Conclusion: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M1 is a solid digital camera, with good capabilities and features that make shooting both stills and video enjoyable. But it has a few drawbacks, especially the proprietary MPEG 4 codec that doesn't come with Windows XP.
Pros: Sleek, light and small. Unique, striking design; very good photo and video quality; special video presets, including two buffer modes.
Cons: Proprietary MPEG-4 videos require an MPEG 4 CODEC or Sony's software to view and convert. 3X optical zoom lens feels too short for video. Slow recycle time; too easy to cover the lens with a finger.
Excerpt: While it looks a heck of a lot like
a camera phone, the Sony
Cyber-shot DSC-M1 ($600) can't make or receive
calls. Rather, it's a unique combination of camera
and camcorder, though that's not necessarily how Sony
wants you to see it. The M1 combines a 5 Megapixel
camera (mostly parts from the DSC-T1), enhances its
movie recording functionality by using the MPEG4 format,
and throwing it into a body unlike anything else on
Pros: "Interesting" design - you love it or hate it, Excellent movie mode: long recording times, small file sizes, zoom during filming, stereo sound, Robust performance, Large, rotating 2.5" LCD visible even in bright outdoor light, AF-assist lamp, Magnifying glass mode reduces macro focus distance to 1 cm, Live histogram in record mode, USB 2.0 High Speed supported, though only via dock
Cons: Expensive for what it does, Clumsy design: poorly placed controls, flash, AF-assist lamp; buttons are too small; poorly-designed battery compartment, Picture quality is disappointing: images seem soft and fuzzy, Redeye a problem, Weak flash, LCD doesn't "gain up" as much as I'd like, Manual controls would've been nice, USB and A/V ports require use of the dock
Excerpt: Physical Views Go to Features & Controls Sony DSC-M1 Specifications Image Device: 1/2.4" 5.1 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD Still Image Sizes: 5M 2592x1944 5M(3.2) 2592x1728 3M 2048x1536 2M 1600x1200 VGA 640x480 Recording Media: Memory Stick Duo Media (32MB included), Memory Stick Duo PRO Media Zoom: Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar "folded" (internal) 3X Optical, 6.7 - 21mm (38-114mm equivalent) 11 elements in 8 groups, 3 aspheric elements Smart Zoom™ Feature: 0...