Friday, December 11, 2009

Sony Cybershot DSC W220 Review

I bought a Sony Cybershot DSC W220 digital camera today. Its one of the light blue ones and I was sold on the fact that it was a 12.1 MP camera with 4x optical zoom. Most of the other ones only had 3x optical zoom. 

So far, since I've been playing with it, I think I really like its simplicity and all the features that it has. Here's a review of the Sony Cybershot DSC W220.

The Sony Cybershot DSC W220 is up against some pretty stiff competition. Panasonic, Olympus and Nikon all produce digital cameras that are in direct competition with the Cybershot DSC W220.

This camera is small enough to slip into most pockets. It is mid priced. The design is unfussy and has that typical rectangular look. Sony offers the camera in three different colours: black, silver and light blue.

When looking at the other cameras in this category Sony has added in a fair number of features for the price. These include face detection for better portrait shots and image stabilisation to help compensate for any movements of the camera caused by unsteady hands. The Cybershot DSC W220 is also one of the few small cameras to be able to accept a conversion lens and filters. A conversion lens can increase the length of the lens or increase the wide angle capabilities of the camera. Using filters can add different effects to your photos.

There are resolutions that allow you to take photos that are ideal for printing 6 x 4 inch snapshot photos or for making wide prints or playing back on a widescreen television. For close up work the Cybershot DSC W220 can focus from an impressive 4cm. As well as offering the standard movie modes you are also able to produce High Definition movie clips. This does not make the Cybershot DSC W220 a replacement for your camcorder, but it can come in handy from time to time.

One area that digital cameras struggle with is the dynamic range of a photo. This is how well the camera can bring out detail in the lighter and darker areas of a photograph, especially when there are high levels of contrast in a shot. To try and help the camera Sony has introduced a dynamic range enhancer that can be turned on and off. Other features include being able to boost colours with a vivid colour setting as well as being able to switch to black and white or sepia.

More advanced features include a burst mode that allows you to fire off up to 100 high speed shots. There are also three types of metering at your disposal (Multi Pattern, Centre weighted, Spot).

When it comes to picture quality one of my biggest concerns was that Sony has packed so many pixels onto such a small sensor that some areas of my pictures were prone to show pixilation. This is where pixels start to look jagged and if you blow the picture up to a large size you can start to make out groups of pixels. This can detract from the overall smoothness of a shot. You may find that picture quality actually improves when shooting at lower resolutions.

The 12 megapixels Sony has packed in can come in handy if you are thinking of cropping any photos before printing. Another advantage is that additional zoom becomes available when shooting at lower resolutions.
The 4x zoom lens is a little wider than most digital cameras offer. This helps you when taking wide scenes such as landscape shots.

Picture quality fell below what some direct competitors offer. As well as the pixilation I noticed purple fringing could become an issue. I could see purple lines added to the tops of trees for example or if I was taking close up shots of shiny objects. The sharpness of the pictures was also a little down on what I am used to seeing. In fairness these problems only really become an issue if you are planning to make larger prints. At snapshot size you are unlikely to really notice these imperfections.

Andy writes and reviews digital cameras for See his test shots and ratings for the Sony Cybershot DSC W220


winter olympics said...

I love the camera. It was exactly as described by seller. Would definitely buy from seller again.

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