Top critical review
69 people found this helpful
Nice pictures, disappointing accessory features
on May 9, 2012
[May '12 Updated feature descriptions, but still two stars as a camera]
[June '12 gave camera one more star - but still disappointed about wifi and other accessory features]
Received the camera today and pretty happy with it after a day of shooting test stuff. Read the warning below about what you get versus the product description & advertisement.
- Pictures high quality, compared to other similar-sized cameras (I had a Lumix to compare with)
- Videos look great
- 3D mode was unexpectedly nice. Good for static subjects only - you pan the camera as you take the picture and the camera processes the parallax changes of the images to create a nice synthetic 'tiltlable' view. You can preview the 3D effect by tilting the camera and its accelerometers will change your point of view on the synthetic 3D image. I don't have a proper 3D screen to test the depth of it.
- The GPS has a 'gps logger' function. I've wanted my GPS cameras to do this for YEARS (since I had a GPS-enabled Ricoh for work purposes in 2007). Haven't had the time to see how much battery that eats up. It produces an NMEA log file under the Private/Sony/GPS folder. The camera logs even while "Off" so watch out if you stow it away for a while! It logs Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, Time and Heading - but not speed.
- I got the bundle w the extra battery as these GPS-enabled cameras can unexpectedly eat up your battery. The extra battery in the bundle is not Sony brand but some other manufacturer "Premium Tech" (whatever). Included SDHC card 16GB is Class 10 Sony -brand. USB SDHC reader is USB 2.0
- Face detection trigger is nice for self-pictures from a distant tripod. Next best thing to a remote.
- For a medium sized pocket camera, the pictures are good, but the compression artifacts seem to appear at lower magnification than another camera (Lumix) at comparable megapixel/zoom/iso/etc settings.
- Moving videos, when recorded in some interlaced mode, show drastic interlacing. every edge looks like a comb, even when the camera has a little of movement. But while in a progressive scan mode, the edges look smooth but with a ghost, like a trailing chromatic aberration. This however is common of all small-lens HD video cameras I have seen.
- The description says "...and wirelessly charge the battery on the included dock.". There is NO DOCK and the camera does NOT SUPPORT wireless charging. I don't blame the seller (BeachCamera) for this, just warning other users. I was looking forward to it. Charging is done via a MicroUSB connection to the camera, it does not even include a separate charger. Sony sells the accessory extra charger but given the misleading description of the item, I think Beach should change the price or include a compatible charger in the bundle.
-WIFI Sharing to smartphone is a gimmick. You have to connect from the smartphone (iPhone in my case) using Sony's App to a WIFI exposed by the camera. In other words, the camera is exposing its own 80211 access point and you have to connect to that wifi via your phone's wifi settings. Once connected you use Sony's proprietary app (which is really amateurish, it even doesn't keep the right aspect ratios when showing thumbnails) and select photos to copy to your phone's album/stream. BUT now you are connected to the camera's access point, so you have to DISconnect from that one and Reconnect to your main/home wifi or 3G to share the pictures back with the cloud or the world. I would have like to be able to connect the camera to a wifi network and just browse to a NAS and point to a folder and ask the camera to dump things there. I fell for the Sony advertisement on this one.
- The sony site has a page for connecting the camera to a Mac but the page returns 404 Not Found!! Even their support staff cannot locate this file. After 1 hour they can't get me to transfer the pictures to a computer via Wifi.
- As a general con, I'd say a con is dealing with Sony in general. Their support website is terrible, customer support chatrooms 'fail' when you get to meaningful parts.
- The SD & battery compartment door seems almost designed to have gaps open to the outside world. I predict this will be a source of problems with dirt, dust etc.
- Not stop-motion! It would be a great feature to add.
I may send this back in. I'm sure just for image quality and GPS I can get a better bargain. And not have to deal with Sony.
[This review is cross-posted from the bundle I bought the camera with]