Sony S750 Overview
by Stephanie Boozer
Review Date: 05/07/08
With its simple design and small size, the Sony Cyber-shot S750 is exactly what it looks like: a basic point-and-shoot digital camera geared toward novices, anyone who doesn't want to fiddle too much with exposure controls. The DSC-S750 fits into pockets and small purses quite well, and its low-profile front makes it easy to stash and go. Offering a 3x optical zoom lens, a large 2.5-inch LCD monitor and 7.2-megapixel (effective) CCD, the S750 features the basics you need for normal picture-taking at a low MSRP of US$149.99.
In addition to the camera's fairly standard 3x optical zoom (equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera), the S750 also offers 2x Precision Digital Zoom, as well as Sony's Smart Zoom technology for better quality preservation during digital enlargement. The camera also features Sony's Face Detection Technology to help achieve better results in portraits. Other highlights on the Sony S750 are its seven available preset Scene modes (including a high-ISO mode), and adjustable metering mode, ISO, sharpness and color options.
Sony S750 User Report
by Stephanie Boozer
Small, simple, and easy to use, the Sony S750 is handsome and has an attractive price, but it is unfortunately marred by image quality issues that prevent quality enlargements above 5x7 inches. If that's all you'll want to print, read on.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 has a slim profile attractive to pockets. Its brushed metal front panel is modern with a brushed metal appearance and texture. The camera's retractable lens stows flush with the front panel, making it easy to slip into your pocket on the way out the door. Measuring 3.6 x 2.2 x 1.0 inches (91 x 56 x 27 millimeters) and weighing only 5 ounces (143 grams), the DSC-S750 is meant for travel.
The camera has a 7.2-megapixel CCD, a 3x optical zoom lens, and a bright 2.5-inch color LCD display. There's also a useful selection of creative shooting modes and user-adjustable options if desired, or users can stick to Auto mode and let the camera handle it all. The Sony S750 also includes a handful of basic shooting options, from adjustable white balance to ISO to a color mode, for slightly more control over your exposures.
Look and feel. Though trim and compact, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 was comfortable to hold in my medium-sized hands. Likewise, one-handed shooting was also easy to manage, though I did notice a tendency for my thumb to slide over (and thus smudge) the LCD monitor. The lack of a thumb rest on the rear panel means your thumb has to rest on the Zoom lever or Mode dial most of the time. This typically wasn't a problem, as the Mode dial wasn't easily turned, and the Zoom lever was just firm enough that it wasn't accidentally pressed either. On the upside, all of the Sony S750's external controls are clustered along the right side of the rear panel, which makes one-handed shooting less of a problem.
The large, bright, 2.5-inch color LCD monitor covers practically all of the camera's rear panel, leaving just enough room for the small selection of controls clustered along the right side. Though its surface is highly reflective (and easily smudged and scratched), the Sony S750's LCD is still easy to see under bright sunlight. There is no fine LCD brightness adjustment, but the Display button on the rear panel does offer a slightly brighter display mode for outdoor shooting.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 offers a standard 3x optical zoom lens, equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. In addition to its optical zoom range, the Cyber-shot DSC-S750 offers Sony's 2x Precision Digital Zoom, which does an nice job of preserving image resolution and detail despite digital enlargement. We always like to remind readers that digital zoom often results in lower resolution and detail, because the camera is simply cropping the center of the frame and enlarging it, but the DSC-S750's digital zoom should yield good results if print sizes are kept small, or images used for online purposes. Sony also included their Smart Zoom technology, which you can enable through a Settings menu. Smart Zoom limits the amount of digital enlargement based on the resolution setting, also in an effort to hold onto detail and reduce artifacts.
The Cyber-shot DSC-S750 is equipped for normal shooting conditions, featuring a handful of preset Scene modes, Face Detection technology, and tools like ISO, white balance, sharpness, and color mode adjustments. Straightforward and easy to operate, the DSC-S750 is a comfortable travel companion.
Interface. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750's interface is easy to navigate, with few external controls and a limited record menu. You can literally just point and shoot the majority of the time without needing the LCD menu system. The main menu layout is logical and straightforward, and similar to preceding Cyber-shot models with a set of tabs lining the bottom of the LCD display, whose menus fly up into the image area. The arrow keys of the Multi-controller navigate menu options, while the center button confirms selections. The Sony S750's external controls are also quite straightforward. The Power and Shutter buttons are the only controls on the top panel, and both remain flush with the camera for a sleek profile. The remaining controls are all tucked along the right side of the LCD monitor. The Mode dial on the rear panel controls the main exposure mode, and the four-way Multi-controller immediately below not only navigates through menu settings, but also accesses Display, Macro, Flash, and Self-Timer modes.
