Sony DSC-W5 Review
Review posted 7/6/2005
Click on the W5 for a 360° QTVR tour
The Cyber-shot DSC-W5 is an affordable yet high-performance 5-megapixel digital camera that offers a Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens, large 2.5-inch color LCD, automatic simplicity and advanced features that you can "grow into" later, housed in a very compact, stylish and durable metal body about the size of a deck of playing cards.
The Cyber-shot W5 is the perfect camera for photographers desiring to step-up to a higher resolution and faster performing camera or for those who are just beginning to explore the wonders of imaging in the 21st century. Sony's new Real Imaging Processor was specifically designed for fast camera response time and extended battery life. The Cyber-shot W5 is powered by two AA type cells with an average life of up to 380 shots when using the supplied high-capacity NiMH rechargeable.
Capable of capturing full-resolution images in a little over one second intervals, you'll never have to worry about missing any of the action. Burst mode lets you capture nine Fine quality shots at 1.1fps or up to 100 shots in VGA quality. An even better way to capture the action is to use the W5's motion video recording mode. The VX Fine mode records full VGA (640x480) resolution with audio at 30 frames per second when using Memory Stick Pro media. The VX Standard mode records 640x480 video at 16fps on regular Memory Stick media. The length of video capture in either mode is limited only by the amount of available space on the memory card.
Beginners or anyone can capture a picture quickly using the Auto or Program AE exposure modes. For those wanting complete control over the photographic process, the Manual exposure mode has shutter speeds from 30 to 1/1,000 seconds. And the six pre-programmed Scene modes set the camera to capture optimum images in difficult lighting situations. Other advanced features include five-area auto focus, multi-pattern metering, auto fill flash, live histogram, USB 2.0 speed and connectivity and the ability to use high-quality auxiliary wide angle and telephoto lenses.
With the optional Cyber-shot Marine Pack (MPK-WA), the Cyber-shot W models become underwater cameras with water resistance to a depth of up to 132 feet. For those who want greater flexibility, the W5 and W5 models can both be used with optional telephoto and wide-angle conversion lenses.
DSC-W5 Major Features:
- Sony 5.1 Megapixel effective CCD image sensor
- Carl Zeiss 3x Zoom (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
- MPEG Movie: 640x480 VX Fine w/audio at 30fps (Memory Stick Pro required),
640x480 VX at 16fps, length limited only by media
- Auto, Program AE, Full Manual plus 7 Scene modes
- 9-shot Burst (100 at VGA quality) at 1.1fps
- Live histogram display in capture and playback
- 5 Area Multi-point AF; auto or selectable Spot AF point
- 2.5" TFT color (115,000 pixels) LCD Screen with Auto Brightness
- ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100, 200, 400
- Adjustable color saturation, contrast and sharpness
- Noise Reduction: Automatically cleans up long exposure images
- 14bit A/D Conversion - allows a wider dynamic range from highlight to shadow
- Built-in flash with Auto Fill, Red Eye Reduction and Slow Synchro
- USB 2.0 Auto-Connect to host computer
- Powered by two standard AA type batteries, NiMH rechargeable batteries and charger comes with the camera.
- Memory Stick & Memory Stick Pro compatible, 32MB internal memory
- DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible
The Sony Cyber-shot W5 is available now for about $350
The Cyber-shot DSC-W5 and a CD for size comparison.
The 7-megapixel Cyber-shot W7 and the DSC-W5.
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.
Sony DSC-W5 Specifications
||1/1.8" 5.1 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD|
|Still Image Sizes:
||32MB of internal memory|
Memory Stick Media or Memory Stick PRO Media
||Carl Zeiss 3X Optical, 7.9 - 23.7mm (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm)|
7 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspheric elements
|Smart Zoom™ Feature:
||0 - 4.0X (at VGA Resolution), 12X Total|
||Precision, 0 - 2.0X Range, 6X Total|
||30mm (requires VAD-WA lens adapter)|
||5 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, 5-Step Manual|
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 2.25" (6cm)
||1/8 - 1/2000 sec. (auto)|
2 - 1/2000 sec. (program)
30 - 1/1000 sec. (manual, 46 steps)
||F2.8 - F5.6 (W), F5.2 - F10.0 (T)|
||+/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps|
||2.5" 115K Pixel LCD Screen|
||Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off|
|Flash Effective Range:
||~7.7" - 14.75 ft. (0.2 - 4.5m) in wide angle and and 1 - 8.2 ft. (0.3 - 2.5m) in telephoto.|
||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash|
||9 Shot (5M JPEG fine), 100 Shot (VGA JPEG std.), 1.1fps|
||Sepia, Black & White|
||Auto, 100, 200, 400|
||Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Candle, Beach, Snow|
|Still Image Modes:
||Normal (JPEG Fine/Standard), Burst, Multi-Burst|
|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),
Video Mail (160 x 112 at 8fps) with Audio
||Supports USB 2.0|
|Memory Stick PRO™
|Tested to support up to 2GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function|
||"AA" NiMH, Alkaline|
||Picture Package™ for Sony ver 1.6, Pixela™ ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows), USB Driver|
||Microsoft® Windows® 98/98SE/Me/ 2000/XP Home/XP Pro |
Macintosh® OS 9.1/9.2/X (10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3)
||NH-AA-DA Rechargeable AA Batteries, BC-CS2 Battery Charger, A/V and USB Cables, Wrist Strap, |
Memory Stick Media, Software CD-ROM
||3 9/16" x 2 3/8" x 1 7/16" (91 x 60 x 37.1mm)|
||6.9 oz (197g) (without batteries or memory card)|
8.9 oz. (253g) Body w/Battery, Media, Wrist Strap
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.