Product Type: Sony digital cameras
Newest Review: ... sometimes accidentally be knocked. This button method is easier and more reliable to use. The power button is on the top of the camera al... more
Reliable camera for general snaps
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W220
Member Name: helenc72
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W220
Advantages: Reliable, small, light, easy to use, quality pictures, lots of modes
Disadvantages: No underwater mode
I bought the DSC-W220 model when my second nephew was born in December 2009, as my previous Sony Cybershot which was an earlier model had finally given up after four or five years of heavy use. I had been very happy with the earlier model, so when I went to Currys at Heathrow to replace it, getting the newer Sony Cybershot model was a no brainer for me.
The DSC-W220 has 12.1 megapixels resolution which means it can take very good quality pictures, though this means that the file sizes are extremely big and I usually have to reduce the size before emailing or uploading them. You can change the camera settings and use a smaller resolution (8M, 5M, 3M, or smaller as default if you don't need such high quality images at all times, but as I have put a separate 4 GB memory card in my camera I don't need to worry about space and I am happy to use the full 12.1 megapixels as you never know when you will take a great picture which you might want to print out in a big size. I have a few landscape pictures from my travels which I would like to display on the wall in my new flat.
The DSC-W220 has a 4 x Carl Zeiss optical zoom, which was an improvement on my older model. The zoom is very easy to use as there is a button on the back of the camera at the top right which you press on the right to zoom in or left to zoom out. If you zoom all the way out you can see smaller thumbnails of your pictures, enabling you to easily browse through them. Use of the zoom is clearly indicated by a small picture of a magnifying glass on the zoom in side, and on the zoom out side there is a picture which is supposed to show 9 thumbnails, to indicate being able to see many pictures at once. My older model had a dial zoom, which could sometimes accidentally be knocked. This button method is easier and more reliable to use.
The power button is on the top of the camera along with the shutter button which is quite wide and in an obvious, intuitive place for taking pictures.
Most controls are on the back, to the right of the display screen.
The camera has 10 modes which can be selected by turning the dial:
Easy shooting, automatic shooting with simplified display.
Auto adjustment for shooting with automatic setting. This is the mode I usually use.
Program auto for auto exposure with adjustable settings. As I am not really expert, I have only rarely used this as I feel the automatic settings are likely to be better than what I would achieve by tinkering around with the settings without knowing what I'm doing. However, for those with knowledge who want to achieve specific results, the ability to change settings here would be very useful.
Movie mode for shooting video clips. The quality here is fine, with sharp visuals and good quality audio. I don't often use it as I prefer to just take photos, but when I have used it I have been happy with the results.
Twilight (which is labelled on the dial as SCN) for shooting in low light with a tripod. This can produce good results when shooting night time city scenes. I took some really nice pictures around the Christmas markets with this, and also some good ones of city lights of Stockholm reflected in the water. However, I can definitely see why they recommend a tripod (which I don't have) as this is quite a slow mode and if your hand shakes it results in a blurry photo. I have got better results with this when resting the camera on something (e.g. a wall) and holding it steady. The pictures taken on this mode are not as sharp as normal day time pictures with a flash and can sometimes have a slightly grainy quality, but at least the pictures produced look true to life with the right colours and atmosphere, which is completely lost if you shoot with flash on the auto settings.
Twilight portrait for low light with flash. I haven't actually used this very much but I haven't noticed any problems with it.
Landscapes, for landscapes with distant focus. I have often used this when taking photos from viewing platforms, or up mountains etc. My boyfriend and I often liked to go walking in the countryside so I got a lot of use from this mode and think it is definitely a good one to have.
Soft snap, shoot subject with soft background. I actually never used this and never really paid any attention to it until now, when looking at the modes to write the review!
ISO High sensitivity without flash in low light reducing blur. This is also a good mode to use for night time pictures such as city lights, however I prefer the twilight mode as the colours look more realistic in twilight.
Smile shutter. This automatically detects smiles and shoots at the correct time, which can be useful for taking photos of small children who don't always want to cooperate, look and smile on demand for you! You can change the sensitivy of the smile detector in the menu settings.
There is also face detection, so sometimes you see a square showing around the faces when you go to take a picture. This produces clearer portraits. I think it must also include red eye reduction as I never get red eyes on my pictures with this camera.
Below the modes dial, there is a button to press to view the photos, easily labelled with a "play" symbol.
Below this, there is another dial which includes buttons for self-timer, macro mode, turning the flash on, off and onto auto where it will automatically be used when necessary. The menu and delete button is also at the bottom of the camera, easy to find. As everything is so simple, I don't often find myself needing to change anything on the menu settings.
The camera is small and lightweight (W x H x D: 92mm x 56.5x 21.8 weighing 117g), making it easy to carry around in your bag and not too bulky, but it still has a very good display which is 2.7 inches across.
There is HD output for display on HD TV or you can put the photos onto your computer with the cable which comes supplied.
The camera uses a rechargeable Lithium battery which lasts a really long time. I can take hundreds of photos on this, using the camera heavily for a couple of days before the battery dies. Now that I have used the camera so much and recharged so many times, I do find the battery time is slightly starting to reduce but after 2.5 years I think this is normal, and it does still last well. I never need to have concerns about the battery dying half way through the day.
Overall I think this is a foolproof, easy to use camera which produces good results and I would recommend it to anyone who just wants a reliable and good camera for general use and does not need an expert grade piece of kit.
The only feature missing from this camera which I wish it had is an under water mode, but that is hardly something you need every day and when I bought this camera that feature was not yet very popular, so I would not be surprised if by the time I need to replace this, the new model does come with that feature.
I can't remember how much I paid for this camera but I think it was around £100.
Summary: Great foolproof camera for all your snaps
|Ease of use:|
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