Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1
At a Glance
The 4.1-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-L1 looks slick and performs well, even though its tiny buttons and sharp joystick aren't the most comfortable to use.
The Cyber-shot DSC-L1 has no viewfinder, its 1.5-inch LCD is a little dim, and its design is a little brick-like, but other features make up for that. It comes in four colors--silver, blue, black, and rose--and sports a 3X optical with 2X digital zoom. The seven scene modes (Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candle, Snow, and Beach) are easily navigable once you get used to the camera's interface; the same holds for the four-shot burst mode. Not that the interface isn't straightforward--it just isn't as pretty as those of other point-and-shoots we've tested. The camera takes Memory Stick Pro Duo cards and comes with Sony's Picture Package and Pixela ImageMixer video software.
In our image-quality tests, this camera produced bright, vibrant color in our outdoor and still-life shots, yet its sharpness wasn't the best. Portions of our black-and-white test pattern were blurry and showed some color distortion. At least one test image exhibited a slightly red color cast, but skin tones in general reproduced well. Battery life was average for a point-and-shoot.
We recommend this reasonably priced point-and-shoot for limited everyday use. No particular feature astounded us, but the overall balance of size, image quality, and usability is pretty impressive.