flash, the second flash captures that image, and then the lens stays open for up to two seconds longer capturing the low light background! The pictures taken in this mode at twighlight look amazing! Everything is nice and sharp... beautiful.
Another great feature is the ability to use the camera's zoom controls to zoom in on pictures you've already taken when viewing them on the LCD. Reviewing your pictures is great, but it's hard to tell if someone has their eyes closed in a shot, etc. when you're viewing on a 2" screen. Well, with this camera, you can zoom right into their face to see. Very useful!
This doesn't even begin to describe what this camera can do... excellent quality, perfect color - truly the best digital camera I've ever owned.
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