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Happy to have received this camera as a gift...thanks mum. Ok so, this camera is not so complex. Once you understand how it works (which is pretty easy) you can take really good pictures. The 2.7" screen size is not too bad and together with the 4 times optical zoom, it makes this little camera very handy. In particular, I was at a concert and was able to zoom in and take some really good pictures of the artists on stage and I wasn't even close to the stage. When using the intelligent auto feature of the camera, you do have to be careful though when taking pictures as sometimes it takes time (I would say just a few seconds) to get pictures in focus before taking them. It is probably worth the wait because it chooses an appropriate setting to take your picture in. You can also choose scenes manually if you decide you no longer want to operate the camera using the auto intelligent scene selection feature.
This camera is a great find, I think, mainly because of its special features. These include face detection and smile shutter, which I'd never heard of or even seen on any other cameras (since the only camera I grew up with was one of those really expensive professional cameras with the really long lenses, which belonged to my dad and I misplaced). Before you take a picture, the camera detects your face and with the smile shutter feature, it can just take the picture once a smile is detected...neat trick. The movie feature is ok too; you can record good short happenings in your daily life. I sometimes like to connect my camera to our Plasma tv so I can actually see the pictures blown up and also watch the videos recorded. Brings the family together. Oh and let's not forget the red eye reduction feature which is available, which is a must.
The last time I had fun with this camera, I was taking shots of my friends and family in mid-air; was experimenting to see if it was possible to capture mid air images, though it was possible the pictures came out blurred but we did have fun taking those pictures.
I brought this camera after my gadget hungry Son managed to break our current one 2 days before we went on holiday. When hunting for a new camera I didn't have much to spend but wanted high quality pictures, so when I found this Sony, it ticked all the boxes. The picture quality is fantastic and it is so easy to use. I'm not the best at taking photos with my shakey hands so I need all the help I can get and this camera delivers, with its steady shot. And if taking pictures of people I don't even have to press a button as it has smile recognition. The zoom is really good and keeps the picture quality high even at maximum zoom. It's also intelligent auto, which means it can detect what kind of light setting you are in and change settings accordingly. The camera is light and compact so it easily fits in a gents pocket or a ladies handbag, you could even carry it on your wrist all day (comes with wrist strap) and not notice. There are no faults with this camera and would buy it again and again.
I have this camera myself, I brought this one because firstly in general I like sony cameras I have had a couple of sony cameras before this one and they never let me down so i decided to stay with sony. One of the things that I love about sony is that all the controls and options on the camera is so easy to operate and I dont even have to look in the instructions book to figure out which button is which. The picture quality of the camera is excellent, with 14.1 mpix the picture quality is perfect for my pictures and the colours are amazing. The other feature that I love about this camera is that it is very light weight, i know that I could carry this around with me for hours and hardly notice. It is very easy to upload the picture from the camera to a computer/ laptop and still come out in the pristine colours of the photos. Although it is still a bit pricey at the minute if you want top quality pictures I would recommend this camera to anyone who loves to catch those special moments :)
The Sony W320 is one of the cheaper compacts in the cybershot range, but this doesn't mean it's poor quality - far from in. In side by side comparisons with other compact models and brands around the same price range I've found that image quality compares very favourably.
- 4x optical zoom
- 26mm wide lens
- 2.7" LCD
- takes both memory stick pro duo and SD cards
- lithium ion battery
*It's good to note here that Sony are quite well known for their 'sweep panorama' mode which makes panoramics quick and simple to take, however this particular model of camera does not have this function.
The W320 is probably one of the smallest compact cameras on the market at the moment, this does mean that the buttons on it are quite small (so may be fiddly for those with chunkier fingers, but most people shouldn't have a problem), however the LCD is still a decent size at 2.7" which is good as there is no viewfinder.
The camera is very lightweight - if you slip it in your pocket or bag you could easily forget it's there (not sure if that's a good thing or not!) and the body is made of brushed metal which feels well made, and quite durable.
There are a number of scene selection modes to choose from and there is a movie mode, however this is only VGA rather than HD as many modern compacts are - this may bother some people, but it isn't an issue for me as the quality is still good considering the resolution and it picks up a decent level of sound.
