106 of 126 people found the following review helpful
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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