GadgetsLab: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730

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Specifications:

Megapixel count 16.10 Megapixels

Zoom and optics 8.00x Optical Zoom (25 – 200mm focal length equivalency)

Display: 2.7-inch TFT LCD display with 230k-dot resolution

Physical Dimension: 93 x 52 x 23 mm

Weight: 122g (includes batteries)

Memory used/internal capacity:microSD/SDHC/SDXC cards/Memory Stick Duo

What’s Hot:

• Sleek and Compact Design

iAuto Mode

What’s Not:

• Lags when previewing photos

Bottomline:

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730 is what a basic point-and-shoot is all about. It’s compact, and easy-to-use making it a camera you’d always carry around with you.

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If you think point-and-shoot cameras couldn’t get any simpler than they already are, it’s likely you haven’t tried the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730. This camera is all about ease-of-use, and users will find themselves snapping away instantly with this simple point-and-shoot.

The camera’s metal body is a sleek, metallic finish which I found to give the device an upscale feel. It’s light and compact, weighing only 122g. Its stylish design, and overall tiny footprint makes the W730 a camera you’d regularly carry around. Considering that I’m a paranoid when it comes to lugging around gadgets, I appreciated that I didn’t have to let it hang around my wrist all the time because it fit easily in my jeans pocket.

Navigation is easy and straightforward. I had no trouble figuring out how to use the camera’s features both because of its well-designed interface and its convenient In-Camera guide. At the back you can find the “zoom,” “play,” and “menu” buttons, and a slider which lets you quickly switch from camera, video, and panoramic mode with just a slide of the tab without having to fidget around with the in-camera settings. At the top you can find the power and the shutter release button which I noticed was difficult to press sometimes.

The camera is built around a 1/2.3-inch16.1 megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor that can capture high-resolution images and record HD video up to 720p at 30fps. This means photos you take are relatively clean, and have minimal noise. On top of that, the camera has an 8x Optical Zoom Carlo Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens, which is powerful when combined with Sony’s Optical SteadyShot feature. Optical SteadyShot is an anti-shake function which helps in reducing blur, and it’s a very useful feature especially when taking shots in zoom mode. When you’re done taking that action shot, you can review your photos on its 2.7-inch Clear Photo LCD. The camera is a bit slow however, and lags a little bit when you preview photos. It takes almost a second before you can preview your shot, making it difficult to shoot simultaneous images or burst shots.

Perhaps what I liked most about the W730 is that it’s managed to make a simple camera design even easier to use because of its built-in features. The Cyber-shot W730 has an Intelligent Auto Mode (iAuto) mode feature which automatically optimizes the camera settings depending on the scene. When you’re in iAuto, three features, “Intelligent Auto Focus,” “Motion Detection,” and “Intelligent Scene Recognition” are all at work which means all you really have to do is choose the subject and the camera will take care of the rest for you.

Other features which I enjoyed were the 360-degree sweep panorama that automatically stitches frames together, and the combination of Face Detection and the Smile Shutter. These wonderful feature automatically take photos when the camera detects a smile and when the smile meter is filled (or basically when you have grinned long and wide enough for the camera). You can combine this feature with picture effects like Toy Camera and Pop Color, or with the In-Camera Retouching and Beauty Effects which lets you quickly edit your photos to smoothen skin, change skin tone, or whiten teeth.

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First published in Gadgets Magazine, April 2013

Words by Addie Mendoza