Sony DSC-S750 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750

Steve's Conclusion

The ultra-slim Sony Cyber-shot S750 is an entry-level, ultra compact digicam. Featuring a 7-megapixel imaging sensor, 2.5" LCD screen, Face Detection software (up to 3 faces at once) and several pre-set (Scene) shooting modes, this camera can easily be operated by anyone in the family. All of this is housed in a small and stylish brushed metal body that gives a comfortable and sturdy feel.

The camera itself is very well put together. It is easily held and operated by either the right hand or both hands, using the "pinch" technique. The controls on the back have been laid out well, but they are small and can be difficult to operate for people with large fingers. The zoom and mode dial are very easy to operate and well labeled as is the 4-way controller. The menu, play and delete buttons are the one's that are hard to use since they are very small. The 2.5" LCD screen is bright enough to be seen in bright sunlight and gains up in low lighting conditions, making it much easier to frame your shots.

Performance from the S750 was average for this level of a consumer camera. Power up to first image captured measured about 2.7 seconds. The shutter delay (time from pressing the shutter release button until the image is taken) is just 1/10 of a second when the camera is pre-focused and 8/10 of a second including autofocus. When you are shooting in single shot mode, you will be able to capture an image once every 1.5 seconds or one every 3.2 seconds with the flash. The camera also features a burst mode that allows you to capture 3 full size (7-megapixel) images in just 2.1 seconds. After that the camera will take a few seconds to save before you can shoot again. All of our tests were done using a 1GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo memory card, program mode, ISO 100, 7M mode, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless otherwise noted. Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.

Outdoor image quality was good, but not great. The camera had a little trouble adjusting for the brightness of the snow and there are some areas in the sample photos that were blown out. Other than those areas, the exposures were good and the colors were vivid. There was some edge softness and chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) in areas of high contrast and an average amount of barrel distortion for an entry-level camera. The 3x optical zoom (35-105mm, 35mm equivalent) offers typical coverage for a compact camera. The 35mm wide angle end is good for shooting landscapes and group portraits, and the zoom is useful for assisting in framing your group or scenic shots, while the 105mm telephoto end will help you bring subjects closer and aids in framing close-up macro and portrait photos. As with all 3x zooms, it lacks the power to bring distant objects up close.

Our indoor shooting results were also good for such a compact model. We were a bit surprised that the face detection feature on this camera only works when shooting in AUTO or Portrait shooting modes, it is not available in Program or any of the other scene modes. The flash offers an average range of 11.5 feet at the wide angle, which means you will not be able to light a large room, but you should have enough power to illuminate subjects in small to mid sized rooms. I found it did an excellent job of adjusting for the subject. Our indoor shots showed good flash exposure with accurate skin tones. I was very pleased with the coverage when shooting at mid-telephoto from 6 to 7 feet away. The red-eye reduction feature also did a very nice job, eliminating all red from the eyes in my portraits. The flash also did an excellent job adjusting when shooting in macro mode, as you can see from our candy dish shot on the samples page.

Movie mode on the S750 is very simple, there are not a whole lot of options for you to choose from. The camera will only record video at 30 fps with a resolution of 320x240. This is much smaller than most other cameras on the market, and needs to be thought about if you plan on using your camera for shooting home movies. While a bit small, the color and quality of the video is very good. They also run smoothly thanks to the higher frame rate, and the sound is clear. The only other issue was our movies did get a little grainy when shooting in marginal lighting.

Powering the S750 is a 3.6V 980mAh Lithium-Ion battery pack. Sony claims that this battery has enough juice for up to 280 shots; plenty of power for a long weekend getaway. We still recommend have a spare battery for backup. I did not have any trouble completing all of our tests on a single charge without even thinking of recharging the battery. This includes around 100 photos, several videos and plenty of viewing time on the LCD screen.

Bottom Line - The Sony Cyber-shot S750 is a very nice camera for someone looking for something very compact, easy to use and full of features. With feature like 7-megapixels, face detection and several fully automatic shooting modes, this camera should more than be able to accommodate the needs of a beginner to novice user. Image quality and shooting performance are good for this level of camera, and with a MSRP of US$150, the S750 offers a nice price for an entry-level, ultra-compact digicam.

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