After the HP DV6426, the Slim n’ Sexy Sony Cyber-shot DSC W80 is moi latesht prized possession. Bought on the occasion of Diwali, it has fulfilled my long-drawn and till-now-uncherished dream (I seem to have lot many of those!). Even though I was thinking of buying a digicam as early as 2006, for some mundane reason or the other it was getting relegated to the backburner! Not any more! After some in-depth research and hours of pondering, I had shortlisted three models – the Casio Exilim EZ-Z8; the Canon PowerShot A630 & the Sony Cyber-shot W80. Out of the three, the Canon was the bulkiest (owing to its pencil batteries usage) and hence got rejected. The Exilim had a good bundle at a decent price but in the end the brand name & easy accessibility plus some bundled accessories tipped the scales in Sony’s favor.
The W80 has a 7.2 Megapixels resolution with 3X optical and 6X digital zoom. It sports a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens & has in-built image stabilizer with double-anti-blur technology. BIONZ Image processor, HD TV output, MPEG Movie recording, Face detection and High ISO3200 sensitivity are some of its more useful features.
The camera has a 2.5″ LCD at the back and also has an optical view-finder. It runs off a 3.6V Lithium-Ion battery and supports both Memory Stick Duo and Pro Duo cards. It comes in with a built-in memory of 31 MB and a free add-on 1GB Memory Card. The pack also contains bundled battery charger, two-in-one USB and A/V connector cable, wrist strap, plastic carrying case, Software CD and Instruction Manual.
I won’t go into its in-depth performance review and image-taking abilities. A few well-written reviews are available here and here. A specs page is available here whilst the official homepage is here. From my own handling of the camera for a little over two days, I found it extremely handy and easy to point-and-shoot. Initially it doesn’t feel snug in the hand and one keeps holding onto the wrist-strap just to ensure that it doesn’t slip through but over time it becomes comfy enough for one-handed operation. The controls are neatly placed on the side of the LCD and the shooting mode-selector is a dial – which is far better than a click-button. The description of each mode flashes on the LCD so even newbies will find it easy. The Zoom control button is atop the mode-wheel and that too is easily operable. A four-way controller-plus-Enter button nestles below the mode dial and allows for easy navigation and shortcuts to the macros and flash. The Play, Menu and Home buttons are placed between this dial and the LCD and are a bit too small for comfort. The photo-shoot button and power button are housed at the top which also has an LED power indicator and the microphone. The flash works pretty ok for distances upto ~10 feet but anything farther is probably too far. The ISO mode i handy for long-haul shots and I found the anti-blur feature pretty useful when capturing snaps off a moving vehicle. I’ve put in a few snaps at the end to show its nifty-ness. Till now it seems perfect to me but maybe as I get to snap more and more pics with it, maybe some negative aspects will come to light. Till then, its as good as perfect.
Close up shot of Flowers in natural lighting
Full-darkness shot with flash
Long-distance shot in ISO Mode