Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sony's Cybershot DSC-N1, with a touch screen!

11月18日発売予定Having using my Clie handheld (PDA) as my primary camera for 2 years, I admit I am not satisfied with the 0.3megapixal built in CMOS. We do have a Sony Cybershot F77 at home, but it has no optical zoom, and battery life is unacceptable. Also, navigating the menus with a 5 way directional pad just isn't my cup of tea (once you've tried working with a touch screen, you'll love it's simplicity and ease of navigation), although every single camera I've known are made that way.

Now, behold the Sony N1, to be released in Japan on Nov 18. First of all, it looks cool. (Yeah, I've always liked Sony's designs) And best of all, it now has a touch screen, which means that I can do all the settings just as on the Clie camera software I'm familiar with. Look how big the "buttons" on the screen are. By the way, it's a huge 3 inch screen, which means bigger picture previews and bigger on screen buttons.

Another plus of the touch screen seems to be the ability to do drawing on your pictures. But that really doesn't make sense to me. I've already had that ability with the built in photo editor on my Clie, but I seldom use it. I only use it to mark up pictures I took of some experiment results, which you can usually just do it on paper of on the lab's computer. No big deal. Besides, duddling on photos or applying fancy stickers to them seems stupid.

It has 3x optical zoom and 15 digital zoom. 3x optical zoom is good for most occations while digital zoom means nothing because it usually gives you fuzzy images. Also, as with most Cybershot cameras, it's equipted with a Carl Zeiss lens. I'm no expert of lenses, but from my experience with the F77, a high end lens doesn't make much sense on a simple point and shoot. To me, as long as you don't see obvious defects or image distortions, it's good enough. As for the most important part of a digital camera, we know that Sony's got good CCD technology(well as long as their manufacturing lines don't screw up, as what caused a recent major recall of billions of 2 year old Sony CCD parts).

But here's the most rediculus part of the whole product: What do you do with a 8.2megapixal CCD in a compact point-and-shot? For consumer cameras, 5MP is already more then enough. Even some older high end DSLRs that produce huge beautiful pictures only have 5megapixal. So what's a 8.2MP CCD doing in a point-and-shot? Waist memory space and force you to buy 2GB memory cards?

OK, finally a great touch screen user interface on a camera. But also a 8.2MP CCD as a major factor to drive up the price. Sony has done it again, a great idea that's going to be killed by pricing. I don't think I'll ever be buying a 8MP camera.

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