Essentially this camera has been designed as a point and shoot - you turn it on, press the shutter and that's it. You can make a couple of adjustments if you so desire, but these are tucked away in the menus (presumably to save space on the body of the camera itself).
The buttons on the back of the camera have their functions well labelled so it's easy to work out to to use the camera to achieve a desired effect eg. timer, flash or smile shutter.
After pressing the button the camera takes about a second to turn on, so it's not the fastest camera on the market but it's not bad. The continuous shooting option is also a bit on the slow side and takes roughly 2 images per second, this delay is also mirrored in the smile shutter mode which does work but can sometimes take a few seconds to register a smile and take the photo. When reviewing images on the back of the camera it again takes roughly a second for the full resolution image to be displayed. Considering all the above this camera is probably not the one to go for if speed is of the essence, however for the vast majority of situations, none of these will prove too much of an issue.
As mentioned at the start of the review - I have found the image quality from this camera is often superior to other cameras in the same sort of price bracket. The auto white balance in particular is excellent and compensates very well in challenging light conditions such as indoor lighting which tends to give a yellow tone to a scene. Colours are also very accurate and the only negative I can think of is that the images are a little too contrasty when flash is used.
This camera can currently be purchased for roughly £110 which is very competitive for what you get (4x zoom, intelligent auto (where the camera detects the scene your taking) etc.)
Overall I would recommend this camera - it's about £10 more than the Nikon S3000 which is roughly the same size (so a good pocket point and shoot) but the image quality is superior and definately worth the additional cost. If you're looking for a small camera, that's simple to use and on a restricted budget then this should definately be high on your list to consider.
~ Choosing the camera ~
My last (and first digital) camera is only around 8 years old, but sadly has become rather outdated in terms of it's features and uses.
Wanting a new camera which could take much better quality pictures, the world, or at least electrical retailers, were my oyster. The photos I take are by no means great quality, and I know very little about photography in general. I did know that I wanted a camera which is lightweight, from a reputable camera manufacturer, and which despite being very easy to use produces David Bailey quality photos. Not much to ask for is it?
The fancier schmancier Slr cameras, were all way too complicated, too big, too expensive, too...everything for my needs.
As I'm sure you're aware, Sony is one of the worlds biggest manufacturers in respect of electronics and IT products, so they seemed a safe enough bet when it came to a simple 'point and shoot' camera.
Looking at their Cyber Shot range (the top model DSC-TX7S costs a mere £379 to the bottom of the range DSC-S2000S at £89) this particular one stood out as being one of the better ones in my price bracket.
Incidentally, the DSC-TX7S has 10.2 megapixels and 4x Optical Zoom, neither of which are better than the W320.
One drawback several photography websites I visited mention with this camera is that of macro photos. Close up photography isn't something I planned on doing much of (except maybe zooming in on my cat and dog occasionally when they look particularly winsome), so I wasn't too bothered by this.
Compared to my existing Olympus camera, which is a bulkier 4 Megapixel Camera, this is light years ahead.
~ What's in the box... ~
The camera comes with a little instruction booklet, a usb cable, a cd rom, lithium battery together with a battery charger and the charger cable.
The instruction booklet is however very basic. There's a much better handbook available in pdf format once you've run the cd rom though, which I now have on my desktop. The camera itself has a hard drive capacity to take around 8 photos, which you'll have to be content with, until you buy a memory stick separately.
The price on the Sony website is currently £149, though most retailers are selling it for £129.
~ It's ease of use ~
For someone like me who doesn't like reading through instruction manuals, this camera couldn't really be any easier to use. The main buttons, such as the on/off power button, the shutter button (which you press down halfway when you're ready to take the piccy), the LCD view screen, the shutter and memory card/battery slots are all perfectly obvious, so once the battery was fully charged up for the first time, I was able to take a few snaps.
There are lots of buttons though, and in order to find out how to switch between video mode and still photos, or to view what I'd just taken, I had to have a little look at the manual.
While the camera is easy to use I didn't find that to be the case with Sony's PMB (Picture Motion Browser) software, which is how you download all your wonderful photos from the Cyber Shot. To start with, I found it fiddly installing, and then it automatically started to copy over all the photos I've ever saved on my pc into the PMB. Over 400 of them. Without even asking me first. This I found irritating to say the least.
