More compact than its predecessor, the P9, the Sony DSC-P12 five-megapixel digital camera is an ideal camera for the style conscious not willing to compromise on image quality. The camera is also one of the first to be compatible with Sony's new Memory Stick Pro, which delivers up to 1 GB of storage.
The DSC-P12 contains a host of features that allows the user to personalise their shots. The five-megapixel resolution allows users to zoom and crop images to get just the image they want. Until now zooming in meant sacrificing image quality, but Sony's Smart Zoom technology intelligently adjusts the zoom ratio according to the image resolution. The camera delivers high-quality images even in large formats.
Shots in difficult conditions are now worry-free with a bigger assortment of Scene Selection modes that automatically adjust the camera settings for a range of environments. In addition to "Twilight", "Twilight Portrait" and "Landscape", "Snow" lessens the greyness of images containing a large amount of white by adjusting colour temperature and enhancing luminance. The "High Speed Shutter" quickens the shutter speed in order to minimise camera shake when shooting fast moving objects and, in darker environments, "Fireworks" adjusts the shutter speed, flash, focus and ISO level to take great shots of these extremely difficult objects in a darker situation (such as fireworks).
The camera is more intelligent in making adjustments to light conditions thanks to a number of improvements. A new exposure warning means users always have the right exposure. In addition, Slow Synchronised Flash operates at a slow shutter speed for shooting foreground objects in twilight backgrounds. In daylight conditions, Auto Daylight Synchronised Flash automatically measures the exposure level for foreground objects, which have light behind them. Flash White Balance helps to make colour tones as realistic as possible in shots that contain a lot of reflective surfaces, such as under water. In these conditions, the camera might detect all light sources around the subject, creating a colour distortion. This is avoided by Flash White Balance, as the camera adjusts the white balance in the shot to restore colours to their true condition.
Another cool feature is the ability to capture video and audio enabling you to create your very own mini-movies. Depending on the size of Memory Stick, you can capture up to 44 minutes of VGA quality footage when using a 1 GB Memory Stick PRO. Any captured footage can then be viewed back on your TV. Battery life is often a problem with many digital cameras; however the DSC-P12 is supplied with an NP-FC11 Info Lithium battery providing more capacity and stamina than their predecessors.
Recommended. -- PC Pro, July-03