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Sony Cybershot DSC W1 | Digital Camera Review | Storage and Energy
As can be expected from a Sony camera, the Memory Stick is used as a storage medium. At this moment we see the standard Memory Stick being offered as an option. In fact an inheritance from the past when 128MB was still exotic as a storage capacity. The Memory Stick PRO is the standard on the field of Memory Stick storage. These cards offer a much faster processing speed as far as write and read time is concerned and beside that they are available with a capacity up to 2GB. One has to go through a lot of trouble to find the standard Memory Stick with a storage capacity of 256MB, but then it still means that it has 2x 128MB, so the memory card has to be removed to turn a switch that will activate the second 128MB, also the read and write speed is the "old" speed which differs considerably compared to the PRO version. Standard delivered with the DSC-W1 is a 32MB memory card, with a high risk of not getting used because of the low capacity. More realistic is a minimum of 256MB storage capacity which is a good optional memory card to be able to actually enjoy high resolution images.
Sony Cybershot DSC W1 | Digital Camera Sony Cybershot DSC W1 | Digital Camera
After opening the memory compartment on the side of the camera, the Memory Stick can be inserted in the slot. Closing the cover gets the camera ready to use. A small detail that has to be taken into account is the fact that it is possible to remove the Memory Stick when it is still in the middle of processing data. A warning is given by means of a small LED. One who ignores the warning takes the risk of loosing the data.

The DSC-W1 has different resolution settings, from 2592x1944 to the VGA format (640x480). It is useful to choose the image ratio of 3:2 in the highest resolution. This ratio is the equivalent of the standard size of 10x15cm. This prevents the loss of information when printing because the other resolution settings have an image ratio of 3:4. The high resolution of 5 Megapixels is excellent to print an A4 sized print and the lower resolutions are suitable to print up to a 10x15 standard size for example. Beside the resolution settings, the image quality (compression) can be adjusted. At Fine a minimal compression is used, at Standard maximal. When choosing Fine the image quality is enlarged, however the data storage is also enlarged which means less images can be stored on the Memory Stick.

Concerning a 256MB Memory Stick storage capacity:

5 Megapixel - Fine - 92 images – app. 2.7MB
5 Megapixel - Standard - 174 images – app. 1.4MB
5 MP 3:2 - Fine - 92 images – app. 2.7MB
5 MP 3:2 - Standard - 174 images – app. 1.4MB
3 Megapixel - Fine - 148 images – app. 1.7MB
3 Megapixel - Standard - 264 images – app. 960KB
1 Megapixel - Fine - 357 images – app. 700 KB
1 Megapixel - Standard - 649 images – app. 394KB
VGA (640x480) - Fine - 1428 images – app. 180KB
VGA (640x480) - Standard - 3571 images – app. 70KB
The Cyber-Shot DSC-W1 is standard delivered with an external charger for two AA rechargeable batteries. The performance of the W1 is impressive because of the application of the new Real Image processor and the use of the Stamina technology. Some two fully loaded AA batteries keep going for a long time and offer sufficient power to photograph for hours on end. Due to the low price of a set of rechargeable NiMH AA batteries it is not a problem to keep an extra set on hand as spare batteries to use in case of an emergency. A set of batteries will be recharged completely in about 6 hours in the delivered charger. After recharging them the batteries can be inserted in the compartment at the bottom of the camera. Just take care they don't fall out and get damaged or lost when opening the battery compartment.

From the test images and the large series images we made, we've come to the conclusion that a set of freshly loaded NiMH batteries enable some 300 pictures to be taken. And I have to remark that the large 2.5 inch monitor was activated continuously. A performance that deserves some credit!

Beside using batteries it's also possible to connect the camera to the A/C power. In practice it will not happen that often although I can image that it will be done when the camera is connected to a large screen to show a large amount of pictures in order to spare the rechargeable batteries.
Sony Cybershot DSC W1 Sony Cybershot DSC W1
   
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