Sony DSC W610 Review

Simple and Easy

14 Megapixels    5x Zoom

Dimensions: 92.9 x 52.4 x 19.3mm    Weight: 113g

Good Points: Low price tag, sweep panorama mode

Bad Points: Picture quality


Sony DSC W610 Shutter Lag Rating slow Ease of Use easy Camera Name Rating

Overview

The Sony Cybershot DSC W610 is an entry level digital camera that is small enough to fit into a pocket. Its main strengths are ease of use and a low price tag. Headline features include 14 megapixels, a 4x wide angle lens and a 2.7 inch LCD screen.

It is available in green, blue, pink, black and silver.

Compared with other digital cameras at this price point the Cybershot DSC W610 has the following:

Plus Points

  • A mode for producing 360 degree panoramas
  • A portrait self timer mode

Negative Points

  • Picture quality
  • No HD movies

Why Buy the Sony DSC W610

The Cybershot DSC W610 is a relatively inexpensive pocket camera from a recognised brand.

Features

Megapixels and Zoom

14 megapixels is plenty for large sized prints. You can also crop your photos and still be able to make smaller prints. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 26 - 105mm in 35mm format.

Memory Cards

Sony digital cameras are usually compatible with Memory Stick Duo cards as well as the more widely used SD type cards. With the Cybershot DSC W610 you have the choice of Memory Stick™ Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo™, Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (high speed), Memory Stick PRO HG Duo™, SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. You can also use some micro versions of these cards, but you will need the appropriate memory card adapter.

Batteries

Both a lithium ion battery and charger are supplied by Sony with the Cybershot DSC W610. Sony estimates you should be able to take around 250 shots in between charges.

Movie Mode

You can shoot standard definition movies. The maximum resolution is 640 x 480 pixels.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size. This is standard for a digital camera at this price point. If you look around you may be able to find one with a larger 3 inch screen.

Shooting Modes

To help you produce the best quality photos Sony have equipped the Cybershot DSC W610 with a small number of predefined scene modes. When you choose a scene mode, the camera selects what it believes to be the optimum settings for the type of photo you are about to take. The scene modes available are Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Night Portrait, Night Scene, High Sensitivity, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, Pet Mode and Landscape.

Macro Mode

For close up shots the Cybershot DSC W610 is capable of focusing from 4cm away from the subject.

Sweep Panorama

When you place the camera in Sweep Panorama mode you can produce 360 degree panoramic shots. All you need to do to produce a panorama is press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in a circle.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

The Cybershot DSC W610 may not win any awards for picture quality, but in most cases quality is good enough for typical snapshot sized photos. The biggest problems revolve around picture sharpness when photographing more distant scenes.

If picture quality is very important to you and you would like to be able to make larger prints then there are better cameras available with a similar price tag.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

Picture quality in this shot is of a similar standard to many cheaper models. There is a noticeable loss of sharpness towards the edges. There is also noise showing in darker areas such as around the names of the boats.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

There are two problems that you may see in your photos when the lens is zoomed out. The first is that towards the edges of your photos vertical lines start to fall inwards. The second problem is a loss of sharpness as you move away from the centre of the shot. How much the loss of sharpness shows in your photos will depend on how large your print is.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

Towards both the left hand and right hand edges the picture loses sharpness and detail. In this case the loss of sharpness is so pronounced you may even notice it in smaller prints.

Outdoor Building

This is another shot taken some distance away from the subject and confirms earlier findings. The centre of the shot is sharply focused with an impressive level of detail showing. Towards the edges the photo becomes noticeably softer.

Outdoor Portrait

Working closer in is less of a challenge to the camera. All three portrait tests produced encouraging results.

Every digital camera should be able to take a good quality portrait outdoors in good light. The Cybershot DSC W610 has no problems in this area. For this test a white balance setting of cloudy was used to add some extra warmth to the colours in the shot.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

Using flash to add some extra brightness to the shot and to remove any shadows works well. The camera performs well when it comes to tempering the amount of flash light used. This leads to a more natural looking photo with colour being retained in the skin tones.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

As long as there is plenty of light available you will have the option of using the Cybershot DSC W610 without flash indoors. Leaving flash turned off can give you a more natural looking photo as the light produced by flash is harsher than natural light.

Macro

If you are looking for exceptional macro shots then you will need to pay more, but the Cybershot DSC W610 is able to produce simple close up snapshots. Quality is in line with expectations with the camera able to throw some of the background out of focus to highlight your subject.

Colours

Colours are quite standard. They are well balanced and will not overpower your photos.

Noise

Noise does show in the darker, shady areas of shots. When flash is not an option you are also likely to see higher noise levels when you are shooting in lowlight.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Rating 84/100

You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.

Read Review: Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review

Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review

Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC W610 Specification

Sony DSC W610 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: April 2012

Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC W610 is a cheap and cheerful digital camera. The main attractions are its price tag and ease of use. To be honest even taking its price tag into account picture quality is a bit disappointing.

Ratings

Ease of Use:
Features:
Movie Mode:
Build Quality:
Colours:

9
6
7
7
8

Photo Quality:
Style:
Indoors:
Macro:
Value for Money:

Total:

6
7
8
7
7

72

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:
Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

14
5x
2.7 inches
92.9 x 52.4 x 19.3mm
113g
4cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/SDHC/SDXC microSD, Memory Stick Duo

Shutter Lag Times

Single Shot:
Five Shots:
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:

0.48 seconds
15.08 seconds
1.71 seconds
15.59 seconds
3.36 seconds

Shutter Lag Table

Handling

General Handling

Although the Cybershot DSC W610 is a small camera there is still enough space to get a good grip. Sony have left plenty of room on the back to allow you to rest your thumb comfortably.

Flash Positioning

The flash unit is positioned fairly centrally towards the top of the camera. It is well out the way of your hands. This means you are unlikely to block out any light when you take a picture.

LCD Screen Quality

Screen quality is o.k. This is one area where you can notice a significant difference with more expensive digital cameras. As long as you are out of direct sunlight you should find it easy enough to view the screen.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

For taking single shots without flash the Cybershot DSC W610 is a little slower than average. Firing off five shots produces an average time both with and without flash. The first shot taken using flash is on the slow side. Turn on time is also slower than standard.

Design and Build Quality

In terms of looks there is not much to differentiate the Cybershot DSC W610 from other pocket cameras. It has a bog standard look to it. It may not have the build quality of more classy cameras, but then again it is comparable to other similarly priced models.

Camera Controls

The only controls on the top of the camera are the on - off button and the shutter button.

At the top on the back is the zoom control. At the side, on a rounded edge is a switch for selecting the shooting mode (still image, movie, panorama). There are three buttons to give you access to the menu system, to review photos you have taken and to delete unwanted photos. There is a circular control area for changing the information displayed on the LCD screen, choosing the flash mode, activating the self timer and turning on the smile shutter.

Product Shots

Front View

Sony DSC W610 Front View

Back View

Sony DSC W610 Back View

Top View

Sony DSC W610 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Buy the Sony DSC W610

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GBP 77.99
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