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on April 19, 2011
I was able to get this model a little early, and was excited to try it out in - what better city to test a camera? - Paris. The last Sony snapshot camera I used was on a trip in 2007, and I was so dissatisfied with that camera that I sold it immediately after returning home. I was eager to see if Sony had improved their entry level cameras, especially the picture quality. I shall post some pictures to offer examples up in the product details, but these will be reduced in size for posting.

Photo quality: My initial day out indicated that they have made dramatic improvements in both quality and speed. Photos in daylight were crisp and clear in just about every shot, and any that weren't were only because I was shooting poorly on purpose to test the photos. I was also quite happy with the quality of shots in low light and indoors, which is where I noticed the most improvement over past Sony low-end offerings. There was some blurring in darker situations, of course, but for the most part the software was able to produce images that are well balanced and low grain. The 14 megapixel feature is great - there are many photos I've been able to crop and retain quality, and photos of, say, a stone sarcophagus can be zoomed in upon when viewing images later to see very good detail.

I must also mention that the camera is very good at balancing photos. It almost always produces a picture with an appropriate contrast, and only in the worst cases did the image wash out in an area. For example, a shot of Joan of Arc (the statue, not the person) in Notre Dame came out very well even with a stained glass window in the background. The stained glass was bright but distinguishable, and the detail of the stone statue was clear and well balanced. Only in extreme cases - such as a shot of a black sculpture in the Louvre with a window behind it with blaring sunlight - did the camera fail to balance the image, but these are the kind of bad photography shots one would never expect a camera to take well.

Types of Photos: Like most all snapshot photos, this camera will perform best shooting still subjects with plenty of light. Moving objects didn't tend to blur, a problem I'd had with other cheap snapshot cameras, but the response time can make getting these shots difficult. Trying to capture a motorcycle passing an old church, my 7-10 attempts were mostly good photos, but getting the moving bike in the exact spot I wanted was nearly impossible.

Features: Overall, this camera lacks in features, although for most uses I found it sufficient, and at the price I didn't expect a lot of extras. The 4x zoom is relatively fast and easy to use, and about right for this type of camera. I was surprised there was no optical zoom given the high megapixels, but I can live with cropping on the computer. The panorama mode is nifty but not that useful - it works quite well in creating a long image, which of course will cause distortion in most cases. To use this feature, you set the mode and clich the shutter. The camera will prompt you to move it from left to right, and then it will generate the image (which is always impossible to see on the display owing to its shape.) Here I would have liked some add'l features - there is just 'one size' for panorama shots - you must sweep all the way across or the image will fail. This creates many shots that will need to be messed with on the computer later, which is okay but annoying. I was also disappointed panorama doesn't work in an up and down orientation - you always have to sweep the camera in the same manner. You can, of course, hold it sideways to create a vertical panorama, but I really wanted some vertical shots tqking advantage of a larger width. Still, panoramas of the Tour Eiffel allowed me to create some fun, unique shots of the full height of the structure. There are not many other features - just some rudimentary quality settings, face detection, etc. Some might want to move up to a camera with more features, but I actually appreciated this in a point and shoot camera.

Battery life: Here the camera could use some help. Perhaps I'm spoiled by my Apple products, but digital cameras have more or less remained stuck in 2002 concerning batteries. It's annoying to have a separate charger, and battery life isn't great. Three hours of shooting...granted, constant shooting...at St Denis drained it. Given how light and small it is, I'd fully support doubling the battery size to get twice the life. I'd also love for camera makers to start to move toward USB charging options.

I'd also love it if cameras would start incorporating some onboard space. It feels like the dark ages to have to buy a card. 2 - 4 gig of onboard memory with a card slot for expansion would be nice.

Overall, a great, small, fun camera that's easy to grab and go. I wish Sony would re-imagine some of the ways digital cameras work, perhaps taking some cues from iPods, especially regarding batteries, but for the price this nifty unit is great.

