Review posted for Sony DSC-P100|
(Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 16:35 EDT)
With its small size and well-rounded feature set, the Sony P100 is a good and unusually capable subcompact point-and-shoot digicam.
Housed in a very small package is a 5.0-megapixel CCD, a sharp, high-quality 3x optical zoom lens, nine preset Scene modes and a host of other creative options. Its pictures show excellent color and sharpness (although I'd like to see better handling of household incandescent lighting), and surprisingly low noise levels for its combination of a five-megapixel sensor and compact camera design.
On the down side though, the low noise is achieved at the expense of subtle subject detail, caused by overly-aggressive anti-noise processing. Its tone curve is as contrasty as many of its consumer-grade competitors, but a very effective contrast adjustment control tames the high contrast for times when you have to deal with harsh lighting. It has a very good macro mode, and is unusually capable when it comes to low light shooting.
Add to this really excellent battery life and a surprisingly fast shutter response, and you've got a real winner of a compact digicam, one with amazingly few tradeoffs associated with its diminutive body size. (Other than the aforementioned mushiness caused by its anti-noise system.)
If you're looking for a great "take anywhere" camera with great versatility and excellent color and tonality, the Sony DSC-P100 should be an easy choice. A "Dave's Pick," although I'd be a lot happier with it if its noise-suppression processing were a bit less aggressive. Check it out!