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Conclusion - Pros

  • Sharp, high resolution and vividly coloured images
  • High quality Carl Zeiss designed lens
  • Very little chromatic abberations (thanks to the lens)
  • Good selection of program modes: Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Night, Spot etc.
  • Excellent InfoLithium battery pack & in-camera charging
  • Camera settings stored between power-ups (even without the battery...)
  • No need for additional AC adapter
  • Surprisingly good internal flash
  • Fairly good Macro ability
  • USB connectivity
  • Audio with movie recording & Voice recording


Conclusion - Cons

  • Slow, both in start up but more importantly focusing, lag and between shots
  • Inaccurate live LCD preview (only ~90% view)
  • Some Barrel distortion at wide angles
  • Aperture priority mode crippled by minimum 1/30s shutter speed
  • Less manual features / flexibility than the competition
  • Lack of "in between" JPEG modes (something around 800KB)
  • Lack of White Balance modes / poor "HOLD" White Balance
  • Not enough controls on the outside of the camera (exposure compensation??)
  • Sometimes fiddly menu system
  • Ergonimically the hand grip could have been better designed
  • Pitiful 8MB Memory Stick as supplied storage
  • Colours won't be to everyones tastes
  • Some people may find Memory Stick limiting


Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Sony DSC-S70: (3 megapixel class)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8
Features 7
Image quality 9
Lens / CCD combination 9
Ease of use 9
Value for money 8.5

If you don't need all the bells and whistles that Nikon and Olympus offer and you're not looking for burst shooting speed then the DSC-S70 is a good choice (and you'll save about $100). Indeed Sony appear to have now taken the resolution crown with the highest resolution of any 3 megapixel camera (at the time of writing this review).

Sony are on a good development path, all they need to do now is look at what Nikon and Olympus are offering as far as more manual "photographic" controls and their cameras will appeal to an even wider audience.

Recommended

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

US Readers: buy the Sony DSC-S70 from our official affiliate
retailer State Street Direct they don't sell it online but do
have stock and will take telephone orders:

State Street Direct: (800) 222-4070

Please quote reference "A01" and our website when you place your order!

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