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on 31 August 2008
I bought the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 to compliment the big Sony Alpha A700 DSLR I also own. The A700 is a fantastic camera, but just too big and awkward in some situations. What I didn't want to lose though was too much of the quality of the DSLR. As a pocket-able alternative the DSC-W300 does not disappoint, it's small, robust, and produces brilliant pictures. Most people picking up this camera will probably go straight into the easy modes, but dig deeper and there's a whole host of interesting options. For me the top functions were absolutely brilliant low-light non-flash modes (better than the A700!) and that when changing shooting modes if reflects the colour balance on the LCD viewfinder (which you can turn of and use a physical viewfinder if preferred or you want to extend battery life).
I've seen criticism of the camera's 3x optical zoom; this is only an issue when using the camera at it's full 13.6 mega-pixel range. Drop the resolution and the magnification (albeit via digital means not optical) increases correspondingly.
Short-comings: My only niggles concern the camera's movie modes. Firstly the maximum resolution is just 640x480, although the frame rate is good. Secondly you need to pick your zoom level before you start shooting, as once you've started you cant change it.
Overall an amazing bit of kit, capable of producing some amazing photographs.
44 comments98 of 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 September 2008
I must start by saying that this camera (DSC-W300) is the first digital camera I have purchased. I have some experience with 35mm SLRs, but I wanted a versatile piece of kit that would enable me to upload pictures to the internet, print directly from the camera, and add images to my PlayStation 3 console.

The first thing I should note, and as indicated by the above comments, is that I think compact cameras are fundamentally utility devices. There are many people on the internet who criticise this model's unsuitability for longer-distance and wide-angle photography, and the lack of many video modes. On the first point, I would say this: compact cameras are designed for high quality close-up images (family and friends groups, primarily) and are not designed for vary-focal images (e.g., someone standing 300 yards in front of Mount Fuji and expecting both to be in focus perfectly). On the second point: movie modes on a still camera are a lovely bonus for a camera but are an add-on that should not be counted towards any final evaluation of the product. Sorry to sound snotty, but those are the basics.

So, does the W300 add up for the basics? Clearly, the Carl Zeiss lens is going to deliver on the bread and butter family snaps that is always going to be the brief for compacts. The 13.9 megapixel rating is useful, although the 8MP setting offers fantastic quality images that can be converted to 16:9 1080p for viewing on televisions. It is true that the .9 of a MP seems to have been lost in the implementation of actually taking photos, as the highest setting is the flat 13MP!

There are the usual ISO presets, automatic and night settings, as well as smile detection technology. Again, the brief of a compact camera has been observed well by Sony, weighing easy-of-use against range of use. This is again apparent in the neat Movie Mode: the 640 "fine" and "standard" image settings are perfectly acceptable for on-the-fly movies showing the drunken antics and practical jokes that are the stock-in-trade of the light-hearted situations that the W300 predominantly deals with. The MPEG-1 video format is also compatible with Windows Media Player and the PS3, among others.
The software that comes with the W300 enables the user to add their photos to a calendar on their PC, and even add location details for each picture via internet maps. The standard easy-to-use image manipulation features are there, again underlining the pick-up-and-play nature of compacts. Videos can be converted to WMV, too.

On the downside, the zoom is only x3, meaning for the occasions when it is needed it is not as versatile as, say, some of the Panasonic models. Secondly, the battery life is not quite what I expected (quoted in the manual at 150 minutes -with LCD panel switched on- for taking pictures alone), and the charge time for a full battery is a whopping 330 minutes. These are the only significant drawbacks to the camera that I have found thus far.

Build quality is excellent, as expected from a Japanese-made product. The LCD screen is more durable than I had expected, and its 2.7" size is more than large enough for viewing back and editing any images.

