Product Type: Sony digital cameras
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350
Member Name: Blu_lily
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350
Advantages: Very affordable and takes great pictures
Sony dsc w350B Black
To my knowledge the Sony cybershot brand is cemented as one of the top camera manufacturers ( in regards to point and shoots) and known for its reliability. I looked at other reputable camera manufacturers, but after analysing cost and specifications, the Sony Cybershot W350 was the best match.
I was looking to upgrade from my Samsung point and shoot camera, as it had developed a fault with the lens, which would wind back in on its own accord after being turned on. To be honest I had been considering a new camera and the fault merely urged me to buy one. I wanted the new camera to also be a point and shoot, but offer better picture quality and more specifically better macro for close up shots. A really important issue was reliability as I did not want a camera that would develop a technical fault on its own accord, like my previous camera. I am a design student and I primarily use my camera for still life and close up shots of my work, as well as general photography.
Price and Packaging
The Sony W350 fit the bill quite well and was at a very good price of £117.00 from Currys. I was also aware of the cybershot brand and that Sony were a reputable company. I had £12 knocked off the original price as the box was classed as 'pre-owned' due to the fact the box had been open and the seal broken. I also got a 3 year warranty for £31.99, as you can never be careful with cameras even if you take extra care of them, they can develop a fault. There is a 28 day money back guarantee from Currys as long as the box has not been opened. I bought this camera in March 2011 and still possess it today. This camera was released in January 2010 and is now two years old, so the price will have dropped a little. In fact you can purchase this camera second hand starting from £35.00 on ebay, which is a steal.
The supplied accessories in the box are:
Rechargeable battery pack (lIthium Ion type N)
USB A/V Cable for multi use terminal
PMB(picture motion browser)
Memory card is not included and needs to be purchased separately. I already owned a SD Card which I had used in previous camera and was also compatible with this camera. A Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo card and SD/SDHC cards are compatible with this camera.
I thoroughly researched specifications for any digital purchase. The camera boasts a very high 14.1 MP resolution as well as 4x optical zoom. For the price I purchased this camera I wasn't expecting any outstanding features and this camera has the basic features (but of a high quality.)
The key specifications of the sony cybershot are:
4x optical zoom
26mm wide angle lens
2.7 lcd screen
Full hd 1080
Carl zeiss lens
Appearance and Build
The camera itself is of a lightweight build and one of the smallest cameras I have handled. It is in fact 117 g and measures 90.7 x 51 x 16.7mm. It really is a great size to carry around in your pocket. I've carried it around in my clutch bag when I've gone out. It's even smaller than my smartphone, which says something! However that does not mean that it doesn't function as well as a larger camera. The edges are square and neat. The camera as a whole looks very sleek and is one you won't be embarrassed to be seen with. It is a well-built camera and I've dropped it once or twice on a soft floor and it works fine. However I would recommend that anyone with a camera should invest in a camera case to prevent scratches and damage.
The camera is very easy to use, due to the fact it only has five buttons on the back. This is the menu button, trash, playback, zoom in and out and a circular four way rocker which features 'display,' 'smile detection,' 'flash,' and 'self-timer.' There is also a three way slide rocker to switch between camera, video and sweep panorama. The camera has no flaps for ports because all the ports are open and visible on the underside. So basically this camera is the least bit waterproof. Obviously the battery and sd card port has a hatch.
Using the Camera
The camera is able to take pictures very quickly once it's been turned on. You may think this is un- important, but it is in fact a great feature. This means you never miss an opportunity to take a photo. Often I whip out the camera and can take a photo of something I've come across, like a moving train or a group of birds.
Playback is a very convenient feature on this camera. You can view pictures in several ways and search for pictures by specific dates, making life a lot easier. It is also possible to zoom in on a picture which is a great way to ascertain which ones are getting the chop.
Resolution and picture quality
The 14.1mp is plentiful for the family snaps photographer. It proves handy for me as a design student to be able to enlarge photos and edit them in Photoshop and Illustrator. However this is not a dslr and so at full image size, pictures won't be pin sharp. You will find this an issue with all point and shoot cameras as nothing compares to DSLR's. For your average photo prints this camera is really good and will not let you down. I used this camera at a wedding and the prints looked very professional.
One of the real advantages of this camera (for me) is the macro. The lens allows you to create really sharp pictures at a close distance. I use it for shooting jewellery and can create some really stunning results. However bear in mind jewellery is quite large and if you wanted to shoot really small insects or vivid detail of flowers, then the macro wouldn't be powerful enough.
The optical zoom on the camera is a quick and convenient function. The zoom in and out rocker is placed conveniently at the right top corner of the backside of the camera. Zoom doesn't necessarily mean better picture quality from afar as I have found out. It serves more like a crop function and allows you to take a more close up aspect of the scene. I hardly use this feature and prefer to get closer to the object then use the zoom.
The Sony manual states that a fully charged battery will shoot 240 pictures. I can easily shoot 240 pictures in under two hours. Therefore if I am out, I need to preserve the battery life to make sure the camera lasts the day. I would recommend you buy a spare battery if you like to shoot outdoors often.
LCD Screen and Picture Viewer
The 2.7 LCD screen is a very good size. The LCD screen also shows battery level and the camera's current settings. It proves extremely handy and I couldn't live without it.
I hardly use the video, as it creates really shaky footage and it's not great picture quality. A good feature is that you can zoom in and out whilst recording. The video's ok for short family or you tube videos.
The ability to shoot panoramic views is non-existent in digital cameras and can only be found in high end digital cameras. This is a plus feature and is a really interactive way to use your camera creatively. You can shoot anything from mountain ranges, to fitting the whole family in a picture. All you do is press the shutter and sweep the camera to capture the width of your subject. It really is an impressive feature and makes this camera highly versatile.
Overall this camera is an all-round ideal camera for novices, amateurs and design students. In regards to functions, it really is just a point and shoot. I believe a good photographer can take great pictures with any camera, so it really depends on your ability as a photographer. You always have the possibility of editing you photos on Photoshop later if you want to improve the image quality or airbrush. It is really important you get to grasps with understanding how to use lighting effectively and position the camera to ensure good photos. It's not the best camera for a design student and I am looking to buy a DSLR once I can afford it. However in the meantime it's a really great camera at a very reasonable price and I can see myself using it for at least another year.
Summary: A great camera that will leave you snap happy
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