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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N2 Gordon Laing, November 2006

Lenses
/ Screen and menus / Sensor and processing

Sony Cyber-shot DSC N2 lens

The Sony Cyber-shot N2 is equipped with a 3x Carl Zeiss optical zoom which delivers an equivalent range of 38-114mm; the actual specification is 7.9-23.7mm f2.8-5.4. Like most compacts the actual zoom lurches slightly from one focal length to the next – we counted nine discrete steps, and unlike the Canon A640, the N2 indicates the zoom ratio on the screen.


Sony Cybershot DSC N2
Canon PowerShot A640
Fujifilm FinePix F30
Sony N2 at 7.9mm    Canon A640 at 7.3mm   Fujifilm F30 at 8mm
7.9-23.7mm at 7.9mm (38mm equivalent)
7.3-29.2mm at 7.3mm (35mm equivalent)
8-24mm at 8mm (36mm equivalent)


To illustrate the coverage in practice we mounted the N2 on a tripod and took photos with the lens zoomed all the way out, then all the way in. We then repeated the process moments later for the Canon PowerShot A640 and Fujifilm FinePix F30 for comparison. The shots above were taken at each camera’s widest position. Like its predecessor, the N2’s widest equivalent focal length of 38mm is a tad longer than most compacts, although as you can see above, it doesn’t make a huge difference in practice. That said, please Sony, can we have a 28mm equivalent on a future compact?

Sony Cybershot DSC N2
Canon PowerShot A640
Fujifilm FinePix F30
Sony N2 at 23.7mm   Canon A640 at 29.2mm   Fujifilm F30 at 24mm
7.9-23.7mm at 23.7mm (114mm equivalent)
7.3-29.2mm at 29.2mm (140mm equivalent)
8-24mm at 24mm (108mm equivalent)

The images above are from each camera zoomed-in to their longest focal lengths and the Sony N2’s coverage is pretty much the same as that from the Fujifilm F30. The Canon A640’s slightly longer 4x optical range gives it an edge over the other two, but if you want a more significant difference, you’ll need to go for a super-zoom model like Sony’s own Cyber-shot H2 or H5 models which boast a 12x optical range with stabilisation.

The Sony N2 has fairly average macro capabilities with a closest focusing distance of 6cm. This allows you to get reasonably close to subjects, but is not in the same league as Canon’s 1cm macro mode on its PowerShot A640. See our Sony N2 Gallery and Canon A640 Gallery for examples.

Sony Cybershot N2 features continued...

Lenses / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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