My first impressions of this product are very positive. As a compact camera the DSC-W300 is a very capable camera, with many of the intelligent design features expected from Sony. However, for those wanting a decent amount of zoom or other quasi-SLR features, it may be best to go for another model, or just take the plunge and go for an SLR instead.
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on 26 December 2008
This is a great camera - bought it for my mum for Christmas - (a bit jealous that it has a better megapixel quality than my camera)- but i didn't buy a memory stick for it as with my Sony Digital Camera a little 256mb memory stick came with it so i expected a little one with this one.
No such luck. So make sure you buy one to go with it - but don't buy one from the third party sellers online here (only buy from Amazon)as the third party ones sell fake memory sticks - i found out the hard way when i went to buy a bigger memory stick for my camera.
So to round up - Camera fantastic but unfortunately it didn't come with a memory stick. You can also find a Camera holdall online here i highly recommend it - it was so good (for my camera) i bought another one as another Christmas present to go with the Camera.
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on 5 October 2008
This is a great compact camera. It just sits on your palm snugly. The camera looks and feels solid but not too heavy in the pocket. It is also fast and responsive when taking pictures. The quality of the picture is beyond expectation from a point and shoot compact. If you are the regular SLR user but get fed up with the bulky camera then this compact camera would be the great alternative. The viewing LCD is big without the touch screen which is great as the touch screen would eventually get 'tired' and unresponsive with use anyway.
All the ISO associated noise etc are all common problems with any compacts anyway but in day to day 5x7 prints and web use, it gives really great pictures.
There is even a histogram too!
After using it a for a while, my wife loves it so much. She wants to add that it sits in the handbag really well without taking too much space among her other things (goodness knows what else she put in her handbags). The slideshow which can be shown on TV is pretty impressive.
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on 13 July 2008
Wow, this thing is just so far head of everything else. It's a gorgeous bit of kit , & not too slim , like some of the compacts, but it is still small. The Titanium coating on the stainless steel body is gorgeous & makes it tougher & more scratch resistant.The menu system is a dream plus very easy to use. Having just upgraded from a "Big"Fuji 6800 that I bought in 2000, this seems tiny & hi-tech. Other than all the mega pixels , the main draw point for me was the inclusion of an optical view-finder which can extend your shot capacity per battery charge by having the screen off. The Fuji had one , but it is almost impossible to find a compact with one these days. I hate composing your shot on the screen, I must be old fashioned I guess, but I love having the big screen to browse through the menu, & what an array of options.Black & white was a new one to me but one I hope to use a lot , as I like to draw, & to draw in pencil from a B & W subject matter is far easier to transpose to the correct shades. Smile recognition is a sticky one though & I have a feeling this may not work all the time, but then again who knows ? Overall ? WOW ! Brilliant. Top Dog.
1010 comments150 of 159 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 May 2009
The Sony DSC-W300 takes full HD ( 1080 ) photographs which look great on the tv but, you will need to buy yourself a special HD lead which is designed for the camera as you only get the normal standard lead with camera. This is a 13.6 megapixel digitial camera which takes very clear detailed photos and is great if you want to print off some large photographs, because they look just as good no matter what size you want them printed. The Sony camera is very fast at taking photographs which is ideal if you need take photographs of young children and wildlife or anything that moves fast. In fact when I was on holiday there was a man who tipped water down a volcanic vent and steam shot up with a bang about 2secs. later. The steam coming out the volcanic vent did'nt last very long and I was able to take some great photos of it happening. If you like or need to trim your photographs it is dead easy to do on this camera. Another thing that I like about this Sony camera which surprised me a little and that is how good it is at filming things with pretty impressive results. Two things that you will need to buy for this camera are a case and at least a 4G memory card which will hold around 900 photographs. Anyway this is a wonderful camera which I'm sure anyone would be just as pleased as me with for the money.
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I absolutely love this product!
The 13.6 mgpxl, the titanium coating, for that extra safety, in case it falls out of your hands, and the various features you get from this camera!

The picture quality is remarkable, and truly recommend this for anyone, even those whoa re into photography, as it allows you to change many aspects of your picture. Also the multi focus helps when taking pictures of many items.

I do suggest getting a memory stick with it: 4Gb Memory Stick Pro Duo Mark 2 or the one i have: Sony 4GB Pro Duo Memory Stick
As they allow you to take over 750 pictures, and 3hrs-4hrs+ of video, if your battery will survive it!

Sony have always been known fro their weak batteries, so there is no surprise there, overall i think its a fantastic product, and i hope it will last me many years!

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on 9 March 2009
Have owned two previous digital cameras, a Canon Ixus and a Casio Exilim. Both excellent in their own way but the Sony Cyber-Shot has exceeded my expectations. With its good looks, pin-sharp pictures, minimal shutter delay and the facility of a viewfinder which really helps in bright sunlight, this is a really good all-rounder. An excellent purchase.
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...That'll be me then!

The finish on this camera is superb and the feel of it brings me pleasure every time I use it. The 'titanium' coating looks pretty tough and will take a few knocks. A good compact camera is an ideal addition to your collection. So much more convenient than carrying around a big bag full of lenses everywhere. The quality does suffer very slightly, but not so most people would notice. I haven't used all the features and settings yet and the only criticism I have is that the menus aren't as intuitive as an old canon compact I had (since died). Nice gadget.
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on 21 February 2009
Macro mode is awesome but distance shooting is a pain and can often be blurred. Bought a W170 for the misses as well as this. Not much diff tbh and you get better zoom with that at a cheaper price. You don't need more than 10mp me thinks but I'm not dissapointed and when I showed the boys, they got excited at the fact that it was 13.6mp.

I'm happy overall
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