Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P10
At a Glance
The Cyber-shot DSC-P10 is perfect if you want as much resolution as you can get without having to play whack-a-mole with a lot of buttons and menu selections. It operates quickly and very quietly; it's one of the quietest cameras we've tested recently. Like most Sony models, its menus are mostly easy to decipher and, like the lens, quick. Most pockets will accommodate the P10--it's small and light, especially for a high-resolution model. An illuminator helps the camera focus in dim settings. You can capture 640 by 480 movies; that's high resolution compared to other digital cameras, most of which only go to 320-by-240.
In our battery tests, the camera took 239 shots, good for 83 minutes of shooting time, which is below average for the cameras we've tested. Nearly all the menu options are easy to figure out, but the icons identifying the camera's scene modes aren't very explicit; a little text would help identify them.
In our image quality tests for prints, the P10 scored slightly above the average for the cameras we tested for the December 2003 issue. It got good marks for sharpness, in part because of the high resolution, but a few shots' color looked off. For example, a still life with lots of objects in it had a slightly greenish cast. Outdoor shots looked quite nice, though. You can pop up an on-screen histogram that operates while you're shooting (some other cameras show you a histogram for already captured shots). The histogram might be helpful to gauge lighting, but it seems out of place on an otherwise very simple camera.
The Cyber-shot DSC-P10 is truly one of the simplest 5-megapixel cameras you can buy. That and its no-fuss operation make it a good bet among point-and-shoot models.