Pros: Excellent pics for camera in this price range, good color balance, good in darker spaces, a few fun features

Cons: Battery life could be better, charging options, not many features or in-camera editing options
1010 comments| 319 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 2, 2011
I've purchased Canon cameras exclusively for the past 15 years. This was my first foray into other brands, and while the photo quality (particularly in low light situations) is fantastic, this camera has made me regret my decision to do so. For a point-and-shoot it fundamentally fails the "point and SHOOT" test because of the frustratingly slow focus time. The camera simply will not take a picture quickly. I can't tell you how many great shots I've lost because of this feature. I've read the manual, played with the options and experimented with different ways of taking shots ("focusing" early by depressing the shutter button, just hitting it once...everything!) and nothing seems to work. (I'm open to suggestions if others have noticed this)

To be perfectly fair, the quality of the pictures is really great. I just wish there was a way to make it faster and, therefore, more usable. If you don't have kids and pets, it's a great camera. However, uncooperative fast-moving subjects make for very tough photo opps.
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on July 4, 2011
The intelligent shooting mode is great--it detects different scene types (landscape, sunny, cloudy, etc.) and auto-adjusts the exposure settings to get the best picture. Picture quality is great. It also has a movie mode that takes nice videos. The mic for the audio is a little weak but it is only a point and shoot camera, so a so-so mic is to be expected. The panorama mode is very easy to use--just point and sweep while holding the shutter--and the camera automatically stitches everything together with no overlap or missed sections. I've used panorama mode at a baseball stadium and at a lake and got great detail in both settings.

The battery life could be a bit better, but it lasts for at least 8 hours of shooting. I was turning the camera off and on a lot, which had a bigger drain on the battery, I'm sure.

I first used a SanDisk 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo with this camera, and the camera would not read the card properly. I even reformatted the memory card with my computer and the camera still would not read the card. I finally purchased a SanDisk SDHC memory card that works fine. Others have had problems too with the SanDisk Memory Stick Pro Duo, so be careful with that.

Pros- Intelligent mode for automatically adjusting the settings; picture quality; movie mode and panorama mode; good quality for the price.

Cons- Rechargeable battery could last a bit longer; Battery is specific Sony battery that can only be charged from a wall outlet with the included charging doc; Mic is a bit weak for audio when shooting movies.
0Comment| 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 19, 2011
I was able to get this model a little early, and was excited to try it out in - what better city to test a camera? - Paris. The last Sony snapshot camera I used was on a trip in 2007, and I was so dissatisfied with that camera that I sold it immediately after returning home. I was eager to see if Sony had improved their entry level cameras, especially the picture quality. I shall post some pictures to offer examples up in the product details, but these will be reduced in size for posting.

Photo quality: My initial day out indicated that they have made dramatic improvements in both quality and speed. Photos in daylight were crisp and clear in just about every shot, and any that weren't were only because I was shooting poorly on purpose to test the photos. I was also quite happy with the quality of shots in low light and indoors, which is where I noticed the most improvement over past Sony low-end offerings. There was some blurring in darker situations, of course, but for the most part the software was able to produce images that are well balanced and low grain. The 14 megapixel feature is great - there are many photos I've been able to crop and retain quality, and photos of, say, a stone sarcophagus can be zoomed in upon when viewing images later to see very good detail.

I must also mention that the camera is very good at balancing photos. It almost always produces a picture with an appropriate contrast, and only in the worst cases did the image wash out in an area. For example, a shot of Joan of Arc (the statue, not the person) in Notre Dame came out very well even with a stained glass window in the background. The stained glass was bright but distinguishable, and the detail of the stone statue was clear and well balanced. Only in extreme cases - such as a shot of a black sculpture in the Louvre with a window behind it with blaring sunlight - did the camera fail to balance the image, but these are the kind of bad photography shots one would never expect a camera to take well.

Types of Photos: Like most all snapshot photos, this camera will perform best shooting still subjects with plenty of light. Moving objects didn't tend to blur, a problem I'd had with other cheap snapshot cameras, but the response time can make getting these shots difficult. Trying to capture a motorcycle passing an old church, my 7-10 attempts were mostly good photos, but getting the moving bike in the exact spot I wanted was nearly impossible.

Features: Overall, this camera lacks in features, although for most uses I found it sufficient, and at the price I didn't expect a lot of extras. The 4x zoom is relatively fast and easy to use, and about right for this type of camera. I was surprised there was no optical zoom given the high megapixels, but I can live with cropping on the computer. The panorama mode is nifty but not that useful - it works quite well in creating a long image, which of course will cause distortion in most cases. To use this feature, you set the mode and clich the shutter. The camera will prompt you to move it from left to right, and then it will generate the image (which is always impossible to see on the display owing to its shape.) Here I would have liked some add'l features - there is just 'one size' for panorama shots - you must sweep all the way across or the image will fail. This creates many shots that will need to be messed with on the computer later, which is okay but annoying. I was also disappointed panorama doesn't work in an up and down orientation - you always have to sweep the camera in the same manner. You can, of course, hold it sideways to create a vertical panorama, but I really wanted some vertical shots tqking advantage of a larger width. Still, panoramas of the Tour Eiffel allowed me to create some fun, unique shots of the full height of the structure. There are not many other features - just some rudimentary quality settings, face detection, etc. Some might want to move up to a camera with more features, but I actually appreciated this in a point and shoot camera.

