Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300
A compact camera with a big sensor.
- Small and well built, easy to use, manual aperture and shutter control, good low-light performance
- Slow and imprecise zoom control, sometimes hard to focus, battery life is a little short, manual aperture only has three stops to select from
The DSC-W300's pictures are clear, vibrant and free of noise and distortion. It performs well in almost any situation and is well-built to handle the rigours of travel.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 is a small camera with a huge sensor. It can capture 13.6-megapixel (Mp) images, yet the camera itself is small enough to be carried in your pocket.
Its lens has a focal length of 35mm to 105mm (35mm equivalent) with an aperture of f/2.8 at its widest point, and f/5.5 at the maximum zoom point. With its 3x optical zoom, the DSC-W300 won't get you up close and personal with your subjects, so if you plan on taking detailed shots from afar you'll want a camera with a bigger zoom. The shallow zoom works in the camera's favour in terms of image quality, as images did not suffer from noticeable distortion on either the horizontal or vertical planes.
The zoom function isn't very smooth to use. You also need to be mindful of the digital zoom, which the camera will switch to seamlessly if you press the zoom button after you reach the 3x mark.
Because the camera has a 13.6Mp sensor and takes photos at a resolution of 3264x2448, there isn't too much need to zoom in on your subjects in most situations, as you can easily crop images. As long as you don't crop out a massive portion of a photo, you'll still be left an image that is suitable for a 4x6in print.
For everyday shots around the home, at parties and even at sporting events, the DSC-W300 does a great job. Its images are relatively sharp and unaffected by noise, and its colours are vibrant without being over-saturated. It's also capable of taking clear and well-lit night shots, and its built-in image stabilisation does a good job of keeping hand-held shots well defined even at shutter speeds around 1/15th of a second.
However, it does sometimes struggle to find the focus point in landscape shots, which can be hard to see on the 2.7in LCD screen (especially when it's a bright day). It focuses quickly for the most part, even in indoor situations, and its focus assistants, such as face detection and the smile shutter, are effective.
The shutter and power buttons are the only buttons on the top of the unit, while the rear has the zoom, mode and menu navigation controls. There is a manual mode, as well as auto and various scene modes to choose from. The manual mode is most useful when taking shots in a dark environment if you don't want to overdose on ISO speed. The camera did a good job of exposing photos in its auto and program modes, and we didn't really get too many over-exposed shots during our tests.
There are three metering modes you can choose from when the camera is in manual or program modes (spot, centre-weighted and entire frame), as well as different focusing modes (entire frame, centre, central point). You can even set the focus according to distance (0.5m, 1m, 3m, 7m and infinity), which can be a little hard to work with.
The camera is swift when starting up and taking photos; it doesn't take long to save photos to its Memory Stick Pro DUO and let you get on with shooting the next shot. The speed of its menu system is adequate, but the camera does take a long time to delete photos, which is perhaps understandable considering their large resolution.
Apart from taking crisp and vibrant still shots, the DSC-W300 also does a good job of capturing video. It captures it at 640x480 in fine mode, and we observed smooth frame rates, clear audio and accurate exposure when filming in stadium conditions at a sporting event. It also did well around the office and outdoors. It's great for capturing little clips for use on YouTube.
For $549, the DSC-W300 will give you clear and vibrant shots in pretty much any situation and also do a good job of capturing video. It's easy to use, and it's built to withstand the rigours of travel. It's worth considering if you're in the market for a high-resolution compact camera and don't require a big zoom lens.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Sales Operations AnalystNSW
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- FTUser Support AnalystNSW
- CCProgram CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerACT
- FTHTML DeveloperNSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTPMO CoordinatorACT
- FTTest AnalystNSW
- FTFirewall EngineerNSW
- TPData AnalystQLD
- FTAsst. Director - Claim Analysis. Work Location - CanberraACT
- FTFront-end Developer (UX/UI)NSW
- FTOracle E-Business Technical ConsultantVIC
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsSA
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- FTElectronic Payments POS Business Analyst - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCSCCM EngineerNSW
- TPSecurity Controls Specialist - ISO 27002VIC
- FTSolutions Architect (Collaboration Technology) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSecurity Support Manager - Perth BasedNSW
- CCData Warehouse SpecialistQLD
- TPReports Developer SSRS / SSISVIC
- FTSenior Software Developer (C#.Net and VB.Net)SA