Sony DSC-W170 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170


Review posted 5/15/2008


Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Sony CyberShot DSC-W170
Click on the W170 for a 360° QTVR tour


Sony's new 10.1-megapixel DSC-W170 and 8.1-megapixel DSC-W150 models feature Carl Zeiss® 5x optical zoom lenses with wide angles of view, 28 mm - 140 mm and 30 mm - 150 mm, respectively, and 2.7-inch LCD screens along with eye-level viewfinders. Other feathers include Face Detection AF technology, Sony's Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization, D-Range Optimizer, "Smile Shutter", etc.

Newly-available on the W-series cameras is Sony's "smile shutter" mode, which automatically captures an image when your subject smiles - without having to press the shutter. This function even lets you prioritize adult or child faces to capture photos only when the intended subjects smile.

Each of the new W series models includes Sony's improved face detection technology, which, like the smile shutter technology, can now distinguish between the faces of children and adults. You can select "child priority" or "adult priority" and the camera will detect up to eight faces in the camera frame and optimize focus, exposure, white balance, and flash control.

The W170 and W150 cameras feature new intelligent scene recognition (iSCN) technology, which allows the camera to automatically select the optimal scene mode for a variety shooting situations. In advanced iSCN mode, the camera will take a photo based on the user's settings. If the camera determines that another setting would yield better exposure, it will automatically take a second photo with that setting. The user ultimately has two images to choose from.

The "W" series models offer a number of powerful features, including: Sony's D-Range Optimizer to retrieve picture detail in photos with harsh highlights or dark shadows; semi-manual focus that allows you to select the focusing distance based on your subject's location; an improved auto focus system that includes macro ranges; Super SteadyShot image stabilization; high sensitivity settings up to ISO 3200; and in-camera editing functions such as "unsharp mask" to sharpen images.

The W170 is equipped with advanced image management functionality. Filtering options allow you to search for photos by date and smile. Images can be viewed by date or in a helpful calendar view, and organized in the cameras' "favorites" folder for quick retrieval of beloved images.

The slideshow function has also been upgraded. Photos can be selected using the same advanced filtering options available in playback mode and transitions have been improved through the application of face detection technology. Now your subjects can take center stage as the slideshow moves through sophisticated pans, fades and wipes. Improvements to the background music function include a choice of more tracks, longer tracks, and multiple tracks for longer slideshows.

To view your images in 1080 high-definition resolution, you can connect each of the cameras to a compatible HDTV sets via HD component cable or Sony's HD Cyber-shot Station® cradle (both sold separately).



Cyber-shot W170 Major Features:

  • Sony 10.1 Megapixel effective Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 5x Zoom (28-140mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
  • Zoom-coupled optical viewfinder
  • Sony BIONZ high-speed image processing engine
  • MPEG Movie: 640x480 VX Fine w/audio at 30fps (Memory Stick Duo Pro required)
  • Auto, Program AE, plus 11 Scene modes
  • Burst at 1.6fps (up to a max of 100 frames)
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 9 Area Multi-point AF system with 3.9 in. minimum focus distance
  • Face Detection and Intelligent Scene (iSCN) technology
  • "Smile Shutter" mode
  • 2.7" Clear Photo (230,000 pixels) LCD Screen with Auto Brightness
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
  • Noise Reduction: Automatically cleans up long exposure images
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Fill, Red Eye Reduction and Slow Synch
  • USB 2.0 Auto-Connect to host computer
  • Powered by Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • 15MB internal memory plus Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro compatible (up to 16GB)
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible



The DSC-W170 model is available in four color schemes (sophisticated champagne, red, black and silver) with a MSRP of US$299, and ships with NP-BG1 Lithium-ion battery, BC-CSG charger, A/V and USB multi-connector cables, wrist strap, and software CD-ROM. See our Buy Box below for current pricing at various online vendors.


Physical Views



Sony DSC-W170

Sony DSC-W170

Sony DSC-W170 Sony DSC-W170

Sony DSC-W170

Sony DSC-W170



Sony DSC-W170

The Cyber-shot DSC-W170 and a CD for size comparison.




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Sony DSC-W170 Specifications

Image Device: 1/2.5" 10.1 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Recording Media: 15MB of internal memory
Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media (up to 16GB)
Zoom: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 5X Optical, 5 - 25mm (28-140mm equivalent in 35mm)
6 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspheric elements
Digital Zoom™ Feature: o - 2.0x (Precision)
Filter Diameter:N/A
Auto Focus:9-Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, Spot AF, Semi Manual Focus (0.5m / 1.0m / 3.0m / 7.0m / Unlimited distance)
Minimum Focus Distance: 3.9 in. (10cm) - Infinity (wide); 19.7 in (50cm) - infinity (telephoto)
Shutter Speed: Auto (1/4-1/6000 sec.), Program Auto (1-1/6000 sec.)
Aperture Range:Auto( F3.3/F8.0(W), 2 steps) / Program auto( F3.3/F8.0(W), 2 steps) with ND Filter
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Color LCD: 2.7" 230K Pixel Clear Photo LCD Screen
Optical Viewfinder: Yes, Zoom coupled
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synch Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range:ISO Auto: (W):Approx. 0.2 - Approx. 4.2m / (T):Approx. 0.5 - 2.7m
ISO 3200: (W): up to Approx. 8.4m / (T):Approx. 5.3m
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (1/2/3), Incandescent, Flash
Color Modes: Black & White, Normal, Sepia, Vivid
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Exposure Modes: Auto, Easy Shooting, Program Auto, Movie, Beach, High Sensitivity, Landscape, Snow, Soft Snap, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Fireworks, Smile Shutter, and Underwater.
Self-Timer: 10 or 2 seconds
Video Output:NTSC/PAL Selectable
HD Output: Yes (1080i)
MPEG Movie Mode: MPEG VX Fine with Audio (640 x 480 at 30fps),
(MPEG VX Fine requires Memory Stick PRO media)
MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16fps),
Presentation mode (320 x 240 at 8fps) with Audio
Burst Mode:Max 100 Shots at 1.6fps
SteadyShot® Image Stabilization:Yes
AF Illuminator Light:Yes
Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
USB Terminal: Supports USB 2.0 high speed
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 16GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: Lithium-Ion NP-BG1 3.6V, 960 mAh
Supplied Software: Windows: Picture Motion Browser Vers 3.0.02 + USB Driver
OS Compatibility: Microsoft® 2000 Professional, Me, XP Home and Professional
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/OS X (10.0-10.5)
Supplied Accessories: NP-BG1 rechargeable battery, BC-CSG battery charger, A/V and USB multi-connector cables, Wrist strap, Software CD-ROM
Note: No Memory Stick® DUO media or adaptors are included.
Dimensions (WxHxD, excluding protrusions): 3.68 in x 2.28 in. x 0.94 in. (93.7mm x 58.0mm x 24.0mm)
Weight: Approx 6.2 oz (175g) (including NP-BG1 battery, strap, etc.)
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.




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