Battery life: Here the camera could use some help. Perhaps I'm spoiled by my Apple products, but digital cameras have more or less remained stuck in 2002 concerning batteries. It's annoying to have a separate charger, and battery life isn't great. Three hours of shooting...granted, constant shooting...at St Denis drained it. Given how light and small it is, I'd fully support doubling the battery size to get twice the life. I'd also love for camera makers to start to move toward USB charging options.

I'd also love it if cameras would start incorporating some onboard space. It feels like the dark ages to have to buy a card. 2 - 4 gig of onboard memory with a card slot for expansion would be nice.

Overall, a great, small, fun camera that's easy to grab and go. I wish Sony would re-imagine some of the ways digital cameras work, perhaps taking some cues from iPods, especially regarding batteries, but for the price this nifty unit is great.

Pros: Excellent pics for camera in this price range, good color balance, good in darker spaces, a few fun features

Cons: Battery life could be better, charging options, not many features or in-camera editing options
11 comment| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 29, 2011
This is a great little camera. It does exactly what it says it's going to do. First charge on the battery took over 125pictures without needing a charge. I only charged it because I didn't want it to die in the middle of me using it next time. Pictures look great in outdoor and indoor pictures. Best point and shoot I have owned.
0Comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 19, 2011
I was able to get this model a little early, and was excited to try it out in - what better city to test a camera? - Paris. The last Sony snapshot camera I used was on a trip in 2007, and I was so dissatisfied with that camera that I sold it immediately after returning home. I was eager to see if Sony had improved their entry level cameras, especially the picture quality. I shall post some pictures to offer examples up in the product details, but these will be reduced in size for posting.

Photo quality: My initial day out indicated that they have made dramatic improvements in both quality and speed. Photos in daylight were crisp and clear in just about every shot, and any that weren't were only because I was shooting poorly on purpose to test the photos. I was also quite happy with the quality of shots in low light and indoors, which is where I noticed the most improvement over past Sony low-end offerings. There was some blurring in darker situations, of course, but for the most part the software was able to produce images that are well balanced and low grain. The 14 megapixel feature is great - there are many photos I've been able to crop and retain quality, and photos of, say, a stone sarcophagus can be zoomed in upon when viewing images later to see very good detail.

I must also mention that the camera is very good at balancing photos. It almost always produces a picture with an appropriate contrast, and only in the worst cases did the image wash out in an area. For example, a shot of Joan of Arc (the statue, not the person) in Notre Dame came out very well even with a stained glass window in the background. The stained glass was bright but distinguishable, and the detail of the stone statue was clear and well balanced. Only in extreme cases - such as a shot of a black sculpture in the Louvre with a window behind it with blaring sunlight - did the camera fail to balance the image, but these are the kind of bad photography shots one would never expect a camera to take well.

Types of Photos: Like most all snapshot photos, this camera will perform best shooting still subjects with plenty of light. Moving objects didn't tend to blur, a problem I'd had with other cheap snapshot cameras, but the response time can make getting these shots difficult. Trying to capture a motorcycle passing an old church, my 7-10 attempts were mostly good photos, but getting the moving bike in the exact spot I wanted was nearly impossible.

Features: Overall, this camera lacks in features, although for most uses I found it sufficient, and at the price I didn't expect a lot of extras. The 4x zoom is relatively fast and easy to use, and about right for this type of camera. I was surprised there was no optical zoom given the high megapixels, but I can live with cropping on the computer. The panorama mode is nifty but not that useful - it works quite well in creating a long image, which of course will cause distortion in most cases. To use this feature, you set the mode and clich the shutter. The camera will prompt you to move it from left to right, and then it will generate the image (which is always impossible to see on the display owing to its shape.) Here I would have liked some add'l features - there is just 'one size' for panorama shots - you must sweep all the way across or the image will fail. This creates many shots that will need to be messed with on the computer later, which is okay but annoying. I was also disappointed panorama doesn't work in an up and down orientation - you always have to sweep the camera in the same manner. You can, of course, hold it sideways to create a vertical panorama, but I really wanted some vertical shots tqking advantage of a larger width. Still, panoramas of the Tour Eiffel allowed me to create some fun, unique shots of the full height of the structure. There are not many other features - just some rudimentary quality settings, face detection, etc. Some might want to move up to a camera with more features, but I actually appreciated this in a point and shoot camera.

