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You might look at the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S30 and think it was a children's toy. You might then start using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S30 and still think it was a children's toy. But I might be being a tad harsh. This is not a bad camera, but nor is it a great one either.
Let's start with the fun factor. The swivel screen will extract much cooing from onlookers, as will the superb picture quality when you finish frolicking and upload your snaps onto your computer (printing them out is another matter however - the quality in this context is noticeably inferior, and grainy) The LCD preview panel is another winner, being as it flips above the camera and allows for 360 degree rotation. This feature also allows a degree of protection when the screen snaps back into place and is facing inwards.
Technically too, the DSC-S30 has some great attributes: it has an interpolated 1.6-megapixel resolution, and the image quality for cameras in the price range is second to none. Pixel density is 6 MP/cm². It has a 2x digital zoom and 3x optical zoom, and a macro focus range of 3cm.
In contrast to its sometimes child-like flavour, this camera is a little on the heavy side. At 370g it can be a bit of a chore to carry around, but the pleasant contoured case may be of some consolation. I admit it, the weight irked me a little though, as did the lithium ion battery, which is chunky and takes around 150 minutes to charge up fully. It purportedly lasts around 2 ½ hours when charged up to the max, but I found that to be somewhat optimistic after a couple of outings. Another point of note is that there is no movie mode.
This is a good camera for learners and amateur photographers, but if you're looking for longevity and great picture print outs, the DSC-S30 may not be the model for you.
Your first step into Sony's world of Cyber-Shot digital photography. Built with Sony's typical care and attention to detail, the DSC-S30 is Sony's starter Cyber-Shot model. Complete with all the quality features you can take for granted from Sony, it also comes equipped with Memory Stick, USB port, optical/digital zoom, MegaPixel Super Advanced HAD CCD and the unique "dancing" Ex Bright 2" LCD that makes difficult, creative camera angles and self portraits simpler than ever before. And, as the S30 will really get your creativity going, it also has the power to go the extra photographic hours that only Sony's Stamina power management system and InfoLithium Batteries can provide. It's a superbly designed, rugged little package that will keep up with up as you explore Sony's world digital photography.