I had been needing to replace my old Sony camera for around 6 months now and had been looking at various cameras from various manufacturers trying to find the right camera to meet our needs. It needed to be light and compact, take good pictures and be fun to use. This camera fits all of those needs very well. This isn't our only camera, as I have a Canon DSLR for more demanding use. This camera is one we can take out without worrying too much about it, and one that will be there when we want to take pictures, and not on the mobile phone.
There were other cameras (at a similar price point) that out-performed this Sony in different areas, some had better zoom ranges, and some had superior video or poor light handling. Of these alternatives, some were too big, some were too heavy, some fell short in features, and some had clunky menus. This camera seemed to perform very well in most areas and has no real shortcoming that I have found yet. It fits easily in the smallest of pockets, and is very, very light. The face detection and smile shutter features work extremely well and are really fun to use. In Smile Shutter mode, when the camera detects a smile on a target face, it immediately takes a picture. No input needed, so works really well taking self portraits. The camera's Intelligent Auto mode works very well, so it needs little adjustment of settings to get the picture needed. On the rare occasions the wrong mode is selected by the camera, it is easy to change settings as required.
The panorama mode works very well, too, and works in all four directions which I was unaware of before purchase. The resulting image is only as 'wide' or 'high' as a normal 14mp picture, with black bars completing the full frame of the image. Still, the results are very pleasing and offer great creative possibilities. Videos are clear and colours are good, but if you zoom in or out (which is quite unusual to be able to do), the servos in the lenses can be heard in the recording. In a busy or noisy scene this wont be any issue, but will be noticeable in quieter scenes. I am very pleased with this purchase, and am looking forward to using it at a family reunion in a couple of weeks time.
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