Sony DSC W630 Review

Simple and Easy

16 Megapixels    5x Zoom

Dimensions: 91 x 52.2 x 19.1mm    Weight: 116g

Good Points: High Definition movies, image stabilisation, ease of use, Sweep Panorama

Bad Points: Slow response with flash


Sony DSC W630 Shutter Lag Rating slow Ease of Use easy Camera Name Rating

Overview

The Sony Cybershot DSC W630 is a simple point and shoot digital camera with a couple of extra features that a lot of the competition do not have. It also has a relatively low price tag. The extra features include the ability to produce 360 degree panoramic photos.

Other attractions include ease of use and the fact the Cybershot DSC W630 will fit into most pockets.

Sony have produced versions in black, silver, purple and black.

Compared with other digital cameras at this price point the Cybershot DSC W630 has the following:

Plus Points

  • A mode for producing 360 degree panoramas
  • Image Stabilisation
  • High Definition movies

Negative Points
  • Slow response with flash turned on

Why Buy the Sony DSC W630

The Cybershot DSC W630 is small, simple to use, is available at a low price and has a few extra features compared to rival models.

Features

Megapixels and Zoom

The Cybershot DSC W630 has 16 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 25 - 125mm in 35mm format. This means you can squeeze wider scenes into your photos as well as having some zoom power at your fingertips.

Memory Cards

Unlike other digital cameras Sony models are compatible with some kinds of memory stick as well as with SD cards. The cards this camera can work with are 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

Power comes from a lithium ion battery. Sony estimates you can take around 220 photos before the battery needs to be recharged. A battery and charger are supplied as standard.

Movie Mode

Not all entry level digital cameras offer High Definition movies, so the fact the Cybershot DSC W630 can is a plus point. Movie resolution is 1280 x 720 pixels with a recording speed of 30 frames per second.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size.

Shooting Modes

Predefined shooting modes are: Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Night Portrait, Night Scene, High Sensitivity, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Gourmet, Pet Mode and Landscape.

Macro Mode

For close up shots the Cybershot DSC W630 is able to focus from 5cm away from your subject. That is about standard for a camera in this category.

Sweep Panorama

Sony were the innovators when it comes to sweep panoramas. To create a panorama all you need to do is press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in an arc.

Image Stabilisation

Image stabilisation has been built into the camera. This helps to negate any tiny movements of the hand when taking a picture. The end result should be sharper pictures.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

Picture quality is about average for a cheaper digital camera. Your snapshots should look o.k. and as long as you do not get too ambitious with print sizes then you should not see the majority of imperfections described below in your photos. If picture quality is of particular importance to you, even if you are on a budget there are digital cameras that are better than the Cybershot DSC W630.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

Kicking off with a plus point the Cybershot DSC W630 does well when it comes to sharpness. Looking at a large print of the picture the brickwork on the building is in better focus than some rival cameras manage. The Cybershot DSC W630 finds coping with the contrast in the scene harder. This shows up most if you take a close look at the boats. There is a lack of detail showing.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

As with the first shot the levels of sharpness are good. What you may notice if you make larger prints is that purple fringing is an issue with the Cybershot DSC W630. Purple fringing is where a camera adds a thin purple line to the edge of objects where they are caught by a light source such as the sun. This problem is more noticeable with the Cybershot DSC W630 than with most other digital cameras.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

Pushing the lens to its limits creates a picture with a very slight haze. The picture also takes on a slightly purple tinge.

Outdoor Building

With the lens not pushed to its extremes the Cybershot DSC W630 performs well in this test. The sharpness of the shot is impressive with very little loss of sharpness as you move out towards the edges of the shot.

Outdoor Portrait

This picture shows the Cybershot DSC W630 at its best. Working closer in with perfect light the camera is able to produce a sharply focused photo. Colours are accurate and the photo has a warm look to it.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

Even using flash and working in fairly bright conditions the Cybershot DSC W630 finds it difficult to produce a photo that is truly pin sharp. Aside from that it manages to produce the right amount of light to create a bright picture with light reaching the corners of the photo.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

As with the photo taken with flash the picture is not quite pin sharp. Although this may not trouble you if you are making smaller prints or posting photos online, there are better options around if you plan to take a lot of photos indoors or in poor light.

Macro

If all you want to do is take a quick close up shot every now and again then the Cybershot DSC W630 will do the job for you. At this price point you are unlikely to find a digital camera that is really top drawer when it comes to macro photography.

Colours

In some of the test shots blues took on a purple tinge. This is most likely to occur on bright sunny days.

Noise

Noise levels are inline with similar level digital cameras. If you are taking photographs in bright conditions you are unlikely to see much evidence of noise. Noise is more likely to be seen in darker conditions and shady section of you pictures.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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

Canon Powershot A2400 IS Rating 83/100

The Canon Powershot A2400 IS gives you a clear choice between a camera that has the edge when it comes to picture quality and ones with the latest bells and whistles. Picture quality is likely to be hard to beat at this price point.

Read Review: Canon Powershot A2400 IS Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC W630 Specification

Sony DSC W630 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: April 2012

Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC W630 may not be perfect when it comes to picture quality, but it does pack in enough features to make it worth a closer look. It scores highly for ease of use and features such as 360 panoramas and High Definition movies may make this camera an interesting option for you.

Ratings

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

9
8
8
8
7

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

Total:

7
8
7
8
8

78

Main Features

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

16
5x
2.7 inches
91 x 52.2 x 19.1mm
116g
5cm
Yes
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:

0.43 seconds
14.85 seconds
1.65 seconds
16.38 seconds
3.33 seconds

Shutter Lag Table

Handling

General Handling

Although this is a small pocket camera there is still enough room to get a good grip. At less than 20mm wide it fits easily into most pockets. At 100g without batteries or memory card it is very lightweight.

Flash Positioning

The flash unit is towards the top of the camera, off centre, towards the right. This places it out the way of any stray fingers that may block out light.

LCD Screen Quality

There is not a great deal to report about the LCD screen. It is easy enough to view providing it is not in direct sunlight.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

When flash is not being used the shutter lag times are about standard (0.43 seconds for one shot and 14.85 seconds for five shots). Using flash slows down responses considerably for the first shot (1.61 seconds for one shot and 16.38 seconds for five). The time taken to turn the camera on and take the first shot is a shade slower than standard at 3.33 seconds.

Design and Build Quality

There is not a great deal that marks this camera out as different to other pocket cameras when it comes to looks. The lens unit dominates the front of the camera and the corners are rounded. As you might expect it lacks the build quality of the more expensive models, but the materials used are of comparable quality to similarly priced models.

Camera Controls

The only buttons on the top of the camera are the on / off button and the shutter button.

On the back of the camera are buttons to control zoom, review photos, access the menu system and delete photos. The delete button can also be used for help and tips. Also situated on the back is the main control area. This gives you access to setting the flash mode, activating the self timer, turning on the smile shutter and changing the LCD screen display. There is also a slider for selecting the shooting mode.

Product Shots

Front View

Sony DSC W630 Front View

Back View

Sony DSC W630 Back View

Top View

Sony DSC W630 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Buy the Sony DSC W630

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GBP 56.95
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