Test: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1
This camera can handle most situations, including product and nature shots, with ease. The wide-angle lens and accessory-dedicated flash also make it ideal for real estate, insurance, and other business uses. But portrait and sports shooters won't be satisfied with the resolution and response of the R1's EVF, the limited scope of its built-in lens, or the shortcomings of its external flash system.
This may be the first EVF camera without video and sound capture; those moving up from a digital compact may miss it. Maybe Sony simply wanted to underscore how serious the DSC-R1 is about still photos.
Certified Test Results:
Resolution: Excellent (2000Vx2000H x1850D lines). Color accuracy: Extremely High (Avg. Delta E: 9.77). Highlight/shadow detail: High. Contrast: Slightly High; adjustable in 3 steps via menus. Noise: Low at ISO 160 to ISO 400, Moderately Low at ISO 800, Moderate at ISO 1600. Image quality: Extremely High from ISO 160 to 800. AF speed: Fast in bright light, but slower in low light, especially when using the 5-zone Multipoint AF mode. Red AF-assist light speeds low-light focusing. Viewfinder: The fine-grained EVF shows nearly 100% of the picture area, an Excellent result, while its 0.58X magnification gets a Below Averge rating. Distortion: On DxO Analyzer 2.0 tests, the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens (12 elements in 10 groups with 4 aspherical elements) showed Very Visible barrel distortion at 24mm equivalent and Visible pincushion distortion at 120mm. CIPA battery life: Approx. 550 shots with rechargeable NP-FM50 Info-Lithium battery. For info: www.sonystyle.com; 877-865-7669.
• First 10.3MP camera for under $1,000.
• High-quality 5X zoom starts at 24mm.
• 2-inch, swivel LCD monitor.
• EVF locks up in burst mode.
• No video and sound capture.
• AF slower than DSLRs in price range.