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Sony Cyber-shot W7 Review

August 2005 | By Simon Joinson

Review based on a production Sony DSC-W7

Announced along with a 5MP twin (the W5), the DCS-W7 is part of the second generation of Sony's 'traditionally-styled' compacts designed to appeal to the first-time user moving from a film camera to digital. Essentially the same as a Cyber-shot P200 in a larger more conventionally-styled body (and with a bigger 2.5-inch screen), the W7 builds on the success of the W1, which was something of a surprise hit last year. But does the W7 have what it takes to compete in the increasingly crowded 7 megapixel compact market? Read on to find out. Here's a brief summary of the main spec highlights:

  • 7.2 million effective megapixels
  • High quality aluminum body
  • Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens (3x optical zoom)
  • F2.8 - F5.2, 38-114mm (35mm equiv.)
  • STAMINA battery life: up to 380 shots per charge
  • 2.5” LCD (115,000 pixels)
  • Manual exposure function
  • Real Imaging Processor
  • AF illuminator
  • MPEG VX Fine movies with audio
  • Scene selection (7 modes)
  • Histogram indication
  • Optional tele and wide lens adaptors
  • 32MB internal memory, plus Memory Stick slot

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W7 key specifications

Street price • US: $399
• UK: £260
Body Material Aluminum

• 1/1.8" Super HAD CCD
• 7.4 million pixels total
• 7.2 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3072 x 2304
• 3072 x 2048 (3:2)
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 16.6 / 30 fps
• 160 x 112 @ 8.3 fps
• Limited only by the capacity of the memory card
• MPEG VX with sound


• Carl Zeiss 38 - 114mm equiv. (3x optical zoom)
• F2.8 - F5.2

Focus • 5-Area Multi-Point AF
• Center AF
• 5-Step Manual
• 6 cm macro mode (Wide)
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Twilight
• Twilight portrait
• Soft Snap
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Candle
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Shutter Speeds • 1/8 – 1/2000 sec (Auto)
• 2 – 1/2000 sec (Program Auto)
• 30 – 1/1000 sec (Manual)
Apertures F2.8 – F5.2 (W), F5.6– F10 (T)

• Multi Pattern
• Spot

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent
Image parameters Color effects (Sepia, Black and White)
Continuous 5 Shot 7MP (JPEG fine), 100 Shot VGA (JPEG std.), 0.9fps
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, forced on, forced off, slow sync, red-eye reduction
• Range: 11.8 in - 14.8 ft. (0.3– 4.5m)
Storage • Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO
• 32MB internal memory
No removable media supplied

Real Image Optical

LCD monitor • 2.5 " TFT
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 High Speed
• AV out
Power • 2x AA type battery (alkaline, NiMH, NiMH)
NH-AA-DA rechargeable AA batteries supplied
In the box*

DSC-W7 camera
BC-CS2 Battery Charger
NH-AA-DA rechargeable AA batteries
Software CD-ROM (Picture Package™ for Sony v1.6 (Windows), Pixela™ ImageMixer VCD2 (Macintosh/Windows), USB Driver, Cyber-shot Life tutorial (Windows)
AV & USB Cable
Wrist Strap

Other features

PictBridge and DPOF compatible
Live Histogram & playback histogram
• Autofocus Illuminator
Optional 2.6x Tele converter lens (VCL-DH2630) $130
Optional 1.7x Tele converter lens (VCL-DH1730) $99
Optional 0.7x Wide converter lens (VCL-DH0730) $99
Optional 30mm lens adaptor (needed to use converters) $30
Optional Slave flash + bracket (HVL-FSL1B) $100
Optional waterproof case (Marine Pack MPK-WA) $200
Optional filter kits and filter adapter

Weight (inc batt)

197 g (6.9 oz) (without batteries and card)
253 g (8.9 oz) (with batteries and card)

Dimensions 91 x 60 x 37 mm (3.5 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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