Sony DSC-W300 Review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300

Review posted 8/7/2008

Click on the W300 for a 360° QTVR tour

Sony's new Cyber-shot DSC-W300 digital camera is expected to be among the industry's most pocket-able, high-resolution point-and-shoot digital cameras featuring niche performance options.

The camera announced today integrates an ultra-high 13.6-megapixel CCD imager along with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD screen and an eye-level viewfinder in a compact size. With its ultra-hard titanium coating, the model offers a premium look and finish that is highly-resistant to scratches and messy fingerprints.

The W300 camera newly features an "extra high-speed" burst mode that can shoot three-megapixel photos at five frames per second, ideal for fast-action shooting of sports, pets or children.

In addition to the blur-reducing effects of Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization, the camera also has a new "extra high sensitivity" mode (up to ISO 6400 in this mode only) to help minimize blurry photos when shooting in challenging lighting conditions, such as indoors or at twilight, even without a flash.

Noise reduction is now a user-selectable option, with high, low and standard settings, for greater control over the final look of images. For example, a low setting can help reduce noise without sacrificing resolution, making it ideal for landscapes and detailed subjects.

Sony's Smile Shutter technology prioritizes the faces of children or adults so that the camera takes the photo at the moment the intended subject smiles. Improved face detection technology can also prioritize child or adult faces as the basis for the camera to apply focus, exposure, white balance and flash color controls for up to eight faces in the camera's frame.

The model's intelligent scene recognition technology automatically can detect five different types of scenes and optimize the camera settings for those conditions for a better photo. And advanced mode can take two shots almost immediately - one with standard automatic settings and the other with optimized settings.

The W300 model has a number of features to maximize picture quality. Among them are five color modes, including "real" for less in-camera processing and more faithful color reproduction; 12 scene selection modes with a new "underwater" mode that adjusts white balance for more natural-looking photos; Sony's new D-Range Optimizer Plus that process picture to improve detail in photos with harsh highlights or dark shadows; and an improved auto focus system that includes macro ranges.

Viewing and image management has also been enhanced with helpful date and calendar views, in-camera search by face or date, slide show with longer music files, and high-definition component output for viewing photos on a compatible HDTV set.

Cyber-shot W300 Major Features:

  • Sony 13.6 Megapixel effective Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • Carl Zeiss 3x Zoom (35-105mm 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, Manual, plus 13 Scene modes (including Easy mode)
  • New Extra High ISO (High ISO+) and Extra High-Speed Burst modes
  • Burst at 1.9fps (up to a max of 100 frames) at full resolution
  • Burst at 5.0fps using Extra High-speed Burst mode (3-megapixel resolution)
  • Live histogram display in capture and playback
  • 9 Area Multi-point AF system with 1.96 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, 6400 (High ISO+ mode only)
  • User-selectable Noise Reduction: Low, Normal and High settings
  • Adjustments for Color Saturation, Contrat, and Sharpness: Low, Normal and High settings
  • 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-W300 model is available in black finish with a MSRP of US$350, and ships with NP-BG1 Lithium-ion battery, BC-CSG charger, A/V and USB multi-connector cables, wrist strap, and software CD-ROM.

Please help support our site and visit the stores below for real time pricing and availability.

In The United States? Check out these stores:

In Europe? Check out these stores:

Physical Views

Sony DSC-W300

Sony DSC-W300

Sony DSC-W300Sony DSC-W300

Sony DSC-W300

Sony DSC-W300

Sony DSC-W300

The Cyber-shot DSC-W300 and a CD for size comparison.

Go to
Page Two

Sony DSC-W300 Specifications

Image Device: 1/1.7" 13.6 Effective Megapixel Sony Super HAD CCD
Recording Media: 15MB of internal memory
Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO Media (up to 16GB)
Real Imaging Processor Technology:Yes, BIONZ Image Processor
Zoom: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 3X Optical, 7.6 - 22.8mm (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm)
Max. Aperture F2.8 (W) - F5.5(T)
Digital Zoom Feature: 0 - 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: 1.96 in. (5cm) - Infinity (wide); 13.4 in (34cm) - infinity (telephoto)
Shutter Speed: Auto (1/4-1/2000 sec.), Program Auto (1-1/2000 sec.), Manual (30-1/1000 sec.)
Aperture Range:Auto(F2.8 - F16) / Program auto (F2.8 - F16)
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: Approx. 7.9 in. - 18 ft. (0.2 - 5.5m) Wide / Approx. 1.31 - 9.2 ft. (0.4 - 2.8m) Tele
ISO3200: up to Approx. 36 ft. (11m) Wide / 18.4 ft. (5.6m) Tele
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (1/2/3), Incandescent, Flash, One Push Custom
Color Modes: Normal, Vivid, Real, Black & White, Sepia
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 (6400 in High ISO+ mode only)
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program, Manual, Movie, SCN, Smile Shutter, Extra High-speed burst, Extra High ISO, High ISO, and Easy mode.
SCN modes: Beach, Extra High-speed Burst, Extra High Sensitivity, Fireworks, Landscape, Snow, Soft Snap, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Movie, High Sensitivity, Smile Shutter, 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 Duo media)
MPEG VX Standard with Audio (640 x 480 at 16fps),
Presentation mode (320 x 240 at 8.3fps) with Audio
Burst Mode:Max 100 Shots at 1.9fps; 5.0fps using Extra High-speed Burst mode (High ISO+)
Super SteadyShot Image Stabilization:Yes
Dynamic Range Optimizer:Standard & Advanced
AF Illuminator Light:Yes; Range: Approx. 9.8 ft. (3m) Wide, 6.6 ft (2m) Tele
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): 3.71 in x 2.32 in. x 1.05 in. (94.3mm x 59.0mm x 26.8mm)
Weight: Approx 5.5 oz (156g) Body; 6.6 oz. (187g) including NP-BG1 battery and optional Memory Stick Duo Media
NOTE: Specifications as represented by the manufacturer.

Go to
Page Two

Return To Steve's
Reviews Index

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.