Customer Review

106 of 126 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good value for the price (cheap cheap cheap build quality), April 18, 2011
This review is from: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W570 16.1 MP Digital Still Camera with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 5x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens and 2.7-inch LCD (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Camera)
I picked up a DSC-W570 recently at "a major discount warehouse chain" (actually, Amazon is cheaper on the price, though). I paid $179.00 for the bundle.

The camera was blister packed with the camera, case, memory card, and basic accessories that included a USB cable, software, wrist strap, and battery/charger. When you look at this camera even up close, it almost appears to have a metal body, which would have been great. Unfortunately, once you unpack it, you realize it's plastic - and not just any standard grade of plastic, but EXTREMELY cheap, "toy-grade" plastic. It stands to reason that these days most of the sub-$200 cameras are going to be made of plastic, but this really did feel like a toy, even once the small battery was installed to add a little weight to it. I handed it to several coworkers who commented, "Oh, is this for children?", and were shocked when I told them it was $179.00.

That aside, with battery charged, I tested the camera out and I'll just go over a few of the very basics here. The camera is small enough to fit into a pocket, though due to the build quality I'd be tempted not to do it as it could easily break. The 5X zoom lens extends from the body quickly and does features an optical image stabilization (I.S.) system which I would rate as "so-so effective", due to the fact the lens has a maximum aperture of around 6.2/6.3 when you're fully zoomed; this means it takes in much less light when zoomed, and unless you have excellent light, the camera has to use a slower shutter speed to get the shot. Even outdoors on a sunny day but in shade, and even with I.S., the camera produced several blurry shots due to this. The LCD screen is of a lower resolution but still usable for composing shots, though it's a bit hard to see in sunlight - there is no optical viewfinder due to the small size of the camera.

One of the selling features of this camera is the "sweep panorama" mode, where you aim at a scene to the left, press the shutter, and move the camera to the right; the camera will then "stitch" several images together to make a long panoramic shot. The pano shots are lower in resolution however, and while good for using online or for very small prints, can't be enlarged well. Also, the camera does not adjust for lighting variations, so during the left-to-right "sweep", if part of your subject is in brighter light than the rest, it will most likely be completely washed out in the finished photo. The pano only works left-to-right, and you cannot use it vertically (up and down) for that type of pano, as the camera will give you an error message. You can make adjustments in the menu system to things like image size (in megapixels), exposure compensation, focusing, and even spot metering, but other more basic things are not available such as image quality (normal/fine/super fine) found on almost all other camera models. The 720p video feature actually takes halfway decent video indoors in well lit areas, but outdoors in bright sun, colors appear washed out/faded, and the level of detail is fairly blurry (though you can use the zoom during movie recording). Battery life was average, as it's a tiny battery, so you'll need a spare for all day shooting. Overall image quality was "so so", and the 16 megapixel size of the pics mean next to nothing really on this size of camera as it's a very tiny chip inside that does the capture. When viewed close, the images typically have more of a watercolorish look to them, and if you crank up the iso (light sensitivity) past the lowest numbers, this effect gets much worse, very quickly.

Honestly, if this camera were in the $99-$109 range, I would complain much less about it's shortcomings, and especially the incredibly cheesy build quality. But with retail prices in the $149-$179 range for this unit, I'd say there are better offerings for that price from Canon, Olympus, or even Casio in terms of build quality. Fuji has a very similar model to this Sony that sells retail for around $119.00. I'm not a photography newbie, and I know what you should reasonably expect from a camera compared to it's price point - and this model is just far too "cheap" in quality to warrant spending the money for it unless there's a significant price drop.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2011 10:06:15 AM PDT
M. Lunn says:
The reason it's $179, is it's a Sony. If it were a Polaroid or a Casio, it would be $119.
Anything with the Sony name has a huge markup price. Look at their TV's, or computers. They have at least a 50% markup. They usually put out a quality product, but every once in awhile they put out a dud.

Posted on May 27, 2011 10:44:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2012 8:29:20 PM PDT
I strongly disagree with the comments about build quality. Mine is exactly as expected for the price. Indeed, it far exceeded my expectations. I dropped it from a height of more than 3 feet to a concrete floor. The door did pop open and the card popped out, but the camera was undamaged and continues to function perfectly two years later.

