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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W570 Review
The above entry-level compact camera segment is by far one of the most populated segments, as far as cameras in general are concerned. Brands cater to this audience by offering relatively affordable cameras that boast of neat features, such as high megapixel sensor, HD video recording, etc, all in a stylish design. Earlier this year, Sony launched a range of cameras from their W series. One of the cameras launched was the Cyber-shot DSC-W570, which features 720p video recording, 16 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom and various other features. Here is a closer look at this compact camera.
Looks that can compliment both genders
Design and Build Quality
The size of the W570 is the feature, which appealed to us the most. It is merely the length of a business card and can fit easily in any pocket or purse. The depth of the camera measures at 19.1mm making it really thin as well. Apart from its compact form factor, it is extremely stylish, too. The lens located at the front flushes against the body ensuring that it retains its slim profile. Besides the lens, the front of the camera features an LED flash and an AF assist.
The 2.7-inch screen is located at the back of the camera and besides it are the camera’s controls. The controls at the back comprise of a circular 4-way navigational pad, playback button, an option for the camera's menu, erase button and buttons for wide angle and telephoto. Sony has added a slider button at the back, which allows one to navigate between camera options such as photo, panorama and video recording. Besides the slider, all keys found on the camera have a silver finish. This adds to the stylishness of the camera.
2.7-inch screen at the back
The shutter release button along with the power button is located at the top of the camera. Connectivity options comprise of a single proprietary USB port, which is located at the bottom of the camera. The bay for the battery and memory card are located at the bottom and the flap for it feels sturdy. The flap features a locking mechanism ensuring that the battery does not slide out accidentally. One can easily capture images with the right hand and this is all due to its small form factor and weight, which at 116g counts as lightweight. Summing up the design and build quality, the DSC-W570 is a stylish looking camera that can appeal to both genders and it is pretty sturdy as well. A few accidental drops should not have a huge impact on this camera.
For a camera priced at this amount, it has quite a decent list of features. The camera features a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor with Sony’s BIONZ processor. By featuring this processor, Sony claims that during image capture there will result in less image noise. This is a good feature and would be extremely useful during indoor photography. Sony has fitted a 5x optical zoom on this camera and one can shoot images well from a relatively far distance with reduced amount of blur because of Sony’s Optical SteadyShot feature.
The interface of the camera is pretty simple and there is no dedicated screen displaying the option. Instead, there is a bar that lines up the side of the screen, which overlays the scene. There is a dedicated screen, though for the help section, which displays an onscreen guide. The W570 can record videos in 720p allowing one to capture videos in high definition. The ability to capture videos at this resolution is pretty good for a camera that sells at this price. One can also shoot in a panorama mode on this camera by merely moving the slider to this mode, clicking the shutter release button and panning the camera to the direction of the arrow onscreen.
Really slim profile
The camera has various preset scenes allowing one to capture images in scenes, such as high sensitivity, gourmet, pet, soft skin, underwater, beach, etc. Images are captured in the JPEG format, while videos are recorded in MP4. Photos can be stored on the bundled-up 4GB SD card that came along with this camera and this is a fairly sufficient amount of storage. Overall, the features of this camera are good. Let’s move on to the performance to gauge how well it fared in different environments.
Handling this point and shoot camera is a breeze as it is extremely lightweight and the buttons are well spaced. Shooting with the right hand is possible and this helps in clicking images quickly. The images captured appear vibrant onscreen, and on the PC colours rendered accurately. What we didn’t like about it was the image processing time. It takes close to two seconds to save an image and we found it restricting our ability to capture images quickly. The camera was tested by running an ISO sensitivity test, outdoors as well as indoors.
ISO Sensitivity Test
ISO Sensitivity Test
The ISO at its slowest is ISO 80, while its fastest is ISO 3200. When capturing images at its slowest setting, the images appeared really crisp and there is no sensor noise, whatsoever. At ISO 100, there is a slight amount of colour desaturation, but this is extremely minimal. At ISO 800, noise is noticeable, but images are still usable. At the fast ISO setting of ISO 1600 the sensor noise is visible and it is not advisable to use in a well lit environment.
The Optical SteadyShot feature of the camera comes into play while capturing images when the zoom is set to maximum. This feature reduces the blur significantly and we were quite pleased with the results.
While clicking outdoor images, we noticed that there was some focusing issues when pointing the camera at bright surfaces. However, once in focus, the scene captured well. There is a slight amount of colour fringing noticed, too. But this is extremely minimal. Grain was noticed, while capturing indoor pictures, but overall images are usable. Macro images shot really well and there was a lot of depth of field noticed. We really liked this feature of the camera. The flash of this camera is really good and can easily light up an area of 12 feet.
Depth of field noticed in macro shots
Videos shot in 720p recorded well and there was no transition issues noticed while moving from a dark area to a bright one. For a 35 second video, it took up about 42 MB of storage. This is average while recording an HD video. Sony bundles a 630mAh battery along with the camera and the company rates it at 220 shots. Rounding up the performance bit, the camera fares decently with it excelling in macro shots and HD video recording. Though it did well in these two areas, it did not have bad performances in outdoor and indoor images.
5x optical zoom fitted in a compact body
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W570 is available in India at a maximum retail price of Rs.9,990. One may be able to get it for a little lesser as well in the market. This camera is an above entry-level camera and it is designed keeping both genders in mind. It is a great camera, while going out partying or any get together. The fact that it is quite small and can be carried around easily is a major plus point of this camera. If someone is looking out for a camera wherein, they can tweak the setting a lot, then this camera may not be the ideal choice. However, if one is looking to buy a compact camera that they can tote around with them everywhere as opposed to the camera on their mobile phone, this will be an option to consider.