The DSC-V3 is a digital camera that lies perfectly in your hand. The weight of 410 g, inclusive battery, memory card and strap and the presence of the firm rubber grip give the camera the necessary stability. Manufacturers nowadays choose to give their cameras a plain, almost bare appearance, Sony managed to fully equip the camera with all possible buttons for the numerous functions the camera offers. Sony equipped the camera with a large and fast LCD monitor, and avoided making the camera smaller at any costs, at the same time Sony created a good balance applying a large handgrip. The V3's front shows us a large ring, with the high quality Carl Zeiss - Vario-Sonnar f2.8-f4.0 lens hidden inside. Activating the camera makes the lens slowly come out adding an extra centimetre to the camera's size. Zooming in completely adds another centimetre in length. It is also possible to equip the lens with diverse converters in order to get more wide angle or telephoto. Above the lens the internal flash is situated, designed in its very own way. The right-angled shaped cube carrying the Sony logo, rotates a quarter which sets the flash free.
Bottom right from the flash a very small LED is placed which functions as the Hologram AF sensor. Next to it some room was found for the self timer LED and an infrared eye. The optical viewfinder is placed left of the centre, and striking is the fact that parts of the fingers are seen through the optical viewfinder when the hand is placed on the grip. Even the index finger is spotted through the viewfinder when it's placed a little bit over the release button. The handgrip contains the compartment for the dual memory slot and the Info-Lithium NP-FR1 battery. The memory slot supports Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and CompactFlash type I memory cards. The opposite side of the camera offers room to the USB and Video out interfaces with above them a connection for specific accessories (like an external flash). The USB and Video out interfaces are neatly protected by a correctly closing rubber cover.
The top of the camera is equipped with a hot shoe for a supporting Sony flash (HVL-F32X or HVL-F1000) or an external non-Sony flash supporting a hot shoe as found on the V3. Next to the hot shoe a small microphone is placed. The top of the camera is not completely even levelled, halfway down it sort of slopes onto a platform at which a large size command dial is placed, with next to it two large sized buttons. On top of the handgrip we find the release button that gives a slight resistance when pressed. The main settings can be found on the command dial, they will appear on the large sized LCD monitor on the back of the camera and can be adjusted precisely through the built-in menu. The command dial can be turned 360 degrees to the left and right side with a clearly audible click. The two buttons next to the command dial are the on/off button and a button for NightFraming/Nightshot function.
The back of the V3 camera contains the large sized 2.5 inch 123,000 pixels LCD monitor. The large size offers the user every room to judge the captured image properly and as a viewfinder it offers the user the ideal field of view to easily detect the correct composition. Above the monitor the optical viewfinder is placed with three led's linked to it for showing the status of the internal flash or showing the focus. Left of the viewfinder four small buttons are placed for functions like: manual focus, AE Lock or exposure compensation. Right side next to the monitor the famous multi functional button is found, every arrow contains several functions. Right next to the viewfinder the switch is placed with which choices can be made as for the type of memory slot, and next to it the very small sensitive button for the zoom setting. The battery is charged through the standard delivered A/C power adaptor. This connection is placed under the multi functional control button.
The bottom of the camera has a universal (metal) tripod connection exactly in the centre of the camera, with which the camera can be balanced perfectly. The large size of the compartment cover can be opened at the bottom of the camera. Sony never encounters any problem to manufacture high quality features like rubber covers or other lids to cover other parts, and to place them in a way the housing is neatly finished.
About the housing we can be short and clear: high quality that gives the user a high grade safety feeling. The housing is somewhat traditional and it resembles a traditional 35mm camera. The Cyber-shot DSC-V3 is clearly aimed at the target group in which the advanced and enthusiastic photographer moves around.