|The DSC-V3 is a digital camera that will make the semi pro photographer feel like a fish in water. The many available possibilities in combination with a number of high standard innovative techniques guarantee sheer photographic joy. Take the very precise auto focus technique for example. The camera was used and tested during a few evenings in the swinging Brazilian night life, and practically all images were crystal clear. Manual focus can be accomplished in the same way as his predecessor, the DSC-V1. The release button is pushed half-way down and the distance is adjusted through the control button. The distance is displayed on the large LCD monitor. What's lacking is the possibility of enlarging the centre of an image during focusing, a function that comes in handy in practice at competing models. New on the DSC-V3 is the Frame function. This function consists of a threesome settings giving the choice between: Multipoint, Centre or Flexible Spot AF. The first choice divides the AF area in 5 parts and calculates the correct focus by metering the distance of the divers focus points. Centre AF is the most traditional way and only focuses on the centre of the image. The Flexible Spot AF enables precise focusing on extreme small subjects. In practice the Multipoint AF achieves the best result in almost all cases. It's also a matter of ease, one doesn't remember to change the Frame Function every time.|
|Personally I find the division of the control button, and to be more specific the place of the Macro function, very annoying. In practice it often happened to me that de camera was unintentionally set to the Macro mode. Macro images are possible from a distance of 10cm in the Macro mode. Zooming in in Macro mode the minimum distance will increase to 40cm. The macro images have a colour-true rendering and a good detail brightness. The Flexible Spot AF setting shows to full advantage when taking macro images. The large difference in the depth of field on a macro image requires a correct sharpness adjustment.
Images from a 7 Megapixel camera like the Sony DSC-V3 have a rich resolution. But is the usually present noise, vignetting and chromatic aberration also present? The test images show a rather beautiful colour rendition. The images look true-to-life, and very little correction is needed to make an outstanding print. The noise rates at ISO rates from 400 and higher are quite high in my opinion, but not higher than we established on other 7 Megapixel cameras. The high resolution images are guaranteed to be photorealistic and true-to-life if well exposed. There is a slight chromatic aberration, but that's all. The evening and night shots can be made without a problem thanks to the handy NightShot and NightFraming modes. The results when using NightFraming is undoubtedly the best that you can get nowadays. The innovative technique (Hologram AF, NightFraming and NightShot) on board of this camera make versatile photography possible.
Beside taking still high resolution images it is also possible to record movies. The DSC-V3 uses the same technique as his big brother, the DSC-F828. The MPEG VX Fine Movie mode records a video clip with a resolution of 640x480 pixels at a frame rate of 30 images per second with sound. In order to use this possibility to the full extend it is recommended to use the fast Memory Stick Pro or Ultra II/Extreme III Memory Sticks for storage. A standard CompactFlash memory card is not able to handle the speed of the amount of data that appears when recording a high quality video clip and managing it. The quality of the movie function is excellent!
One big advantage of the DSC-V3 is the large 2.5 inch LCD monitor. A digital camera equipped with a large quality LCD monitor proves to have a surplus value in practice. Also the DSC-V3. All functions are clearly readable, the image rendering is perfect, however, lifting the LCD monitor's resolution to a higher level would even increase the quality of the rendition. Using the monitor in bright and dim lit conditions is fine.
|The internal flash in fact is a pop-up, rotating little square. The front shows the Sony logo, and activating the internal flash makes it rotate in order for the flash to appear. In general, images taken using the flash on the V3 are good. The evening shots unfortunately are suffering badly from the annoying phenomenon of redeye. I am curious to see if Sony will apply the software of removing redeye inside the camera's image processing, which has been available for a while now. It shouldn't be the case that a basic digital camera from an X brand, outwits an advanced digital camera like the DSC-V3 with preventing the appearance of redeye. The V3 is equipped with an extra hot shoe that increases the flash range. Especially in large rooms or outside in the twilight the range of the flash is insufficient (maximum of 3 meters).
The DSC-V3 is a digital camera aiming at the semi pro photographer. It doesn't implicate the disappearing of the preset scenes, beside the manual and semi automatic settings. The camera still has seven different settings in Scene mode: Twilight, Twilight portrait, Landscape, Portrait, Snow, Beach and Candle.
In general the automatic white balance performs great. The colour temperature lies in between 3000 and 7000K. Images made when incandescent or fluorescent light is dominating show some colour cast. The manual operation of the white balance is the right choice to make it operate perfectly. It has a colour temperature range of approximately 2000 - 1000K. Amongst the quick buttons on the V3 we don’t find a separate button for the white balance, this is rather disappointing because an advanced user would have appreciated it (same for the ISO settings). The white balance has to be adjusted through the menu of the camera.
If you wish to have more telephoto or wide angle apart from the optical range (34-136mm compared to a 35mm camera), you can use the optional adapter ring to enable the use of diverse (Sony) converters. Just keep in mind that valuable functions like NightFraming, Hologram AF and NightShot don't always work in combination with certain converters!
The camera is equipped with a USB interface type Hi-speed USB 2.0. The camera is capable to work with high capacity memory cards (larger than 2GB) to get the utmost from the USB 2.0 interface. The DSC-V3 is also capable of transferring images through the USB 2.0 interface onto a computer (that has a USB 2.0 interface).