The Sony DSC S730 is a simple, straightforward digital camera. It is priced to attract anyone who is looking for a digital camera, but does not want to break the bank. This is a 7 megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom lens. The DSC S730 is the entry level model from Sony.
91.4 x 61 x 29.1mm
Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom):
Starting off with some good points, I like the way the DSC S730 produces a bright, clear photo. The colours in the sky are quite striking, showing a deeper shade of blue than many cameras do. Sun glare is also handled well.
Looking at the brickwork on the building I can see an indication that these less expensive models do not offer quite the same sharp level of focus that other more expensive models do. Even so you are only likely to really see this if you have your photos blown up larger than 7 x 5 inches.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This is a tough test for any digital camera with parts of this scene being extremely distant. The DSC S730 does a fair job. Focusing is roughly in line or perhaps a bit better than other cameras in this price bracket. There is evidence of purple fringing on the boat on the left hand side of the photo. The sky shows a strong shade of blue as in the first test shot.
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): Pushing the zoom out to its maximum amount you can see that the scene remains a little distant to a camera with a 3x optical zoom lens. Even so this is a good attempt. There is plenty of brightness in the photo once more.
Outdoor 4 (Building): This is a new test, so it is difficult for me to compare this camera with many others at this stage. From the test shot I have taken with another camera this test confirms that the lens is not as sharp as you will find on more expensive cameras.
Out of all the test photos I took with the DSC S730 this one is probably the most disappointing. Unlike the outdoor scenic shots it comes across as a bit dull, even though I used the cloudy white balance setting in an effort to boost the colours.
Indoor Portrait with Flash: The points I like about this picture are the sharpness and the fact that the DSC S730 has controlled most of the red eye. Looking at the brightness levels in the shot they suggest that the flash unit is not all that powerful.
Indoor Portrait without Flash: Without the flash the camera is still able to produce a decent photo. There is plenty of pink in the skin tones. In fact if anything there is a touch too much. It is worth noting that the lighting available for this shot was quite good. Therefore if you are planning to take indoor shots at parties and similar functions you will almost certainly need to revert to flash.
Macro, Colours and Noise
I was unable to produce a close up shot without a blue colour caste. This is unlikely to be a problem if you are shooting nature subjects in natural light, but with this camera it is always possible that blue will be accentuated in a shot.
Colours: The dedicated test for colours highlights the fact that blue tends to be more dominant than other colours produced by the DSC S730. Personally I think this works well it a lot of instances. Although the skies and water actually appear bluer than they were on the day I took my outdoor scenic shots I like the effect this has on the photos.
ISO 400: Pushing the ISO up to 400 causes the colours to become blotchy. Almost all compact digital cameras have issues as you increase ISO.
ISO 1250: At the top level of ISO, picture quality is very strained. There is a high level of noise in the photo and colours become more and more of a problem.
My test shots were a bit up and down in places, but you cannot expect perfection from this type of camera. It does a decent job with most types of snapshot and is a bit ahead of many cameras in this price bracket.
In terms of looks this is a pretty standard digital camera. The DSC S730 is rectangular in shape and silver in colour. It is on the large side to fit into a pocket comfortably.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Ease of Use
Digital cameras do not come much easier than this one.
Points I Like
Ease of use - low price
Where it Could Improve
When compared to other similarly priced digital cameras nothing stands out as an obvious flaw.
The Sony DSC S730 is worth considering if you are looking for a simple, less expensive digital camera. It is roughly in line with other similar models. It does little wrong and is capable of handling most photo opportunities.
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