Posted on Dec 26, 2011 7:15:54 PM PST
Leogirl says:
I was about to get this camera, but decided to go with a more trusted name in digital cameras: Canon. I thought that cameras put out by Sony wouldn't be as good as a Canon or Nikon because Sony is not a dedicated camera company. They have TV's, speakers, and MP3 players in addition to digital cameras, so their focus isn't entirely on making a high quality camera. I am very happy with my Canon, and I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a good compact digital.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2011 2:57:41 PM PST
Canon a more trusted name? Not. BTW, they make a lot more than just cameras, including copy machines and printers, so they are not a "dedicated camera company" either. I am very satisfied with my Sony DSC-W570, including it's ability to seamlessly take a 360-degree panorama with no intervention from me, something comparable Canons cannot do.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2011 9:53:21 PM PST
G. Dimalanta says:
Why wouldn't Canon be a trusted name in camera's? They're first product was a camera in the 1930's. Sony's first product was a radio in the 1950's. Sure Canon makes other products besides cameras, but cameras have always been part of their main focus.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 10:09:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2011 10:10:44 PM PST
I'm not saying they're not trusted. I'm saying that I see no reason for them to be more trusted than Sony. When they started is not always an indicator of trustworthiness. There are many newer companies that make better products than older companies in their field. Nor is being a "dedicated camera company" a guarantee of quality products. I've been very satisfied with the Sony digital cameras I've owned over the years. Canons are fine too. For me the key determinant here is that the Sony has a feature that I really want that the Canon does not have. Case closed for me. Others will use different criteria.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 7:29:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2012 7:33:41 AM PST
webeditor says:
I had a bunch of Amex points to spent so I needed a nice compact camera. This first place I looked was Amazon for the reviews and the first review I checked out was the lowest; this one. My camera just arrived and all I gotta say is that this reviewer is WAY off base! I purchased the black version and yes, there are a few plastic parts, but for the most part it's aluminum and stainless steel. The battery door is plastic, but it's reinforced with a stainless steel support and being a Sony, it's extremely well engineered. Just about the entire back is display and it does not look cheap at all. So, structurally I give it a 9 or 10 points. The small size is exactly what I was looking for, it's even smaller than my cell phone, but takes great 16Mpx photos.
Other than the structure, the camera has some amazing feature that blow away my older Canon cameras. For the price point, I doubt you'll find a better camera. I ordered it regardless of the reviewer because I trust the quality of a Sony, and I'm once again not disappointed. .

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 8:07:57 AM PST
I can only say that since I wrote the review, I found out a friend of mine bought two of these cameras for her daughters - they are twins (both turning 22), and she bought each of them this same model at the same time for their birthday. She bought them she said around the early part of June. By late August, one of them stopped working altogether (would not power on) and by the other stopped working she said around Thanksgiving (the lens assembly gave out and would not retract when powered off). So while you're certainly free to disagree with my assessment of the cheap build quality of this camera, at least one person I knew had two bad experiences with it. I wish you the best of luck however, with the longevity of yours.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2012 7:56:29 PM PDT
Spikeydave says:
The sony has a Carol Zeiss lense which is great the Cannons at the same price do not compare to it. Trust me Sony bough out Minolta and I have a Sony dslr which is awesome. G.E makes Aircraft engines and light bulbs and Nuclear reactors but I'm guessing they have different engineers working on each project and I think Sony does the same thing. I do have a few gripes with the camera but it takes great pics. I also have a 4.5 megapixle camera by sony with a zeiss lense and have made about 400$ off pics I shot with it. It's the shooter as much as the camera.

Posted on Oct 4, 2012 11:58:25 AM PDT
R. Bigelow says:
I'm sorry to say but i don't agree with some if not all of your review on this item, I bought a high-end kodak cam great picture quality but it drained the hell out of the battery! so then I bought this one, yes it's plastic but that does NOT matter, it's whats inside that matters. someone said because its a sony is why it's so much, not the case, Sony just makes good photo/video of anything! for just a point and shoot cam this by far the best, i had barrowed a few of my friends cam nikon, samsung, kodak and not to brage but mine was the best, and with adobe light room, you will have pro quality work, said by a pro!
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