Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W7 review
I have owned the Sony W7 for about three months, and have taken about 2000 pictures with it. It is my second digital camera, after having owned a Canon s10, and if I were to be offered the opportunity right now to exchange it for another camera in it’s class, I wouldn’t. It has a combination if qualities and features that I haven’t seen in other cameras in the same price range. Nonetheless, I would be highly tempted by the Canon A620 and the Panasonic FX01. Unfortunately, in picture comparisons, the images of the much prettier and sexier Panasonic have considerably less detail when examined in full size, and the feature-richer Canon is, well, uglier. The comparison with these two cameras however exemplifies for me the W7. It is a very good compromise, without standing out for a particular quality. It has the viewfinder, the non-proprietary batteries, hi-speed USB, the solidity, a certain charm, good image quality, good movie mode; it is fast, responsive and sensibly designed. It is not however without faults. While the image quality is good, the pictures sometimes seem a bit soft and at the same time over sharpened (as mentioned in the full review on this site). Also, the colors are not accurate. I took photos of my watercolor palette, and no matter what I did, the purple (an ultramarine violet to be exact) always looked too blue, and the yellows were invariably duller. In addition, imho, the W7 has a minor conceptual design flaw regarding settings. The settings made in one mode are retained in the other modes as well. If, for example, you turn off the flash while in manual mode, the flash stays off in automatic mode as well; setting the camera to take B&W pics with the top dial set to portrait, will give you black and white pics when changing the dial to snow or manual or anything but full-automatic. It seems to me, that it would be better if the individual settings would be retained for each mode. So, other than wishing that it also had the fx01's 28mm wide angle, or the zoom, twistable screen and 1cm macro capability of the A 620, I'm perfectly happy with the W7. By the way, I put a hard plastic non-scratchable 10 millimeter thick "da protector" screen protector over that big screen, and although it covers up part of the word Sony on the back, I now feel perfectly comfortable just tossing it into my jacket pocket without a case. I wonder why camera makers insist on leaving these sensitive screens so vulnerable. I hope that this review was helpful.