Sony Cyber Shot P review: Sony Cyber Shot P

While not the fastest camera on the market, the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-P93 holds it own when it comes to performance. From a power-off position, we were able to start up the camera and click off the first shot in less than 3 seconds. An average of about 3 seconds--give or take a few, depending on whether the flash was used--was also acceptable. And the P93 managed a respectable burst-shooting rate of 1.4fps. With our standard 1,850mAh nickel-metal-hydride AA batteries, the P93 kept on going for almost 1,000 shots.

Shooting speed
Measured in seconds (smaller bars are better)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Time to first shot  
Sony Cyber Shot DSC-P10
Sony Cyber Shot DSC-P93
Casio Exilim EX-Z55
Canon PowerShot S500

Continuous-shooting speed
Measured in frames per second (longer bars are better)
Typical continuous-shooting speed  

The zoom is stepped, so you can't always stop precisely where you want, but it's quiet and moves smoothly through the focal range. Extending only to about 8 feet, the P93's flash won't light up a room, but you can power it up or down one step, which is especially helpful in macro shots. Run a test shot at full power first; some of our macro shots were underexposed with the flash at low power.

Thanks to an AF illuminator, the DSC-P93 can focus in the darkest places. But the monitor doesn't gain up, so even though your image may be sharp, you won't know ahead of time what the heck you took a picture of.

The Sony Cyber Shot DSC-P93's photos are acceptable, but that's about it. On one hand, it rendered color relatively accurately, and the dynamic range was broad enough to differentiate between the red of chili peppers on a rose-colored plate. Saturation was, for the most part, well balanced.

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Photos aren't quite as sharp as we expect from a 5-megapixel camera.
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Sharpness falls off quickly from the center of the lens, and you can spot fringing along the edges of the pastels.

While we noticed little purple fringing, the DSC-P93 sometimes created halos around the edges of objects, regardless of the edge contrast. When faced with high-contrast scenes, the Cyber Shot also has a tendency to blow out whites and highlights. Futhermore, we spotted poorer than usual image noise in photos taken at ISO 100, which got progressively worse at higher ISO settings.