Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100
- Sharp colourful pictures, Great ISO performance even a ISO 1250
- Poor burst mode, Higher than normal chromatic aberration
The DSC-W100 takes brilliant pictures and offers decent functionality. It is only really let down by a weak burst mode.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
At the upper end of Sony's new line of Cyber-shot models is the DSC-W100, an 8.1 megapixel compact model with 3x optical zoom, designed to appeal to those for whom image quality is paramount. Although rather chunky by compact standards, the DSC-W100 offers all the functionality you'd expect from a point and shoot and takes some incredible photographs to back it up.
Most 8 megapixel models have performed to a high standard in our Imatest testing, and this camera was no different. It took some of the crispest, sharpest photographs we have seen, with clean edges and incredible detail. Imatest awarded it a score of 1600 in its sharpness test, and this is definitely mirrored in the camera's photographs.
The chromatic aberration score of .140% was a little less impressive. Most cameras in this class score closer to .1% or even slightly below that, so the DSC-W100 was a little below average in this regard. It had an impact on the end results, with some noticeable blurring towards the edge of the pictures. This did detract from the wonderful sharpness of the shots to some degree, but won't really be noticeable in shots smaller than 6x8 inches.
Fortunately its colour score was more in line with the brilliant sharpness result. The DSC-W100 achieved a score of 6.61 in Imatest's colourcheck test, which is an excellent result. Anything below 10 we consider to be a good score, and only the best cameras achieve a score of 7 or less. Our shots reflected the result, with wonderful, balanced colours that showed no major signs of inaccuracy. Curiously, the colours that performed the worst in our testing were yellows and greens; shades that are normally some of the better achievers. Red also exhibited a small amount of error, but it wasn't as large.
The camera's noise performance was similarly good, scoring .48% in our Imatest test. Anything below .5% is excellent in this test, and indicates clean, speckle free shots. Our test images exhibited no signs of noise, and we were extremely happy with the DSC-W100's performance in this area. It also scaled very well, achieving a score of just 1.17% at its highest ISO, ISO 1250. Many cameras get scores closer to 2% at ISO 800, so this is a very impressive result and shows this camera performs very well in low light situations.
The DSC-W100 won't win any awards for its feature set. With burst mode, an impressive array of focus options, colour modes and ISO up to 1250, most of the basics are covered. However the lack of adjustable white balance is a notable omission and the mere five scene modes won't be enough to satisfy many users.
We also thought the burst mode was a little weak, capturing a just .8 shots per second for 8 shots. However in the rest of our speed tests this model was more than up to the task. It exhibited just .05 of a second of shutter lag, and took approximately 1.6 seconds to start up. The 1.5 second shot-to-shot time rounded out a rather impressive and speedy package. Images are stored on Sony MemoryStick Duo.
The DSC-W100 design is rather chunky and boxy, with a raised back and a patterned black motif. It felt solid and durable enough for day to day use. Importantly, all the controls are well laid out, sticking to a basic function wheel, menu button and directional pad scheme.
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