Sony's digital cameras have always enjoyed huge popularity in the consumer market, despite generally higher prices than many competing models. (In the Mavica line, the floppy disk drive undoubtedly added to the manufacturing cost, but also contributed enormously to the cameras' appeal.) With these latest announcements, however, Sony served notice that it intends to compete head-to-head on price, without sacrificing one iota in features or performance. The three new Cyber-shot models -- the P30, P50, and S75 -- are evidence of this resolve. While they are not the cheapest cameras in their respective megapixel ranges, they provide rich features and excellent performance, making them an excellent value for the quality conscious consumer.
The Cyber-shot P30's 1.3-megapixel CCD sensor offers image resolutions as high as 1,280 x 960 pixels, and a simple user interface that makes camera operation a snap. The 1.5-inch color LCD monitor provides bright, clear playback of captured images, and a quick refresh rate when used for image composition. The comprehensive information display reports available battery power (in minutes when used with the InfoLITHIUM pack), remaining Memory Stick space, ISO setting, resolution setting, and shutter speed and aperture readings when the shutter button is halfway depressed.
The DSC-P30 is a compact, lightweight digicam that can easily be tucked into a shirt pocket or small purse. Its streamlined body, which measures only 4.87 x 2 x 2.25 inches and weighs just 9 ounces with the InfoLITHIUM battery pack installed, is similar in style to Sony's earlier Cyber-shot DSC-P1 model, with a brushed silver exterior and pale blue accents. The matching blue wrist strap makes it the perfect travel companion for family outings.