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I'm reviewing my digital camera, the Sony W710 Cyber-shot today, but firstly I just want to say this will be a very non-technical review. I'm not a technical person myself so I can't even make this stuff up, but I'm hoping this review will be useful for people like myself who are looking into a no-frills digital camera where you can point and click and get some nice pictures.
My partner bought me this camera about 3 years ago and I think he spent about £100 on it. With technology moving so fast I was surprised to see it is still sold, but has gone down to around £50-60, so quite an affordable piece of kit.
First things first - the camera came boxed with a USB wire, battery and battery charger. The charger is square shaped, you have to remove the battery from the camera and slot it into the charger. It only takes a couple of hours to charge and automatically switched itself off when it is fully charged, but the wire is very short and doesn't stretch far at all. When inserted the battery in the camera lasts quite a long time. Surprisingly, this camera didn't have a case included, which I thought was a bit poor. Digital cameras are meant to be taken out and about, and I'd expect a high-quality brand like Sony to provide a case. Luckily the case from my last camera fitted so I could protect my camera when I'm out and about. There is no memory card included in the purchase but they are not usually included so that wasn't a surprise.
The camera is a slinky looking thing, mine is black with silver detailing. There is a wrist strap which can be removed. There is a slide compartment at the bottom which you can move to access the battery and memory card which is really easy to access.
The camera is easily turned on by pressing a button on the top and it turns on very quickly. The button to press to take a picture is fairly large and on the right hand side so quite standard. It is quite sensitive and I can easily lend the camera to friends and it's as simple as point and click. Photos taken can be seen by pressing a button on the back with a triangle next to it, photos can be scrolled through but it's quite slow and the photos take a few seconds to get into focus so it's not ideal. You can also see photos on a grid and zoom in and out of photos, you can also delete from here but they take a few seconds so this isn't a quick process.
There are quick buttons on the machine to do things like change the flash and display settings. There is a 'smile detector' setting which I haven't heard of before, we used it once for a laugh and it actually worked really well! My partner held it up and I smiled and it took the photo and it was actually a really lovely photo - Facebook profile picture worthy for a while!
The screen measures 6cm/5cm so it's a decent size and easy to look back at photos on. The zoom function is apparently 'optical zoom 4x and 28mm wide-single lens'. As I said this means nothing to me, but might be useful to some people reading this review! There are buttons on the back to zoom in and out for photos which I use quite regularly - can be useful for weddings etc where you might be a bit far back but want a nice photo!
In terms of quality, when the flash is off the camera takes very blurry photos. The shutter speed seems to be very slow, and if you don't keep deadly still the photo is a blurry mess. When the flash is on, it's very very bright. It totally washes out anything you take a photo of. I've had my partner look through all the settings and there is nothing to turn down the brightness. It is genuinely a problem and stops me from using the camera. I sell on ebay and if I have the flash off the pictures of my items are blurry and if I have it on you can't see the items as eveything is too bright. I either have to use my partners (much nicer) camera or wait for natural daylight and take a photo very carefully without moving with the flash off - this can be tricky in winter when it's always dark!
The camera came with a wire to plug the camera into the computer to get the photos off, I lost this fairly quickly so I just take the memory card out and whack it in the computer.
Overall I'm not a fan of this camera and I barely use it. It looks great and the settings/buttons are really good, it's very straightforward to use and is the definition of point and click. It should be ideal for somebody like me who just wants to take photos for ebay and photos of family/friends/holidays etc. However, in terms of taking photos there is much to be desired. I can get by with this, but the photos are not very good and I find myself asking to use my partners camera most of the time, even for boring things like ebay. Although this camera is a great price, I would recommend shopping around to get a camera which takes better photos. Memories are important and you need a decent camera to take photos of special moments.
From parties and family portraits to holiday scenes: have fun shooting detail-packed photos and HD video clips. Take this compact light and simple-to-use camera anywhere and get help taking better shots every time? even if you?re a first-time photographer.Effortlessly capture the beauty emotion and excitement of all those special moments thanks to the camera's high-resolution image sensor. From a family holiday to a fun night out you'll take sharp finely detailed photos without fuss. Bring all memories to life with HD video. There's no need to fiddle with complicated controls: a simple switch on the back of the camera selects movie recording. When you?re finished sit back and enjoy the results on your HD television. The DSC-W710 automatically adjusts everything to suit the conditions. Just point and shoot and capture the moment with no menus or settings to worry about.