Sony DSC W220 Review

Ultra Compact

Sony DSC W220 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 7
Value for Money 8
12 Megapixels
4x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
95.2 x 56.5 x 21.8mm


The Sony Cybershot DSC W220 is a straightforward, pocket sized digital camera. It has 12 megapixels and a 4x optical zoom lens. Sony has given the camera some extra features compared to other models in this category and price range. These include image stabilisation and the ability to add conversion lenses to increase the capabilities of the lens.

Why Buy The Sony DSC W220

The Cybershot DSC W220 is easy to use and fits easily into most pockets. This is a mid price, smaller compact. You can also shoot High Definition movie clips.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

2.7 inches
95.2 x 56.5 x 21.8mm

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

Lithium ion
Memory Stick™ Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo™

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): As I have seen with other Sony digital cameras in this series the Cybershot DSC W220 handles light coloured areas well. There is no real problem with glare from the sun. Darker areas in the shot are not so hot and this camera shows less definition in these areas compared to similar cameras.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This is a tough shot for smaller digital cameras with their relatively small lenses. In this instance picture quality does not match up to the better cameras of this type. To be fair problems are going to be negligible with snapshot sized prints, but if you make larger prints you may start to notice a general lack of sharpness. The sky shows signs of pixilation. Purple fringing also starts to creep in around windows and along the tops of the trees.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the lens zoomed in to its full capacity the result is better. Overall sharpness improves. If I make a larger print I can still see rough pixels in the sky.

Outdoor 4 (Building): The centre section of the shot is crisp, but as you move away towards the edges the shot becomes softer. I can also detect a fair amount of noise creeping into any shaded areas of the photo.


Outdoor Portrait: There are no problems with focusing as you move in closer. I used face detection to help the Cybershot DSC W220 with sharpness and general exposure. There are one or two areas where a bit of extra light would have lifted the photo. Indoor Portrait with Flash: This is probably my favourite test shot from the Cybershot DSC W220. Here the lighting levels are more or less spot on. This is also a sharp photo. Indoor Portrait without Flash: I much prefer the photo taken with flash. This photo is on the dark side and there is a green / grey colour caste to the shot. Be prepared to use flash where necessary when the lighting starts to drop.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro My macro shot is o.k., but there is a touch of purple fringing showing. This will not be a problem if you are taking close ups of say nature subjects, but could be a problem with any reflective objects.

Colours I like the colours the Cybershot DSC W220 produces. They give the pictures a vivid feel.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600 Colours start to break down quicker than with other digital cameras. Noise is also more noticeable in general as ISO levels are increased.


If you are planning to produce large prints of your photos then you are likely to notice some of the imperfections I have mentioned creeping into your photographs. There are better small compacts around when it comes to picture quality.

See sample images link arrow


The Cybershot DSC W220 is a fairly typical rectangular camera. It is small enough to fit into most pockets. It is available in black, silver and light blue.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.24 seconds
12.39 seconds
1.72 seconds
15.17 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par I like the layout of the menu system. There are a few more features to get used to than with some cameras in this price bracket, but you should have no problem getting started.

Points I Like

Ease of use - shutter delay times - High Definition movie clips

Where it Could Improve

Macro shots show purple fringing - overall picture quality could be a shade better


The Sony Cybershot DSC W220 is not a bad digital camera. I found the camera easy to use and it has a low shutter lag time compared to other cameras in its class. When it comes to picture quality it has some tough competition and does not quite match up to some of its competitors.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu setup

playback home menu

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Sony DSC TX55 Rating 85/100

If the touch screen was perfect then the Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 would be a truly outstanding digital camera. As it is picture quality is hard to beat for such a small camera. Style and design is very impressive and the features on offer give you more or less everything you are likely to want in a point and shoot pocket camera and a bit more on top. It can be very hard to find the perfect touch screen so if touch control is important to you then this camera is well worth a place on your short list.

Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100

Panasonic offers some excellent digital cameras and can normally be replied upon to produce crystal clear photos. As with previous reviews of cameras in the FX part of the range the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX90 just does not match up to those usual high standards. Focusing is softer than it should be and you are likely to see the results of this even with relatively small sized prints.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review

Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX70 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC W220 Review Sony DSC W220 Specification Sony DSC W220 Sample Images Sony DSC W220 Features Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

May 2009

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