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Old Mar 14, 2006, 8:52 AM   #1
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Hi there,

I had a quick opportunity to use a W30 and thought I'd share what I could on it to help those trying to decide based on what's out there if this is the camera for them.

The body is small. It's one thing to read stats, but to actually hold it is something else. I've had a Canon S410 and a Sony W1. The W30 compares more to the former in size, but weight-wise the W30 is on its own. Very light. The front is metal, the back is plastic. A usual complaint for many it seems on these things is the battery door. This camera hasn't bucked any trend. On the one I tried the camera door rattled a touch, and slid softly in and out, and didn't feel as though it was truly locking into a closed position.

Despite the 85k LCD, I found it bright under indoor fluor. lighting conditions, and thankfully Sony chose to cover it with a plate of some scratch-resistant material this time (as opposed to its predacessors in the W series). It starts up fast, and aquired images it seemed as quickly as the W1 (which is what drew me to the series in the first place). The control wheel is tiny, but as per the sony salespitch, controls are indeed friendly.The zooming is fast and silent (very nice).

With the few pic I could take, I set the camera to ISOs 100 and 800, and shot with and without flash for the latter. Didn't want to scare myself with 1000. Colour mode was set to natural. I have to say the 800 is pretty fine. Really. The subject, a housecat on a chair partially under a table in a lit kitchen. Though noise is present in the shadows, it isn't as big or as blotchy as I feared it would be (based on Steves bobblehead test of the S600). Even blown up to actual size the noise looks good, and I am certain after a little neat image it will be excellent.Butthe pictures I take with this camera will likely onlyever be 5x7s anyways, soI'll probably leave them.Oh yeah, with flash at 100 looked great too, though a little overbearing on a couple shots. As with theW1,watch that distance.

I have no idea what the battery life is like. It's supposed to be good, but I'll probably get another.

My interest in this camera was and is for the high IS0s. I am sold. I've already ordered the W50 for the slightly (I am hoping) more durable body. No, it doesn't have the (limited)manual controls of the W1, but for that I have my D70. I just wanted a point and shoot, a worthy digital replacement to my old Oly XA. Something for sneaky candid snaps that I could carry anywhere. The W30/50 certainly fits that bill nicely. Just be gentle. I doubt these littte cameras are anywhere near as durable as the XA.


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Old Mar 20, 2006, 10:24 PM   #2
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I hope to have my W50at the end of thisweek, orearly next week.If anyone would liketo see a sample image, I will try to post it. I would have posted a W30pic but I am not certain of which was taken at what ISO. Sorry.
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Old Mar 21, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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Hello and thanks for your review of W30. I am also seriously considering getting W50. I need a simple point and shoot for my wife (mainly indoors group and portrait photos with flash). What is your take on the flash in general? Is it strong enough to cover a decent size living room? I am very curious to see how the red-eye reduction works and if there is any red-eye (from close shoots to groups with bigger distance). Do you happened to have tested that feature?
As to the samples, I would appreciate some images (especially indoors) and hopefully unprocessed (so I can pull up the Exif info and get the ISO and other info). Thanks in advance.

Val
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 12:39 PM   #4
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I bought the W50 the day it came out, I needed a camera for my trip to Cuba but i knew Sony had discontinued the W5 and W7. Luckily the W50 came out just in time and i really got to test it out! I love this camera, i get many people asking about it and commenting on how nice it is!

Here is an example photo from our resort in 6MP STD
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 12:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting a pic. I tried to last night of an ISO 800 but had issues resizing the thing.*I am still awaiting my W50, but it's affirming to read your remarks. I think the only thing that sort of bugs me with the Wseries is the internal overprocessing. But again, my intention for the camera is strictly snaps.*cheerstwm
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Old Mar 23, 2006, 3:09 PM   #6
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I have another thread under "Sony" with a few more pictures posted as well. Probably about 90% of my photos were taken in STD mode, I wasn't sure how many pictures I would be taking so I didn't want to leave it in FINE and then run out!

A lot of people seem to enjoy the W50s large clean looking screen aswell as the compact size of the camera and the look! I have had about 4-5 people ask me how much it was in the past few weeks, and all of them have been shocked when i told them. 3 people have responded with how their camera is bigger, less MP, smaller screen, and it cost them more!

If you look at cameras in the W50s class you will see that they range way over the price tag of the W50, and usually seem to be missing small features which really make the W50 fun to use!
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