To display higher-resolution images on an HDTV, you've got to connect via a composite cable using the camera dock, which lets you access the higher-resolution photos stored on a memory card. The other rather gimmicky uses for the Wi-Fi are Collaboration Shots -- networking on the fly with three other DSC-G1s to pass photos back and forth -- and one-way Picture Gifts.
If the DSC-G1 supported DLNA in addition to standard Wi-Fi access points and hot spots, with the ability to upload your photos and videos to a sharing service, or to wirelessly upload to a laptop via an ad hoc connection, the others might be considered neat and novel features. But since the camera supports only DLNA devices, and seemingly only for playback, it becomes just another disappointing Wi-Fi camera.
In addition, the DSC-G1 operates as an MP3 player. Another happy irony is that unlike Sony's players, it doesn't adhere to Sony's proprietary ATRAC/ATRAC3 formats, instead supporting simple drag-and-drop file copying.
The sound is fine but given the limited 2GB of memory, which your music has to share with your photo albums, and minimal playback controls -- shuffle or linear playback in directory order, with no playlists -- it becomes just another awkward convergence device. On the other hand, the ability to use any of your numerous MP3 files as background music for the DSC-G1's very nice slide shows gets addictive.
Unlike most Sony cameras, which record movies using the MPEG-VX format -- a variation of MPEG-2 -- the DSC-G1 records something it calls 'MPEGMOVIE4TV', an MPEG-4 encoding. While that allows for a very low data rate (around 370K/sec), the video quality looks significantly inferior.
In most respects, the DSC-G1's shooting fares much better, putting it in the top 25 per cent of point-and-shoot cameras we've tested over the past year. Its shutter lag in optimal lighting is an impressive for its class 0.4 seconds, rising to a modest 1.2 seconds in low-contrast conditions. It takes only 1 second from shot to shot, though adding flash recycling raises that to 2.4 seconds -- still very good for its class. Though it has a seven-shot buffer limitation, it can fire at 3.8 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||
||Time to first shot||
||Shutter lag (dim)||
||Shutter lag (typical)||
(Longer bars indicate better performance)