Most helpful critical review
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Okay camera on the whole, good for the price.
on August 11, 2013
Let me just first say: to any people considering purchasing this camera, please read several reviews first! You may find it better to save your money and get a better quality camera. If you're looking for a camera with nice macro and focus, this isn't the camera for you. After taking up photography lessons professionally for a year while I was in high school, I asked my teacher what he recommended. He swears by Sony, and I learned on an older model (the Sony DSC-HX1) of the same style camera. At a first glance, this camera really seems pretty good for the price, which I will admit it is, but don't expect it to be amazing. I bought it in late May as a graduation present for myself, and i've used it almost daily since then, so I've tested almost all the features of the camera. There are quite a few cons, but if you can get over them and see the value and potential in the camera itself, it's quite a bargain.
-20.1 megapixels. Can't beat the megapixels for the price, but they're wasted on such a small image sensor. (Please remember that MP ≠ quality! I learned this the hard way.)
-Takes very nice outdoor pictures, provided there's adequate sunlight. Anything else, you'd better start hoping the camera works with you!
-26x zoom. Haven't really had the chance to utilize it, but it's nice to have!
-Panorama. It's pretty nice, haven't used it a whole bunch, but it's nice. I believe it is up to 360 degrees.
-Modes. It has quite a few modes, I like to use the Program Auto Mode or the Intelligent Auto mode for quick shots, such as when I'm at a family gathering, with friends, or at a car show. Also includes a Scenery Mode, with multiple templates to choose from, such as Night Scene, Food, Portrait, etc. Haven't tried all of them, but I was somewhat impressed with the results of the ones that I did.
-Optical SteadyShot (when it decides to work)
-Comes with strap and lens cover. I've owned cameras in the past that haven't, it's just a small thing that matters to me I guess.
-HD video. Although it's only 720p, it's still better than nothing, especially at the price.
-Monopod/Bipod/Tripod thread mount on the bottom of the camera.
-AA battery usage. Plenty of battery time on regular AA store-bought batteries which rocks. I use rechargable ones, however. They work just fine. Just make sure your battery type is supported!
-Multishot function. Supports continuous shooting of up to 100 pictures simultaneously. Haven't figured out long exposure fully yet on the camera, though.
-Display. Very nice, crystal clear display. Kind of big compared to my previous camera.
-Self-timer. Comes in handy with friends and family around.
-Manual exposure and aperture adjustments.
-Very poor image quality most of the time, which is disappointing. Most common when indoors or with inadequate lighting (such as dusk, late afternoon, dawn, etc.) This is a result of a very small image sensor. If you're picky with your pictures, like me, I really wouldn't recommend this. Sometimes i'll have to take ten of the same shot before it comes out the way I want. Next time i'm going to get a DSLR.
-Macro function is kind of a joke unless you have super-steady hands to keep the camera from shaking. (Which I don't. I'm sure this isn't just a user error though, as others have reported the same thing.)
-SteadyShot feature only marginally works. It's definitely temperamental, which you don't really want from a camera.
-Focus is hit or miss. Even in broad daylight, or sunlight, the focus kind of does its own thing (which ties in to what I said about the SteadyShot feature.) It has three ways of focusing and each of them only just barely works. I've had more luck out of autofocus, than I did with the focus modes. It just takes a few seconds, which can be annoying if you're in a hurry to take pictures. Also, holding the button down halfway is "supposed" to focus the camera to your mode specifications, however, it's basically a joke. Holding the button halfway activates the pilot light, and shows the shot in focus for about a second before fading away to what it was before. Come on, Sony!
-Battery box. Holy crap let me express how annoying this bugger can be! I have a pack of four rechargable 1800 mAH Duracell AA batteries from years ago that still work just fine. But installing them in the battery box the first time you use the camera can be a pain! Until you figure out which way the batteries are supposed to go it can go from confusion to panic (yes, panic. I was worried I got a defective camera.) Then you have to press down super hard on the tab until it closes securely. It's super annoying at first (well, all the time really) but you get used to it.
-No manual focus. This was one of my favorite features of my previous learner's camera. I could dial in the focus of exactly what I wanted to see, and it'd work. This one has a barely-working focus.
-HD video quality. Although the camera technically shoots in 720p "HD" i'd expect more from a 20 megapixel camera, my previous one was 9 megapixels and shot in full 1080p.
-Flash. Though the flash works fine, it was confusing to find at first, as there's a button that releases the flash tab open from the camera's housing. Also, sometimes the flash negates the current focus locked in on the camera.
-Shutter speed. Sometimes it takes a long while for the camera to actually take a picture, this gets annoying.
Final verdict: Excellent point and shoot camera for the beginner, or a master of the craft looking for a fun camera to play around with.
Who i'd recommend this camera to: Beginner photographer, somebody who's not a photographer, somebody who isn't picky with image quality. A person looking for a point-and-shoot.
Who I wouldn't recommend this camera to: Any sort of professional photographer, somebody who is looking for DSLR quality in a bridge-style camera. Perfectionists.