Conclusion: I haven't actually used a Sony Cyber-shot compact for about a year, and on previous experience I was expecting the W80 to sail through this review and emerge - even if not with flying colors - as an easy recommendation for anyone wanting a simple point and shoot compact that won't ruin the line of your suit. Sadly things are never that simple.
Pros: Good resolution, particularly in the middle of the frame, Nice design - very slim, all-metal body, HDTV output, Decent macro, Good image quality in good light; bright, sharp images with immediate 'consumer friendly' appeal, Very reliable exposure system in most shooting conditions, Face Detection works well and is fast, Accurate flash exposures, Lots of detail at lowest ISO settings, Easy to use with attractive interface
Cons: Slow, unreliable focus in low light, Combined effects of noise and noise reduction at high ISO's and in low light produces poor results, Noise reduction effects visible even at low ISO settings, Fiddly controls and fancy fade effects which make menus feel unresponsive, Screen is low res, has low refresh rate in low light and isn't that bright, Strong red-eye even with red-eye reduction mode, Fairly weak flash with fairly slow recycling, Multi AF can get confused in bu...
Excerpt: The DSC-W80 has a newer interface and look compared to other W series cameras from Sony (it comes in attractive colors of the sleek metal body as well). Also, W80 uses Sony’s new Bionz image processor, which is much faster. The photos have sharp details and accurate colors, noticeable noise only from ISO 800 and above.
Excerpt: Sony’s 7.2 megapixel DSC-W80 boots quickly, and its 3x zoom lens focuses with minimal shutter delay. Plus, this cam includes a traditional, if tiny, optical viewfinder! The W80’s optical image stabilization—at low shutter speeds the camera will move a lens element slightly to compensate for hand shake—performed well in our tests.
Excerpt: The consumer digital camera market is currently flooded with compact and ultra-compact 7 megapixel P&S (point and shoot) digital cameras. This horde of very similar entry-level digicams offer reasonable prices and comparable features (like ease of use, quick operation, image stabilization, 3X zooms, 2.5 inch LCD screens, and good battery life), but in this mass of high-tech ubiquity very few digicams stand out.
Excerpt: The Cyber-shot DSC-W80 ($250) is a midrange model in Sony's W-series
line of compact cameras. It has a number of step-up features from the lower-end
models (the W35 and W55), including image stabilization, a faster image processor,
face detection, and component video output. That's on top of its more standard
features: a 7.2MP CCD, 3X optical zoom lens, 2.5" LCD display, and VGA movie
Pros: Stylish, compact metal body, comes in four colors, Optical image stabilization, Low noise through ISO 400, Large 2.5" LCD display (but see issues below), Optical viewfinder (a rarity in this class), Snappy performance; amazing continuous shooting mode, AF-assist lamp; good low light focusing, Face detection and redeye removal features work well, though limited to just two shooting modes, Nice playback mode, Above average battery life, Optional underwater case, USB 2.0...
Cons: Images are soft, with fuzzy details, even at lower ISOs, Considerable corner blurriness, Clunky, confusing new menu system (and I'm being generous here), Redeye remains a problem (but it can be fixed in playback mode), Low resolution LCD, Weak flash, Needs manual controls, especially for white balance and shutter speed (see photo tests to see why), High sensitivity mode borders on useless, Design annoyances: poorly placed power button, tiny and stiff four-way controll...
Conclusion: I like the Sony DSC W80. With virtually no shutter delay you should always get your shot with this camera. In lowlight the camera performs well (shame about the red eye!) and is capable of taken a decent shot outside. Worth a look if you are looking for a good value for money, pocket sized digital camera.
Excerpt: The Eye-Catching Sony Cyber-Shot W80 Capture wonderful holiday memories, special family occasions and great action shots with the Sony Cyber-shot W80, which features state-of-the-art technology to really make the most of any conditions.