Battery life: Here the camera could use some help. Perhaps I'm spoiled by my Apple products, but digital cameras have more or less remained stuck in 2002 concerning batteries. It's annoying to have a separate charger, and battery life isn't great. Three hours of shooting...granted, constant shooting...at St Denis drained it. Given how light and small it is, I'd fully support doubling the battery size to get twice the life. I'd also love for camera makers to start to move toward USB charging options.

I'd also love it if cameras would start incorporating some onboard space. It feels like the dark ages to have to buy a card. 2 - 4 gig of onboard memory with a card slot for expansion would be nice.

Overall, a great, small, fun camera that's easy to grab and go. I wish Sony would re-imagine some of the ways digital cameras work, perhaps taking some cues from iPods, especially regarding batteries, but for the price this nifty unit is great.

Pros: Excellent pics for camera in this price range, good color balance, good in darker spaces, a few fun features

Cons: Battery life could be better, charging options, not many features or in-camera editing options
11 comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 19, 2011
I was able to get this model a little early, and was excited to try it out in - what better city to test a camera? - Paris. The last Sony snapshot camera I used was on a trip in 2007, and I was so dissatisfied with that camera that I sold it immediately after returning home. I was eager to see if Sony had improved their entry level cameras, especially the picture quality. I shall post some pictures to offer examples up in the product details, but these will be reduced in size for posting.

Photo quality: My initial day out indicated that they have made dramatic improvements in both quality and speed. Photos in daylight were crisp and clear in just about every shot, and any that weren't were only because I was shooting poorly on purpose to test the photos. I was also quite happy with the quality of shots in low light and indoors, which is where I noticed the most improvement over past Sony low-end offerings. There was some blurring in darker situations, of course, but for the most part the software was able to produce images that are well balanced and low grain. The 14 megapixel feature is great - there are many photos I've been able to crop and retain quality, and photos of, say, a stone sarcophagus can be zoomed in upon when viewing images later to see very good detail.

I must also mention that the camera is very good at balancing photos. It almost always produces a picture with an appropriate contrast, and only in the worst cases did the image wash out in an area. For example, a shot of Joan of Arc (the statue, not the person) in Notre Dame came out very well even with a stained glass window in the background. The stained glass was bright but distinguishable, and the detail of the stone statue was clear and well balanced. Only in extreme cases - such as a shot of a black sculpture in the Louvre with a window behind it with blaring sunlight - did the camera fail to balance the image, but these are the kind of bad photography shots one would never expect a camera to take well.

Types of Photos: Like most all snapshot photos, this camera will perform best shooting still subjects with plenty of light. Moving objects didn't tend to blur, a problem I'd had with other cheap snapshot cameras, but the response time can make getting these shots difficult. Trying to capture a motorcycle passing an old church, my 7-10 attempts were mostly good photos, but getting the moving bike in the exact spot I wanted was nearly impossible.

Features: Overall, this camera lacks in features, although for most uses I found it sufficient, and at the price I didn't expect a lot of extras. The 4x zoom is relatively fast and easy to use, and about right for this type of camera. I was surprised there was no optical zoom given the high megapixels, but I can live with cropping on the computer. The panorama mode is nifty but not that useful - it works quite well in creating a long image, which of course will cause distortion in most cases. To use this feature, you set the mode and clich the shutter. The camera will prompt you to move it from left to right, and then it will generate the image (which is always impossible to see on the display owing to its shape.) Here I would have liked some add'l features - there is just 'one size' for panorama shots - you must sweep all the way across or the image will fail. This creates many shots that will need to be messed with on the computer later, which is okay but annoying. I was also disappointed panorama doesn't work in an up and down orientation - you always have to sweep the camera in the same manner. You can, of course, hold it sideways to create a vertical panorama, but I really wanted some vertical shots tqking advantage of a larger width. Still, panoramas of the Tour Eiffel allowed me to create some fun, unique shots of the full height of the structure. There are not many other features - just some rudimentary quality settings, face detection, etc. Some might want to move up to a camera with more features, but I actually appreciated this in a point and shoot camera.

Battery life: Here the camera could use some help. Perhaps I'm spoiled by my Apple products, but digital cameras have more or less remained stuck in 2002 concerning batteries. It's annoying to have a separate charger, and battery life isn't great. Three hours of shooting...granted, constant shooting...at St Denis drained it. Given how light and small it is, I'd fully support doubling the battery size to get twice the life. I'd also love for camera makers to start to move toward USB charging options.

I'd also love it if cameras would start incorporating some onboard space. It feels like the dark ages to have to buy a card. 2 - 4 gig of onboard memory with a card slot for expansion would be nice.

