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Old Jun 25, 2004, 7:37 AM   #1
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I am just about purchase my second digital camera, I am making the jump from a 2.1 megapixels up to a 5 megapixel camera. I have set my sights firmly on a Sony product as I wish to share my existing memory sticks between my DSC-105 Camcorder and TH-55 Clie (hopefully this won't cause any issues, please let me know if anyone has come across any).

I am torn between the three models namely V1, T1, and P100. All three units are very attractive in different ways:

V1 - Functionally
T1 - Aesthetically
P100 - Overall Simplicity


I am learning toward the V1 as I would like to think that with alot more practice I could perhaps become more than just an amateur photographer and take advantage of some its more manual features. In addition to this I am slightly put off my second favourite the T1 by lack of viewfinder, tripod mountingand seemly delicate form, does this sound warranted as negatives for this model? Finally just before going out and purchasing the V1 on Amazon (currently £299.99 GBP) along comes the P100 in the same price bracket. Has anyone put these cameras head to head, there is a significant amount of comparison between the V1/W1 and former P10 unit but not very much cover of these specific units together.

I am keen to purchase a camera very soonas I have my honeymoon on the horizon however this year especially I could do without making a financial mistakeon this, hence trying to get as much advice as possible.

I am not concerned with size so the obvious fact that the P100 is a smaller camera is of no interest. I am far more concerned with usability and performance. I need a camera that I can share with my wife-to-bewho can still use it as a fully automatic point and shoot which I am hoping both are capable of. I also anticipate the need to buy a second battery to support the V1's shorter battery lifewhich again does not put me off greatly.

In summary,can anyone offer me any further guidance as to make the right choice between these cameras.

1. Does the V1 perform as well or hopefully better than the P100?
2. Can the V1operate as a fullyautomatic camera when used by a novice?
3. Which Sony Digital Camera would you recommend to me, even if not any of the above?

Many thanks,

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Old Jun 25, 2004, 2:03 PM   #2
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Well I haven't had my hands on these three as such but my experience might help.

I tested a V1, P93, P10 and Canon A75recently after 11mths with a P52. Bought the P10 in the end, well a P12 outfit based on the P10 if you know what I mean.

I've said this before on here but I really can't see the V1 and T1 ever being suitable for the same person.

The V1 has anamazing feature set with almost every manual/priority facility you could want. It has a few extra buttons to select the various options and needs some thought to operate though. It is a little bulky and will not easily slip into any pocket of mine. The pop-up flash is righly critisised for being easy to hold down in error. It happened loads to me and I kept wondering why the flash was not going off. Having said that the V1 flash is powerful with a good spread, far far better than most very small digicams are now. I found the V1 responses slower than the current crop of Cybershot cameras, slower than my P12 as well. To use all itsfeatures you need to be able to read the small LCD...I couldn't easily see the tinyicons outside in bright daylight.

The images were superb though in an understated sort of way. I still have them all on the PC here. There is one where a mint restored classic British bike fills the frame. Viewed on screen at full size the quality of image around the reflections in the chrome tank are the best I've seen in a digital camera.

So agreat camera but for me too much like the old SLR days with something big to carry and a great deal of understanding required.

The T1 is completely biased the other way and was never on my shortlist for this reason. Very poor flash output, no viewfinder and no tripod socket! I'm sorry but it isn't that much smaller than the P100 to make it worth loosing those useful things. If a small camera isn't important to you there is no real reason to look at the T1.

When I nearly waited for the new range to come out I was always thinking about a W1 rather than a P100. Just something about the looks really...and I thought the P100 would be too small to handle. As I looked into the W1 more and more I was concerned about the crude manual mode and no Fast Shutter facility.

Eventually circumstances placed a P12 in my hands and I really got on well so I kept it. Folks may detail the exact differences between the P12 and P100 to show that the P100 is miles ahead...but I think they are going to be broadly very similar in concept/results.

Taking that asread then I would choose the P100 out of your selection. Handy enough to take everywhere but able to capture 99% of the V1 image quality. In fact handy enough so that you may have the P100 with you to get a shot when the V1 may well have been left in the car!

Actually I wouldn't get a P100 but a P120. Like my P12 outfit you get an super compact leather case that will go on a belt plus a spare InfoLithium battery for very little extra cash.

Get it from http://www.cameras2u.com/as you're in the UK, £289 at the moment...£265 for the P100. Their price includes free next day delivery and a 14 day return/exchange for any reason. I've had two cameras from them and the service has been amazing.

They are £299 for the T1 and £339 for the V1.

Whichever of these you get you will need a spare battery so the P120 outfit makes even more sense.

Hope that helps,

David
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 6:34 PM   #3
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David,

Many thanks for taking the time to post such a comprehensive response. I have looked at the specification for the P120 as a complete package and as you say for the little difference it is a very attractive offering.

Following your advice this will become a strong contender and in fact as you pointed out should be a winner based on the fact that its form factor may encourage me to have it on hand in far more situations than I perhaps would do with the V1.

Thanks also for your tip on a good site to purchase from, I hadn't come across the site in question before but am very tempted to use them especially with an offering of 14 day money back guarantee.

Thanks again,

PS Do you or anyone else for that matter know if the difference between the two Carl Zeiss lenses is significant or not, Tessar vs. Vario Sonnar? Would this be responsible for producing any variation in quality of image?
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Old Jun 27, 2004, 4:51 AM   #4
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Yes that 14 day exchange was fantastic from cameras2U.

The P93 was the first from them and I realised I didn't like it on the first day. I mailed and they phoned me to say no problems what do you want to replace it with. I ordered the A75 and that arrived the following day with the courier taking the Sony away at the same time.

It was a couple of days before I returned the A75 and it was again collected by their courier at no cost to me. They were happy to supply a third camera but I opted for a full refund as I was getting a bit embarrased and thought what would I do if I didn't like the next one??

At all times they were friendly and never showed a hint of annoyance at my messing about.

Regarding the lenses I have no direct experience to prove which one might be best. All I will say is that my old P52, and now my P10, have the ordinary Sony lens and I've never had reason to question their lens performance. The V1 of course has a better lens and that may just explain why it had the edge over other Sony 5MP cameras with the standard lens. But really you are not going to see the difference without printing to a huge size.

David




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