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Small and sexy!!
Dec 29, 2004 12:10 PM 3262 Views
(Updated Jul 20, 2005 03:27 AM)

Picture Quality:

User friendly:

Value for Money:

Shutter Speed:

Battery life:

On the risk of being looked down upon by fellow members I would admit that about a month ago I was quite happy with my Kodak KB12 hotshot camera till my wife revolted and threatened to throw it out from the balcony if I did not buy a digital camera. Luckily my brother in law was coming to India from US for his wedding and I asked him to bring along a Sony DSC P73.

The camera cost me a lot less than it would have in india - only 250$ (Rs. 11500) as compared to its latest price Rs. 17000 in India. In addition to this he also brought a 256 MB memory card at a throwaway price too. Since then I have photographed everything around me I suppose since it does not even cost a film roll now :-).

The camera is simply superb. Not only is it very compactly and tastefully designed but the amount of features that have been put into this are countless and I still manage to discover something or the other everytime I take it around shooting photos. There are a number of modes in which you can take a photograph like normal camera mode, night mode, candle mode, twilight mode etc which require a bit of research to achieve the right kind of photographs. It supports 4.1 MP which is sufficient for any requirement unless you want to print a movie poster :-). In addition to this it has 3x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom for distant shots which is so very important sometimes as many of us would have felt.

The LCD screen is a bit small (1.5'') but enough for one to see what he is shooting. The figures on the screen in the all display option clutters the screen somewhat but gives you a complete idea of what you are going to shoot. The histogram for example is indicative of how bright/dark the photograph is going to be and you can then adjust accordingly with help of manual exposure control.

One drawback I find with most digital cameras however that at default shutter spped setting they become very sensitive to motion (whether it is the motion of the shooting hand or the subject itself). This causes a lot of hazy photographs if not taken carefully. So one has to play around with the shutter speed and aperture settings which sometimes leads to overly dark/bright pictures. So there is definely a learning curve there and sometimes it is not as easy when you quickly want to shoot something which is moving or your hand is not stable.

The 256 MB memory card has given me a lot of freedom from worry of exhausting the camera capacity too soon and I can keep my photos in camera itself for months before transferring to the PC. I can even shoot a 8-10 minute video now so that does away with my need of buying a handycam for the moment!! DSC P73 comes with a USB data transfer cable and bundled software which enables it to connect to a PC easily.


Also provided is a AV cable (to directly view the pictures/video on TV in the playback mode) and a battery charger + 2 nickel rechargable batteries. The default memory card provided is 16MB which is a turn off since it stores only 10-14 pictures at 4.1 MP. You can create folders in the memory card on the fly and sort/clip/rotate/delete your pictures in the camera itself.

Also do check out other accessories available for this camera at any Sony store/website. You are bound to be tempted to go for some of those (like cute carrying pouch, tripod, print deck etc). I would say that this camera has really transformed the way I percieved photography (Word of caution - do trim of your nostril hair if you stand in front of this camera. at 4.1 MP nothing is going to escape unnoticed. :-)

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Sony DSC P73