Sony DSC-P50

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Sony DSC-P50 (three-quarter view)
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Sony DSC-P50 (three-quarter view)
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Sony DSC-P50 (front view)
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Sony DSC-P50 (rear view)
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Sony DSC-P50 (top view)
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Sony DSC-P50 (with 35mm cassette for scale)
Sony DSC-P50 (three-quarter view) Sony DSC-P50 (three-quarter view) Sony DSC-P50 (front view) Sony DSC-P50 (rear view) Sony DSC-P50 (top view) Sony DSC-P50 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Sony DSC-P50 Specifications

Manufacturer: Sony Corporation
Origin: Japan
Made in: Japan
Introduced: 2001
Type: Live Preview, Viewfinder
Format: Digital (Memory Stick)
Dimensions: 12.7 x 6 x 5.5 cm

Sony DSC-P50 Overview

The Sony DSC-P50 is a fairly nondescript digital camera introduced in 2001. The P50 belongs to the now defunct “P” series of Sony Cyber-shot cameras which are characterized by squat physical proportions and rounded edges. Normally, I wouldn’t bother posting something like this on Vintage Camera Lab but this humble Sony has the distinction of being my very first digital camera, the one that liberated me from what, as a poor college student, I considered to be the prohibitively high cost of buying/processing film and allowed me to shoot to my heart’s content.

The P50 boasts a 1/2.7″ CCD sensor rated at 2.1 megapixels connected to a 41-123mm (35mm equivalent) f/3.8 Sony lens. To compose, shooters can use the 1.5″ LCD on the back or, if batteries are running low, they can turn off the LCD and use the optical viewfinder instead. The dial on the top plate offers two still modes (normal and low light) and one video mode along with replay and setup modes. Zooming the lens is done through the “Toward” and “Away” rocker button in the upper-right hand corner of the back plate and the shutter button located on the right side of the top plate is used for both stills and starting/stopping video recording.

I bought this camera in early 2003 against my parents’ wishes while pursuing a business degree. My brother had a DSC-P50 that I would borrow from time to time to practice street photography with (usually at the expense of homework time) and using it made me want a camera of my own. Digital photography was still very new to me and the concept of instant gratification and not having to pay for film really got me excited. Ever cautious, my parents forbade me from buying my own camera because they were worried that photography might interfere with my studies (which it did) but I went ahead and got one anyway. I decided to stick with what I knew so I found a used P50 on eBay for cheap and pulled the trigger. Now, armed with my very own digital camera, I was free to pursue photography at an accelerated pace and pursue I did.

Unfortunately, with all the class I skipped and homework i neglected in favor of shooting, I inadvertently proved my parents right when my fervent devotion to photography eventually forced me to drop out of business school. Worth it.


“Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P50,” Digital Photography Review,