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I have to confess to being a bit of a 'snob' when it comes to buying electrical goods and tend to go for well know brands I am familiar with. I had an older model DSC which was great so when it was time to upgrade to a newer camera I thought I couldn't go wrong with another Sony....big mistake!
On first inspection it was a great looking compact camera. The menu functions were easy to use and it was very simple to 'point and shoot'. My first few shots were in fairly low light conditions and the pictures weren't great but I thought I would give it a chance in full daylight. The photos were unpredictable to say the least! Some were crystal clear and others blurry, especially when zoomed in.
The main reason for us upgrading was to record our honeymoon trip to Scotland. We took lots of video footage in the car and on our travels. When playing it back there was a lot of distortion in the noise. We thought it was just the rubbish speaker on the camera but when we uploaded the videos on the pc at home it was the same! There was minimal road noise in the car but we thought maybe this was the problem.
Once we returned home we tried it again for a weekend with friends at a concert. Once again a terrible distortion through most, with the occasional clear sound! It appears that any type of background noise ruins the sound quality on the video clips.
Sound quality aside the picture wasn't much better! Most of the clips were out of focus and I had to manually adjust the zoom whilst filming to try and get it in focus. Now I know many of you will say, buy a separate video camera but I thought this would be the best of both worlds! I wouldn't mind so much if the pictures were great but overall the camera is a real disappointment and I will be taking it back for a refund. Many great memories have been lost and I am gutted!
Overall I would not recommend this camera. Very poor picture quality in low light and poor video sound and picture quality. The only real positive thing I can say is that the battery life is brilliant! The panoramic function was good fun to play with but again very unpredictable quality on the shots.
As I've mentioned in other reviews, I'm a complete technophobe, so you can imagine what a nightmare presents itself when trying to purchase a new gadget!
For the past six years, I've relied on a Nikon Coolpix, and it's done OK; however, recently I noticed a decline in the image quality and batteries seemed pretty useless all the time: I knew I needed a new digital camera.
So, where on earth do you start? There are literally hundreds of digital cameras on the market, and all have their own plethora of weird and wonderful capabilities. On a personal basis, I wanted something which was generally just 'point and press' with possibly a few variations on this theme for particular times of day and night. I wanted another camera with the ability to set the camera up and for it to take the photo automatically within a set number of settings. In addition, due to my own eyesight, I needed something which a reasonably sized screen.
When I compare what I have now with my previous camera, there really is no comparison. The Sony Cybershot comes with its own battery pack, charger and software. Within two minutes of charging the battery up, I had inserted both it, and a memory card into the camera; set the day and time; and I was away and taking photos. It really was that simple. Two minutes later, I'd worked out what most of the buttons did too!
When I first unpacked the camera, I was a little concerned at its size; it is quite small, but surprisingly, it does has a welcome degree of weight to it. It's comfortable to hold, and all of the buttons are clearly marked and easy to press. A double bonus on this camera is that whenever you select a particular option or press a particular button, text is displayed on the screen telling you what it does. This is an enormous help to me who can never make head nor tail of the pictorial symbols on these devices!
Unlike my previous camera, as soon as the 'on' button is pressed, the camera is ready to shoot; this prevents the subject having moved on by the time the device has warmed up!
A number of shooting options are available: panorama; auto exposure; intelligent adjustment; easy shooting (with simplified display); and scene. Given that the intelligent adjustment setting has a green symbol, I've assumed that this is the most common used setting. Of course, the device also allows you to film short videos. The screen is large (as big as the camera itself), and at the press of a button, you can scroll through and delete photos already taken. The flash can be altered, and it has an interesting setting for automatically taking the photo when it detects the subject is smiling.
I really cannot praise this device highly enough. Before I purchased it, I did some research on the internet, and whilst not all reviews were positive, I generally found that people's negative opinions rose from a false expectation of the capabilities of the camera. For me, it does everything I want it to do, and with the minimum of fuss. As I wanted, it really is as simple as 'point and shoot'.