Sony Cyber-shot W7 Review
Every parent thinks their baby is the most beautiful in the world, but I feel fairly sure that even Sony would admit the W7 lags behind somewhat in the style stakes. It's a boxy, rather inelegant camera, and its design makes me think water will squirt out of the lens when you press the button. But the continuing popularity of the W series shows that Sony isn't stupid - there is a ready market for an unpretentious camera with a bit of bulk to it - many users (especially men) find the latest ultra-compact models simply too small to use - certainly too small to hold steady. The W7 (like the W5 and W1 before it) is built like a tank, has a really solid, 'quality' feel to it (in part due to its fairly hefty 250g weight). The control layout follows the usual Sony Cyber-shot pattern, though the slightly larger body means the buttons get a little more room to breathe than they do on, for example, the ultra-compact P and T series cameras. You also get an optical viewfinder - something gradually disappearing from ultra-compact models.
In your hand
It may not be the prettiest kid on the block, but the slightly bulkier format does give the W7 a very solid feel in the hand, and handling is excellent. The chrome finger grip on the front and small thumb grip on the rear do a great job of ensuring rock-steady operation, even single-handed (though it still feels safer - especially when using the zoom rocker - to support the camera with both hands).
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