* Prices may differ from that shown
When my boyfriend lost his camera on a work night out there was no way I was going to let him borrow my Nikon P100 to take on a stag weekend. Not only is it too expensive to lose but I'm not too sure he knows enough about DSLR cameras to be let loose with it. He had previously owned a really nice beginner DSLR camera and although never one to miss a photo opportunity he did not really appreciate it. Needing a new camera we had a good look round at what sort of camera he could get. DSLR cameras are bulky and cumbersome, you need to maintain them and you really need to know about the basics of photography or want to learn more. Having a DSLR camera does not necessarily guarantee you better pictures and the convenience of being able to slip the smaller camera in your pocket coupled with the cheaper price tag led us to looking at the point and shoot cameras that are around at the minute. Sony Cyber Shot cameras have been around for years and when I met anyone that owned one, they found them really reliable and recommended the brand. One of the latest models the W570 was the one we bought and found it competitively priced in Currys.
*Price and availability*
The camera comes in a choice of three colours (or it did where we bought it) pink, black and silver. We bought the black one as I'm not sure Kevin would have lived it down taking a pink camera on a stag do. The camera cost £97.00 which is a good price. It is stocked in most electrical stores and online.
*A closer look at the camera...*
The camera feels robust and is moulded to fit comfortably in one hand. The camera is thin, light and looks top of the range. The shiny black finish contrasts nicely against the silver buttons. The metal lens barrel and zoom looks much more impressive than a plastic one but despite this the camera is still really light. The camera has a 5 x optical zoom which is more than most other cameras on the market. The zoom is impressive especially when using the camera in video mode. The 2.7" LCD screen is really clear and of exceptional quality. The images on here are bright and crisp and help to get the best possible results from the camera. Some LCD screens are hard to see in different lighting but this screen remains vivid and clear. We have tried the camera in daylight and at night and on both occasions the screen has really impressed us. The flash on the camera is sufficient and it coped well when we had it in a dark dingy pub. The camera uses a li-on rechargeable battery that I can see us not experiencing any problems with as the maximum it will ever take to charge is The between 3 and 4 hours to charge. A fully charged camera will take 220 still photographs or 100 minutes of video.
Buttons and controls
I find the buttons easy to use and press and the camera menu easy to navigate round. On top of the camera is the shutter release button, this is large, easy to press and comfortable to reach.
At the side of the LCD screen are the following controls:
Zoom/toggle leaver - This controls the zoom and can easily be toggled with by pushing either side of the button.
Still/ sweep panoramic/ movie selection switch - located at the side of the case. This allows you quickly to move from which mode you want.
Playback button - This allows you to look back over the images you have taken. You can view them as a slideshow too if you want to.
Four way push control pad surrounding the OK button - This control pad is multi functional and changes different things depending on what mode you are in. The top of the button will control the flash in most of the modes.
Menu button - from the menu you have quick access to functions and set up options.
Delete button - This asks you to OK any selection to delete to prevent any pictures being accidently deleted.
*Set up and features*
The camera is easy to set up and there are a number of features that assist in taking a good picture. There are only three shooting modes when it comes to photos: program, scene and iauto. In the scene selection there are twelve options to choose from. The iauto was one of the main selling points of the camera and stands for 'intelligent auto.' This makes the point and shoot camera switch focus and depth of field depending how close you are to the subject you really do not need to have to think too hard with the camera as it does it all for you. The images it produces in this mode are excellent and look really good. This is an excellent feature.
Other features that help you create the perfect image are face-detection which is not a new concept but this is thrown together in the mix with three levels of smile detection: big, norm or slight. This should prevent those awkward retake shots. All these features need selecting beforehand but you can toggle with the levels of smile recognition whilst you are shooting the picture and this is done with the four way controller.
The best feature though and one that we will definitely play about with more is the Sweep panoramic. This allows you to run the camera over a scene and then it will seamlessly stitch all the images together for you. This is definitely something that we will enjoy using and experimenting with. There is an underwater sweep panoramic option too. As an accessory you can buy an underwater case kit so this feature would allow you to take panoramic views under the sea.
The camera also has a ==video mode== and shoots at 720p. We will not really use this as a couple as we have a camcorder. We have tried it out though and it seems okay, there is nothing to sing or dance about but I would imagine that some people will really appreciate this feature. The zoom is really good while the video mode is on but on the whole filming is quite wobbly. The main frustration is that the camera microphone is really sensitive and picks up the zoom noise of the camera!
Another feature that should save time is a built in photo management tool that allows you to quickly download images on to any computer without having to download any software on the computer. This means that images could be on face book in a matter of minutes if you are so inclined.
The 16.1 megapixel camera takes sharp, bright pictures with depth and clarity. The colours of the pictures are rich and bright and on the whole we are impressed with image quality. We have not printed any pictures out but the images we have viewed on the laptop are really good. We tired the camera out in different lightings and even in low light conditions the pictures are crisp and clear with minimal noise. Landscape pictures look good but we are most impressed with the portrait options. The camera will be mostly used for taking pictures of friends and family so being able to take good portrait pictures is a must. Pictures of people are bright with good colouring and thanks to the smile/face detection will help get the right set up.
You really have more than enough features here to keep you going but despite having loads of options and features the camera is so basic to get used to. The menu is really simple and if you just want a point and shoot camera without any fuss, stick it in iauto and let the camera do the work.
The camera will take a variety of SD cards and memory sticks including memory Stick Duo, Pro Duo and Pro-HG Duo, as well as SD cards, SDHC and SDXC cards. There is 27MB (why bother) of built in memory which will allow you to take 3 pictures.
Kevin is pleased with the camera and so am I. It is small but it really does have a lot to offer.
*HALF PRICE 4GB memory card (PS845) with this camera. Discount will be taken off your bill at checkout.*The Sony CyberShot W570 is a slim stylish digital camera that gives you plenty of smart easytouse shooting features for great photos every time.Capturing great images have never been easier with the Sony W570s userfriendly features such as Intelligent Auto mode face detection and selfportrait mode.Sweep Panorama mode lets you shoot a highspeed burst of frames as you sweep the camera from side to side your images are then stitched together automatically by the camera to create one amazing panoramic image.The Sony W570 digital cameras superb 16 megapixel CCD sensor resolution ensures you capture outstandingly detailed images which you can print up as stunningly sharp postersize enlargements with no loss of detail.A Carl Zeiss 5x optical zoom 25 mm wide angle lens lets you capture stunning panoramic shots as well as getting up close with incredible detail then check out all the results on the highres