My final gripe with the PMB is that initially it's so slow whenever I want to use it. Every other window I have open on my PC freezes when I try to open the PMB, and it can take over a minute just to get up and running. Once open though, it's user friendly, and holds the downloaded photos in folders according to the date they're downloaded, or you can make new folders and hold them there.
Although to start up the PMB is more tiresome than the software for my old Olympus camera, there is one good advantage worth noting. The picture size is so large, that any I've taken so far to use for reviewing purposes elsewhere have been too large for that site. To manipulate the files using the PMB is easy peasy, and once the size is changed, the software automatically saves the new, smaller photo and retains the existing larger one too.
~ Any exciting features? ~
For those with time on their hands, the pdf handbook is 104 pages long, so yes, if you're minded to, you can read all about its many features. Probably the most interesting for me are it's preset settings.
Depending on the picture you're aiming for, there's 'soft snap' which is best for portraits as it apparently gives a softer atmosphere, 'twilight portrait' which lets you take sharp images of people with a nightime backdrop without compromising any atmosphere, and for those wanting great holiday snaps, there's both a 'beach' and 'snow' pre set, which bring out the colour of the sea, and helps draw out anything in the piccy other than snow, respectively. Not having been on holiday since buying this camera, I can't vouch for either, and even if I were on a beach or in the snow, the chances of me remembering to fiddle about with any camera long enough to find these presets are probably unlikely.
One that caught my eye though, is what Sony calls Pet Detection. This is one of many of the preset settings the camera has, which purports to help you show off Tigger or Fido in their best light. This I've tried, and is probably one of the few I would use often. All the preset options can only be used with still images and not in film mode.
Another feature of this camera is it's smile detection. This seems to recognise teeth more than just a smile, so the more teeth you have on show the better the likelihood that this will work. The chances are then, that it wouldn't work with Great Auntie Margaret who has no front teeth, or Victoria Beckham for that matter. This might well work best if you're using the camera on a tripod and want to include yourself in the photo. It's worth noting that if you do use smile detection, the camera will keep clicking away until the memory card is full. Personally, I prefer just to take photos when they seem more natural and not staged.
While not exactly exciting, I've accidentally managed to find how to include grid lines on the screen, for those buffs interested in the rule of thirds. If like me you neither know or care about it, then it's one less thing to fiddle about with. Personally, I insist on putting my subject square in the middle of the photo. So there.
~ The quality of the photos ~
Some situations are beyond most point and shoot cameras, this one included. If you try taking photos of anything fast moving, or through glass or containing any reflective surface, you'll find it can't focus on the subject properly so the pictures will be poor quality.
I'm happy clicking away taking informal photos whatever the occasion, but for anyone who intends to become more proficient as time goes by, then one big plus with this camera is that you can also adjust the exposure manually, from -2 EV to + 2 EV. In photographic terms, this is probably inconsequential, but to a keen amateur it does make a difference. I can now just about work out from memory how to alter it, so if I take one that I think is really overexposed say, I can adjust the setting and try again. More often than not though, as my photos are not of any life changing moments, I'm happy to keep the exposure as it is. Who can tell the overexposure isn't done deliberately?
Overall, the quality is certainly very good, and for my purposes, I'm more than happy.
Do I like it?
..lovely. It's small and very modern. I keep it in a case I bought separately, but still it takes up no room at all, which I really like. It also doesn't look naff, which many cameras in this price bracket do. Mine is silver, although there is a choice of black or lurid pink or green.
..lightweight without being cheap or tacky.
Yes I like it.
I wanted a decent point and shoot camera which I could take on holiday or if I'm lazing around at home and one of my pets strikes a pose. This has worked a treat so far although I haven't been on holiday since buying it.
If, unlike me, you're keen to learn more about photography as you go along, then some of the functions on here would certainly help you. I'm sure the grid lines relating to the rule of third and an ability to adjust the exposure would both be a big plus as would some of the settings.
In comparison to others, having a 4x optical lens and a 6.7 cm LCD screen seems like very good value for money to me.
For £139 you could get a Canon PowerShot A495. It has 10 megapixels, a 3.3x optical zoom and a 6.2cm (2.5") LCD screen.
Fuji have a FinePix F80EXR which is the cheapest of their point and shoot digital cameras. This also has a pet detection feature and a 4x optical zoom although it only has 12 megapixels and at £179.99 it's more expensive.
