Sony DSC-W560 Review

I purchased a point-and-shoot camera today. I needed one for my media project, but I decided I might as well get one that I could use for a while afterwards. I have my awesome DSLR, and a pretty good phone-camera, but for convenience and high quality pictures, little beats a conventional camera. Sony has been the brand of camera that I’ve worked with since the beginning of my photographic life; my first film was a Sony, my first digital was a Sony. So, it wasn’t too hard of a decision to go with Sony again this time.

It wasn’t a biased choice, since my past Sony’s all had some issues with image stabilization and haloing, plus I was seriously considering the famous Canon Powershot. But because of the price and the wonderful Zeiss glass, Sony still had the bang for your buck. I took it out for a test run today since the weather was so wonderful, and I must say I am very happy with the results.

The above two are both shot in good lighting situations. The image is very crisp and with rich colors, not too far off from SLR quality. There is very good image stabilization for people with shaky hands too.

Macro-mode is very nice too. The camera has a setting that automatically detects when the lens is very close to something and switches to macro-mode on its own. This is very handy as a point-and-shoot because you don’t need to fiddle around with the buttons. One of the down sides is that you can’t choose a spot for the camera to focus on. You’ll have to focus on the center, hold the shutter half-way down, then move to where you want the composition to hold.

Another example of macro-mode in low light. I think it does a great job for a point-and-shoot.

People say not to use the built-in effects, but why not? It’s a pretty good rendering here!

There is a bit of blur in the corner. You can’t tell in the little 3.0″ LCD screen, so you still have to be careful not to shake too much. Shooting while walking still creates some stabilization issues.

I’ve gotten so used to using myself as a tripod that the zoom button seems completely foreign! At maximum 5x optical zoom, there’s a bit of noise and seems to focussing on the wrong spot, but it still fairy good.

This is what the image looks like cropped in. At 4:3 ratio the maximum is 14MP, while there is also an option for 16:9 ratio at 11MP.

The camera automatically adjusts in backlighting so that the objects don’t silhouette. I’m not sure how it does with faces, but I’m assuming it would still silhouette.

There is a panoramic function in which you “sweep” the camera across and it will automatically stitch for you. There were moving cars when I tested this, but it’s still pretty good. Very nice function for landscapes!

The ergonomics are pretty good. It’s very lightweight, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. It feels almost toy-like at first, and seems liable to break… but for situations when lugging a DSLR and taking 5 minutes to open the camera application on the phone is not appropriate, this camera is great.

In terms of response time, there is a pretty long delay after you click the shutter and the review pops on the screen. I’m not sure what it would be like if I turned review off though. Overall, very worth the money. 4/5 stars.

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