Sony DSC-W50 Review

By Movable Type Admin

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W50


Review posted 4/21/2006


Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Sony CyberShot DSC-W50
Click on the W50 for a 360° QTVR tour


The Cyber-shot DSC-W50 is an affordable yet high-performance 6-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.

Sony has re-engineered its W-series of top-performing Cyber-shot digital still cameras to embody the virtues of a traditional camera style and satisfy modern tastes for sleek, compact design. In addition to sporting eye-level viewfinders in the fashion of traditional cameras, the new DSC-W50 and DSC-W30 models have large LCD screens and are significantly more compact than previous W-series models.

Both new cameras offer six-megapixel image resolution for high-quality prints, high-light sensitivity for fast-action shooting and more natural-looking pictures in low-light conditions, precision Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lenses, and MPEG1 movie recording.


Sony DSC-W50

The DSC-W50 is available in silver or black


Anyone who has ever found menu icons on a digital still camera mysterious will appreciate the new function guide on the latest W-series models. When menu icons are selected, such as a specific shooting function or scene mode, a text explanation is displayed on the LCD making it easier to take a great shot. This function guide can be turned off once the user becomes more familiar with the camera.

Both new models include high light-sensitivity settings up to ISO 1000, which allow for shooting at higher shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects with less blur. With higher light sensitivity at your fingertips, you can shoot in available light without a flash for more naturally-exposed, "true-to-life" pictures. With Sony's Clear RAW imaging technology, you can up the camera's sensitivity without dramatically increasing picture noise, which makes pictures look blurry and grainy.

Sony's ultra-fast Real Imaging Processor circuit delivers quick start-up, fast shot-to-shot times, and long battery life -- up to 390 shots on a single charge for the DSC-W50 model. It also speeds up the cameras' sophisticated auto-exposure and multi-point, auto-focus features so that users get the picture right the first time.

Both cameras have 32MB of internal memory, which can be expanded further with an optional Memory Stick Duo media card or Memory Stick PRO Duo card, now offered in capacities up to two gigabytes. And high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity with Windows and Mac computers for fast transfers of images and movies. You can make high-quality prints by simply connecting these models to a Sony DPP-FP50 digital photo printer. You can even create postcards or calendars using the printer's supplied software.



DSC-W50 Major Features:

  • Sony 6 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 Duo Pro required),
    640x480 VX at 16fps, length limited only by media
  • Auto, Program AE, High ISO plus 6 Scene modes
  • 3-shot Burst (98 at VGA quality) at 1.4fps
  • 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, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
  • 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 Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • 32MB internal memory plus Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro compatible
  • DPOF and PictBridge direct-print USB compatible



The Cyber-shot DSC-W50 will be available in early March for about $250, and the DSC-W30 for about $230. Bundled accessories include rechargeable Lithium ion batteries (NP-BG1), charger (BC-CSG), USB and AV output cables, and Cyber-shot viewer software. Options include a lithium ion battery (NP-BG1) for about $50, a travel charger (BC-TRG) for about $60, a sports pack (SPK-WA) for about $100, and a 30mm lens/filter adapter (VAD-WB) for about $30.





Physical Views



Sony DSC-W50

Sony DSC-W50

Sony DSC-W50 Sony DSC-W50

Sony DSC-W50

Sony DSC-W50



Sony DSC-W50

The Cyber-shot DSC-W50 and a CD for size comparison.




Sony DSC-W50

Sony DSC-W50

The Cyber-shot W50 and the Cyber-shot W30.




Sony DSC-W50





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Sony DSC-W50 Specifications

Image Device: 1/2.5" 6.0 Megapixel Effective Sony Super HAD™ CCD
Still Image Sizes: 6M   2816x2112
3:2  2816x1872
3M   2048x1536
2M   1632x1224
VGA  640x480
16:9   HDTV 1920x1080
Recording Media: 32MB of internal memory
Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media
Zoom: Carl Zeiss 3X Optical, 6.3 - 18.9mm (38-114mm equivalent in 35mm)
6 elements in 5 groups, 3 aspheric elements
Smart Zoom™ Feature: 4.1X (3MP), 5.2X (2MP), 13X (VGA Resolution)
Filter Diameter: 30mm (requires VAD-WB lens adapter)
Auto Focus: 5 Area Multi-Point AF, Center AF, 5-Step Manual
Minimum Focus Distance: 19.7" (50cm)
Macro Focus Distance: 0.74" (2cm)
Shutter Speed: 1/8 - 1/2000 sec. (auto)
1 - 1/2000 sec. (program)
Aperture Range:F2.8 - F7.1 (W), F5.2 - F13.0 (T)
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2.0 EV, 1/3 EV Steps
Color LCD: 2.5" 115K Pixel LCD Screen
Flash Modes: Auto/Forced On/Forced Off/Slow Synchro Red-Eye Reduction: On/Off
Flash Effective Range: ISO Auto: 6" to 13' 8" (0.2-4.2m) (W)
ISO 1000: 2' 7" to 24' (0.8-7.3m) (W)
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Burst Mode: 3 Shot (6M JPEG fine), 98 Shot (VGA JPEG std.), 1.4fps
Color Modes: Sepia, Black & White, Natural, Rich
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Scene Modes: Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Beach, Snow, High Sensitivity
Self-Timer: 10 Seconds
Video Output:NTSC/PAL Selectable
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
Microphone/Speaker: Yes/Yes
USB Terminal: Supports USB 2.0
Cradle Compatible: No
Memory Stick PRO™
Media Compatibility:
Tested to support up to 2GB media capacity; does not support Access Control security function
Compatible Battery: Lithium-Ion NP-BG1 3.6V, 950 mAh
Supplied Software: Cyber-shot® Viewer Vers 1.0 + USB Driver, (Windows®)
OS Compatibility: 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)
Supplied Accessories: NP-BG1 Lithium-Ion Battery, BC-CSG Battery Charger, A/V Connecting Cable, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Software CD-ROM, Note: No Memory Stick® DUO media or adapters are included.
Dimensions: 3 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 15/16" (89 x 57 x 23 mm)
Weight: 4.7 oz (127 g) Body; 5.8 oz (157g) including Battery and optional Memory Stick® DUO Media
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.




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