- 3-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create prints up to 11 x 14
- Autofocus lens with 3x optical/2x digital (6x total) zoom
- Included 16 MB Memory Stick holds 16 images at default settings
- Connects with PCs and Macs via USB port
- Uses 2 AA batteries (rechargeables included)
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 DSC-P71 combines compact dimensions with a high-performance 3-megapixel sensor and affordable AA battery power. If you’re looking for a take-anywhere camera that’s easy to use and produces crisp, detailed images, the P71 is worth a closer look.
Optics and Resolution
The DSC-P71’s 3-megapixel sensor captures ample detail for sharp prints at sizes up to 8 by 10 inches. For a serious amateur photographer, 3 megapixels is a great resolution, providing enough detail to perform some cropping and still have crisp prints.
A 3x optical zoom lens (39-117mm equivalent) helps you to capture exactly the picture you want, and an additional 2x digital zoom (6x total) further magnifies your image. Remember, however, that digital zoom tends to reduce the sharpness and detail of your image, so it’s best used 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.
To compose your images, either use the traditional camera viewfinder or the 1.5-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.
The P71 is designed to be a simple point-and-shoot, so it doesn’t have a huge assortment of manual settings. However, more advanced photographers will appreciate the manual focus mode, adjustable ISO, and white-balance settings, and well as the exposure compensation and the ability to shoot black-and-white, sepia, solarized, and negative images.
The P71 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 always be ready for action, we recommend getting a second pair of rechargeable 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 the P71 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 16 images at the camera’s default settings. Memory Sticks are reusable, but if you tend to take more than 16 images per outing, then you’ll want a bigger card. A 128 MB stick is a great size for this camera, storing around 130 images. To transfer images to your computer, simply attach the included USB cable between your PC and your camera–your computer should automatically recognize the camera and let you move the pictures to your hard drive. If you own a Sony desktop or laptop, your computer may also have a built-in Memory Stick reader, which makes transferring as easy as reading a floppy disk.
At 5 by 2.3 by 1.75 inches and 10.4 ounces fully loaded, the P71 is a very compact and portable digital camera.
Contents and Recommended Accessories
The package includes the DSC-P71 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. –Shane Burnett
- 3-megapixel resolution provides ample detail for most users
- Compact dimensions make it easy to bring this camera along on outings
- Point-and-shoot operation makes it easy for even beginners to get great results
- Movie mode lacks sound
- Proprietary Memory Stick memory card format less common and more expensive than other formats