Where to start.. I bought this camera for my girlfriend who is a fan of photography as myself. She was originally using a Fuji model and this camera has pretty much blown it away. Its small, sleek, and easy to use; as well as having a higher megapixel than her old fuji the pictures come out very clear even in the dark. She's been using this camera for about 2 months now and has given it a lot of use.
One thing that would be nice is if it had a touch screen like some of the other cameras out there, but then again touch screens also complicate things sometimes. Aside from no touch screen though the zoom in and cropping features are very easy to use. So touch screens aren't really required unless you're really lazy; or want to show off. For the price you can't beat it. The 14.1 megapixel really sets it apart from the other cameras out there which are the same price with less features and less MPix.
I would suggest this camera to anyone who is looking for a reliable camera and doesn't want to spend a fortune. It's also pretty good on battery life which is always a plus when you're out and about taking pictures.
I always struggle when trying to buy a digital camera. There is such a large range to choose from and how do you choose what is best? What does mega pixel mean anyway? The Sony Cyber shot is ideal. It is small and compact so perfect for taking on holiday with you, or putting in your pocket for a night out. It has a good optical zoom by Carl Zeiss, which I think goes to 4x, which means you can get good quality pictures even when you zoom in. There is also a digital zoom which enlarges the picture but you lose picture quality. It is easy to use and it is very reliable. The screen on the back is large, about two inches, enough for a good view of the photos you have taken. The flash also works well and it is very easy to adjust the setting of the camera so it works well in a dark room or out in the sun. It has a time delay setting as well. The quality of photos when viewed on a computer is extremely good for a camera of this nature however I find if I save the file to a computer and want to send them to family or friends the file size is too big - it can often be around 3mb per picture, and so they have to be reduced in size before I can send them. This is because the normal settings on the camera takes photos of 14 mega-pixels. You can change the settings if you plan on emailing the photos to someone, and reduce the quality so that they are smaller in size and so easier to email. However if you plan on printing photos I wouldn't recommend this as smaller file size equals less picture quality. The camera also has a video taking function which is useful if you plan on taking small clips, but the quality is a lot less than a video camera, with poor sound quality and the picture can be jumpy. Overall the camera is a useful all rounder.
Where to begin? This camera ticks in all the departments. First of all tis sleek, its stylish very easy to carry around. The 2.7" lcd panel could be said is a tad bit small and lacks touch feature but nevertheless it provides an impressive preview of pictures: the pictures look as good on the lcd display as if it were seen on the computer or in print.
I was really impressed with the 4x optical zoom which is a lot more than what its competitors in its price range provide. Sony imaging chip, 4x Carl Zeiss optical means that every picture is immacutely crisp and clear. Without a shadow of a doubt the image quality is up there with even digital SLR camps.
If that wasn't enough it supports a great range of memory formats! I had an SDHC memory card from my previous camera and because this supported it, I just stuck it in - it even recognised all the photos from the other cam! SDHC is really good on this camera is the shutter speeds are great.
Battery life is really good and you can usually take around 500+ pictures before needing to recharge. What sets this camera appart is the intelligent software that can identify the subject and change focus, aperture size and what have you in miliseconds.
It is also really simple to use all the menus are detailed and easy to navigate through. You can change all the settings using the dials and buttons at side of the LCD display.
SLR phototaking without SLR prices!
DSC-W320 is slim and light with smart, easy to use features. It features 14.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom/26mm wide angle, 6.7cm LCD and Smile Shutter.
|Product Description:||Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W320 - digital camera|
|Product Type:||Digital camera - compact|
|Memory Card Slot:||Memory Stick PRO Duo card, SD card|
|Internal Storage:||28 MB flash|
|Sensor Resolution:||14.1 Megapixel|
|Lens System:||Carl Zeiss 4 x zoom lens - 4.7 - 18.8 mm - f/2.7-5.7|
|Min Focus Distance:||4 cm|
|Digital Zoom:||2 x|
|Image Stabiliser:||Electronic (Steady Shot)|
|Camera Flash:||Built-in flash|
|Display:||LCD display - 2.7"|
|Supported Battery:||1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 630 mAh ( included )|
|AV Interfaces:||Composite video/audio|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||9.3 cm x 1.7 cm x 5.2 cm|