Sony DSC-W230 Review
By Mike Flacy
Sony's Press Release
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 17, 2009 - Sony today announced five new Cyber-shot cameras (models DSC-T900, DSC-T90, DSC-W290, DSC-W230 and DSC-H20) that make it easier to take the best pictures without changing settings.
Sony has combined three key technologies to make these cameras smarter.
Intelligent scene recognition (iSCN) detects up to eight scenes, recognizing objects, faces and lighting conditions (e.g. low light and backlight). Then, in one-thirtieth of a second, it changes the setting to get the best shot.
Face detection registers up to eight faces; adjusts focus, exposure, white balance and flash; and detects motion. This intelligent camera combines face detection with iSCN, featuring blink detection. It takes two pictures and saves the one in which the subject's eyes are the least shut.
All of the new cameras have the Optical SteadyShot feature and Smile Shutter technology. The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization feature helps prevent blur due to camera shake without impacting image quality. Equipped with Sony's Smile Shutter technology, these cameras automatically capture a smile the moment it happens.
Another advanced feature that sets these cameras apart from most digital still cameras is iSCN advanced. Noblecilla said the iAuto feature increases the chances of getting a great shot. You can also set up iSCN advanced as a permanent feature. When the scene has difficult lighting such as backlight or low light, the camera will take two shots within a fraction of a second using two alternative settings, so you can select which picture you prefer.
The W230 camera has 12.1 megapixels, 4x (30mm) Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar optical zoom lens and 3-inch (measured diagonally) LCD screen. The W290 model adds a 5x wide (28mm) optical zoom lens.
Sony has simplified the display of options on most of these cameras to make it easier for customers to use them. The most commonly used features include shooting mode, zoom, play, delete and Smile Shutter. These are available at a click or touch of a button. More sophisticated users can select other shooting modes or change the settings using the menu button.
Tools to Edit, Archive and Share
These cameras are equipped with tools to edit, archive and share. They have in-camera retouch features like red-eye correction and image management to easily sort through thousands of photos in calendar view or album view. You can group favorites and filter by baby, adult, all faces or smiles. The PhotoMusic feature offers an HD slideshow mode with transitions and music for viewing on the camera or television.
The HD output feature lets you view images in high-defintion, although HDMI and component cables are not included. The T900 camera is bundled with a camera stand that allows HDMI connectivity, but the cable is not included.
Bundled Picture Motion Browser (PMB) software allows you to quickly organize images on a compatible PC and upload images to the Web. You can search and organize images by event, smile or face, including children and infants. Then you can display them in calendar or chronological views organized into folders.
Pricing and Availability
Consumers can start pre-ordering these cameras in March at www.sonystyle.com. They will be available for purchase in April online at sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at military base exchanges and at authorized dealers nationwide.
- The W230 camera will be available in silver, black, blue and red for about $200.
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.
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