Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 review

Started Jun 1, 2007 | User reviews
Pedro Vera
Pedro Vera Junior Member • Posts: 30
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90 review

This is my 4th camera in the DSC series (S70, T1, P200). I purchased it to carry it
whenever it is not practical to have my Nikon D50. I am having a bit of a hard time
with the W90, in big part due that there are very minor differences in the way the
S70, T1 and P200 have their controls and menu items laid out, while the W90 has a
completely different menu system that is activated by two possible buttons instead of

Another problem I had is that it shipped with the worst camera manual I have ever
seen, it won't even cover all of the control settings. If you want to get the full version
you have to read the PDF in the included CD. This is plain stupid because I like to
throw these little manuals in my bag.

It is tiny. I had not checked the actual measurements on the specs page against my
current cameras, so I was shocked to see that it is almost smaller than the T1. The
vibration reduction and face detection are novel, and so far seem to work.

Mine has the black finish, it looks really nice, makes the camera look much more
expensive than what it really is.

Photo quality:

The pictures look more or less the same as what I was getting out of the P200.
Nothing spectacular here, but that doesn't make it bad. I am noticing that the classic
"Sony reds" are a bit less shocking than in my original S70.

The big surprise for me is that P mode is actually useful. Without trying hard I got
some of the best B&W digital pictures I have ever done, and I did not have to tweak
them, which is a first for me (I always find B&W mode pictures dull, so I end up
tweaking them). I think that going through the extra minute of moving to P mode,
then checking the white balance is the way to go instead of going auto or any of the
other program modes.

I got two batteries, and I am yet to drain one so it is too early for me to judge. If it is
anywhere as good as the P200 then I won't have a problem.

Writing to the 4 GB Sony memory stick duo pro could be better, I am going to look
around to see if I can find a replacement that is rated at a higher speed. My previous
memory stick was 512MB, so the first thing I thought was that with 4GB I don't have
an excuse to NOT use bracket mode and simply shoot three out of each.

Macros are very nice, especially with the vibration reduction helping.

So far I am pleased, I bought this camera, the 4GB stick, an extra battery, a Sony
DSC-S650, a 2GB memory stick for it, and it was less than what I paid for my Sony
DSC-S70 back in 2000! Just incredible!


The new generation of menu software is confusing, and why does it take two buttons
to access menu functions?

Since the camera already explains some of its functions as you move a dial or pick a
button, how come it won't tell me "no, you can't have this feature because you picked
that feature." For example, you are not always allowed to mess with the flash, and
face recognition and vibration reduction are not always available.

The dock cable feels a bit fragile.

Cleaning that lens is a pain in the ass. It is HARD. My kid grabbed the camera from
me and the first thing he did was poke the lens (is this universal? do all kids grab
cameras making sure at least one finger smudges the lens?) and it took forever to
clean it up.

A bit wider lens would be nice.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W90
8 megapixels • 2.5 screen • 35 – 105 mm (3×)
Announced: Feb 27, 2007
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