Identity Crisis

This is the article I submitted for our class magazine last year. I’m putting it here so–well, because I just feel like putting it up, I guess. Take note, this is unedited and reflects my writing style as of last January/February/March. It may have changed since then, but I can’t really be sure. The picture is an addition of my own, though.

I must confess that I was never really a good photographer. Sure, I know how to take pictures, but I possess not the initiative required to take pictures, nor do I have a good eye for portraits. However, just because I’m no shutterbug doesn’t mean I don’t know a good camera when I see one, and the Sony DSC-M2 is one such example.

The DSC-M2 is Sony’s second effort at making a camera that does just as well when taking movies, and it’s obvious that this was Sony’s intention. Looking at the shape and swivelling design of the camera, it’s obvious that it was intended to fill the need for a video camera. As you hold it in your hands, it soon becomes obvious that it’s trying hard to be a video camera, but I would not be surprised if people really thought it was a video camera.

Right out of the box, the Sony comes with many interesting but not necessarily essential items (though I daresay you would find a charger essential). There is a charger, a CD with the drivers needed to transfer pictures to your computer (and some picture editing software, but it’s not really needed), a USB transfer cable, a cable for outputting pictures or movies you’ve taken to any TV, and a dock, which is the only means of connecting the camera to a computer (bad move, Sony).

Other features of the camera are less attention-grabbing, but important nonetheless. The camera body is made of metal, which means that it should be able to take a fall with minor damage. Its size is bigger than other modern digital cameras, but it should pose no problem to you if you feel not the need to keep a camera in your pocket wherever you go. The 2.5 inch screen is decent enough, and shows many useful things (like Sony’s excellent battery meter that tells you approximately how many minutes you have left). There is no optical viewfinder on the camera, however, so use up battery life sparingly (which lasts for about an hour and a half on full charge). The lens is one of those Carl Zeiss jobs (Carl Zeiss is a company known for the spectacular quality of its lenses), so have no worries about pictures not coming out right because of the lens.

The camera has five megapixels, which may sound low compared to the current trend of cameras with seven megapixels or more, but it’s actually all you really need for casual photography (i.e. taking snaps to be viewed on your computer at a later date), especially when you consider that the higher the resolution of the picture you take, the greater the amount of memory it needs (which means that it would be wise to invest in a bigger memory card than the 32MB Memory Stick Duo the camera is bundled with). It also has numerous tweakable settings, such as ISO settings, white balance, and color modes (sadly limited to black/white and sepia only).

Picture quality itself is good, but the screen betrays little of the noise or the red-eye (even with red-eye reduction activated) evident when pictures are viewed on a larger screen, such as a computer monitor. Noise is only really a problem in night pictures, though (I personally blame the ISO settings, which have a limit of 400), but red-eye is rampant in most pictures (which can be a bit of a problem, unless of course you’re tech-savvy enough to get rid of it). Videos are better than average for a digital camera (meaning little, if any, pixelation and almost no lagging), which is to be expected (of course), and the settings that come along with the video mode do come in handy, especially when conserving memory space.

So, what do I say? Is it worth it, or not? Bottom line is: If you want a fairly decent digital stills camera and a fairly decent digital video camera in one and are willing to pay Sony’s price premium for it, then I say go right ahead. However, if you are a true connoisseur of photography and videography, I suggest you avoid buying this camera that isn’t sure what its forte really is, and get yourself separate cameras. You’ll thank me for it.

Whaddaya think?


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Presenting the thoughts and travails of a teenage writer who lives under a rock--albeit a rock with Internet access. Also, videos! Also, my Tumblr.


  • 32,993 frags

ye random thought.

"For just this once, can we pretend it's you and me?" -Thinking Of You by Test Your Reflex

where in the world!?

from the author.

Check the pages every month or so (Egos, Fiction, Musings, Origins), I usually add stuff little by little (with the possible exception of Fiction, which really depends). Oh, and credits to Joaq for the header image.

by popular demand.

counting the days.

September 2007
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