Overall, a great, small, fun camera that's easy to grab and go. I wish Sony would re-imagine some of the ways digital cameras work, perhaps taking some cues from iPods, especially regarding batteries, but for the price this nifty unit is great.

Pros: Excellent pics for camera in this price range, good color balance, good in darker spaces, a few fun features

Cons: Battery life could be better, charging options, not many features or in-camera editing options
0Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 17, 2011
I LOVE this camera! Only had it for a week, but this is the best part so far: I am not a photographer and not super tech-savvy, but I opened the box, put in the battery and extra storage thingy and turned the camera on and started taking pictures. I still have not looked at the directions and have been taking pictures and downloading them to my computer for a week.......the photos look really great to me. If you are looking for a camera for dummies that takes nice pics and is low priced, this is the one!!!!
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on August 7, 2011
I haven't bought a new camera for myself in years, so I did a lot of research before buying this one. Actually, I did too much research and wound up confused. I finally just broke down and ordered this one because it seemed like a good deal.

I'm really glad I bought it. It takes great pictures and it's easy to use. I don't like to spend a lot of time figuring out technology, and the menu on this camera makes things really easy to figure out. I haven't even looked at the owner's manual since I got the camera. The panoramic feature is awesome: just set it on panoramic, hold the button down, and scan the scene from left to right.

The only thing I wish this camera had was a lower MP setting. It takes pictures in four settings: VGA, 5 MP, 10 MP, and 14 MP. The 10 and 14 are very detailed and ideal for blowing up into large prints. Even the 5 MP looks good in a large size. The VGA setting is pretty poor quality, not even worthy of viewing on your computer or sending to someone via email. The solution to this is the 5 MP setting, which produces a great quality picture but is also a very large-sized file, so you can't send many pics at once. It would be great if this camera had a 2 or 3 MP setting. Not a huge deal, though.

UPDATE 3/31/13: This camera still works great. The battery still holds a charge just fine (knock on wood.) I have no regrets about this purchase.
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on August 12, 2011
I purchased this camera from Walmart on June 3rd 2011 for a trip I was planning to Arizona. (I live in North Carolina). The first pictures I took with the camera were really great and couldn't wait to take pictures of the wide open mountains ranges in southern Arizona. However, on the third day of my trip I noticed the LCD began to look warped. Since this was my first digital camera I'm not sure what was wrong. I continued to take pictures in Arizona just hoping there was a slight glitch with the LCD display and it would not affect the picture quality.

When I got home a few weeks later I uploaded all the pictures to my computer and to my horror noticed that they all came out poorly. Many of the pictures looked as if extra light was burned into the pixels and many of the pixels would softly bleed into each other. Hey, it looks great if you're trying to create a dream-like ethereal effect but that is hardly what I was looking for. Since I was quite upset I returned to Walmart and told that I would need to contact Sony. I did so. The Sony representative told me that I would need to mail the camera to their support facility in Laredo, Texas. I did so and paid about $5.00 to have it shipped. During my first contact with Sony I was told that the camera would be fixed since it was still under warranty. However, the story didn't last too long. I was then told that the warranty would not cover the 'damage' to the camera and that I would need to pay $37.00 for the repair. Then I contacted Sony again and was told that the camera would not be fixed and that they were just going to send it back to me. When I inquired about the reason for this I was told that 'moisture' was in the camera. I mentioned that I noticed the LCD screen would often fog up all time -- after all I live in the South and gets quite humid during the summer months. The tech then told me that 'ambient moisture' from a humid environment was not covered by the warranty. So in other words, if I use this camera on a humid southern day it make distort the pixels and Sony will not fix it.

When I received my camera back from Sony not only had they not fixed the camera -- no surprise -- but they didn't even return my memory card. So the few pictures that did turn out well are now lost because Sony lost -- stole, misplaced, etc -- my memory card. So basically I just paid $5.00 and all I got in return from Sony was a lost memory card.

Outraged, I went by Walmart to explain the situation to them and they actually were very understanding and kind and made an ad hoc decision to honor a return, even though it was outside their fifteen day return policy. However, I will never purchase another Sony product. Sony sells cheap cameras that cannot even withstand the humid weather in the south, and if your camera 'breaks' while the warranty is in effect they will still refuse to honor the warranty! The warranty I purchased through Walmart was even worse. I contacted the company that Walmart outsources to for warranties and was also told that they would not honor the warranty and that if I wanted it fixed I should try to take it to Radio Shack! So I guess the morale of this story is that warranties are useless and Sony sells lemons. Take heed.
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