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Sony Cybershot DSC-W170 8 to 10 Megapixel
The Sony DSC-W170 sophisticated, compact body features an enviable 10.1 megapixel resolution, Carl Zeiss 5x optical zoom lens, and Sony's Double Anti-Blur solution for crisp, clear images. For easy viewing and sharing, the large 2.7" LCD displays your shots in vibrant color. In addition, Face Detection technology, Smile Shutter, and Intelligent Scene Recognition elicit stunning detail from special moments. Also available in black, gold and silver.
Submitted by Mink72 a Casual
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2010
Strengths: Good image qualtity
Overall pretty responsive, quick auto focus, fairly quick shot to shot time.
Solid built quality
Weaknesses: Lack of manual controls/white balance
Slow and a bit confusing menu (but I got used to it quickly)
Image stabilizer not on par with other camera brands
Barrel distortion which is noticeable in some images
I don't think you can go wrong with any low cost compact camera nowadays.
It's just a matter of preference and maybe dedication to overcome the shortcomings you'll find in a particular model.
The numerous reviews and opinions on the internet prove this: there are very few compact digital cameras that get true universal praise and the results (coming in graphics and test pictures) can vary greatly from reviewer to reviewer.
(For instance you may want to check 'professional' review sites for recent compact superzoom cameras - Sony DSC HX5, Panasonic ZS7, Canon SX210 and Samsung HZ35 - it seems every site uses different test methods...or just have different taste, if there really would exist a best compact superzoom camera than every review site would have picked the same winner.
Before I chose the W170 I read everything there was to read, compared every single picture - meanwhile realizing that it was ridiculous what I was doing: I don't make a living out of photography, I don't even care for technically perfect pictures...if I really wanted the best quality I shouldn't be looking at compact cameras anyway.
But yes, I have seen excellent pictures of the W170 on the web, but also very poor ones and the same contradictive results you will find with any other compact digital camera.
I finally chose the W170 for its 28-140mm (eq.) lens, the colors of outdoor shots and (admittedly) for its looks.
Although this camera is labeled as a 'point and shoot' camera, this doesn't mean it is a magical camera that gets every shot right.
Indoors you probably need to use the flash more than you'd expect or you have to use a tripod or choose a higher ISO, the latter means noise and I mean a lot of noise.
I'd advise not to set the camera at a scene mode, because with it the camera practically always will choose a higher ISO than is necessary.
Just set it at 80 up to 200 ISO and images will greatly improve.
I find the flash to be pretty powerfull, so powerfull that I have set it one stripe down, because otherwise it will not make use of the avalaible light and you'll get too brightly lit images that lack the mood and atmosphere of the moment.
The camera is at its best outdoors.
Colors are vibrant and pretty true to life.
I especially like how it records skies: the blue tones have a depth that I don't find in Canons and Panasonics...I think I just like Sony's colors better, even when they are technically less accurate.
The W170 lacks a manual white balance therefore skin tones indoors in artificial light are warmer, but I find the color in most cases more pleasing than the tone you'll get with a manually set white balance by a Canon or Panasonic.
Correcting a too heavy red/yellow cast is actually pretty easy and takes very little time, it can be done with a simple image viewer like Mac OSX's Preview.
Some may find the images lack some sharpness and are a bit soft.
Although I can understand this complaint in a way, I disagree for the larger part, to me they seem just right, I find them natural looking.
With this I mean the images look like what my own eyes have seen, a 'snapshot' (a very pretty snapshot though) of a moment.
I don't want and need to zoom in and look at the smallest details, I want to see the image as a whole, full screen on my 20 inch iMac and to me the images look just right with the right amount of detail and sharpness.
Probably I could have bought a cheaper camera and be just as heapy with it, because most of the 'advanced' features on this camera I just never use: smile detection, perfect scene recognition, bracketing.
Neither do I use the slide show, the image editing tools and none of the scene modes
I keep it simple...that is I only use the manual ISO, the Image stabilizer and I have the standard DRO (Dynamic Range Optimization) switched on.
The image stabilizer works faily well, but I must say, in comparison with other brands like Sony and Panasonic it is less effective, though never problematic.
Overall I like this camera a lot and I don't feel the need to upgrade (yet?), it is good as it is.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $175.00
Similar Products Used: Panasonic FX35
Type of photography: Outdoor
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