Modes. The Mode dial on the rear panel controls the Sony S750's main shooting mode. Choices include Auto, Program, Movie, Snow, Beach, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, and High Sensitivity modes. The Auto option is more like a traditional fully automatic exposure mode, keeping most exposure variables under automatic control, while Program mode expands user control to include white balance, metering, ISO, sharpness and color options. The preset scene options are fairly self-explanatory, each optimizing the camera for common-yet-tricky shooting conditions. Sony's Face Detection technology automatically enables in many of the camera's shooting modes, adjusting focus and exposure for better portraits.
The Cyber-shot S750 provides a useful selection of exposure tools in many of its shooting modes, including the ability to choose ISO (from 100 to 1,250), metering, color mode, white balance, exposure compensation, and sharpness. Through its Record menu, the Sony S750 offers a Burst photography mode, which Sony rates as fast as 3 frames in 1.2 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, which matched our test findings. The Sony S750 is also equipped for capturing 320 x 240-pixel movies with sound, at frame rates as high as 30 frames per second.
Storage and battery. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 accepts Memory Stick DUO and PRO DUO memory cards, but does not come with a card. Instead, the camera features about 22MB of internal memory. Of course, we always recommend picking up a large capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo.
For power, the Sony S750 uses a single, custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and ships with both the battery and charger. You can purchase an AC adaptor as a separate accessory, and we highly recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.
A difficult subject, this all-white house
in bright sunlight, and the DSC-S750
loses detail where it counts.
Lost detail in white highlights.
Default Exposure, ISO 100
Shooting. Overall, shooting with the Sony S750 was pretty straightforward under normal conditions and in the normal parameters. Most functions were easy to find, either in the LCD menu or via one of the external controls. Shutter response was good, faster than average, and cycle times were about average as well. Mode switching and the camera's startup and shutdown times were a little sluggish, but overall the Sony S750 was responsive under normal conditions.
Default Exposure, ISO 100
Image quality. The Cyber-shot DSC-S750 produced very vibrant color, often pushing reds and blues a little too far as you can see in the shot above. In many cases, cyan and blue tones were shifted strongly toward purple and violet, which frequently resulted in slightly odd-looking, more purplish skies. Depending on the light source, we often noticed either very cool or quite warm overall color balances with the Auto setting. Caucasian skin tones were a little more pinkish and reddish than ideal.
Noise suppression limits detail
in this mosaic at ISO 100.
The Cyber-shot DSC-S750 captures a modest amount of fine detail, with noise suppression blurring detail quite a bit even at ISO 100. In the crop above, the only mosaic details are visible in the border and black background, though the entire image features the mosaic pattern.
Even at ISO 100, fine details in the crop above look more like an illustration than a photograph. Noise level is high at 400, with visible blurring as well. Images are basically unusable at ISO 1,250, even at small sizes.
Wide: Very soft in the right
corners (upper left).
Wide: Sharper at center.
We noticed significant blurring in the corners of the frame at full wide angle, with slightly less blurring at telephoto. The effect was noticeable in many of the DSC-S750's images.
Appraisal. The Sony Cyber-shot S750 has a few issues. Overall exposure is adequate in many cases, but image quality and color accuracy need improvement. Image noise is on the high side, and there's a good deal of blurring from the camera's effort to suppress that noise. The Sony S750 is inexpensive, easy to use, very portable, and results aren't entirely terrible. Our printed results do show that it's more of a 4x6-only camera, only capable of producing truly sharp 5x7-inch prints at ISO 100; raise the ISO any higher, you're better sticking to 4x6-inch prints. Most 7-megapixel digital cameras are at least capable of printing sharp 11x14-inch prints, but the Sony S750's output is too soft at that size.
Sony S750 Basic Features
- 7.2-megapixel CCD (effective) delivers image resolutions as high as 3,072 x 2,304 pixels
- 3x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 35-105mm
- As much as 2x Precision Digital zoom
- Additional Smart Zoom
- Five-area Multi-Point and Center AF
- 2.5-inch color LCD monitor
- Auto and Program AE exposure modes
- Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 1 second, depending on mode
- Aperture range from f/2.8 - f/9.7, depending on zoom position
- Built-in flash with four modes and intensity adjustment
- Memory Stick DUO / DUO PRO memory slot
- 22MB internal memory
- Power from custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack
- Multi-connector for A/V television connection and USB 2.0 connection
- PictBridge compatible
Sony S750 Special Features
- Seven preset Scene modes
- Movie mode with sound
- Burst shooting mode
- Face Detection technology
- Macro and Self-Timer modes
- Spot, Center-Weighted, and Multi-pattern Metering modes
- Adjustable ISO from 100 to 1,250 equivalents, plus an Auto setting
- Adjustable white balance with six settings
- Color menu for creative color options
- Soft carrying case
- Backup rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for extended outings
- Large capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo. Memory Stick PRO versions can handle high-res movie data and give faster download times. They should be used for all current Sony cameras. These days, 2GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity, but if you plan to capture many movie clips, 4GB should be a minimum.
Sony S750 Conclusion
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 is a fairly basic point-and-shoot digital camera. It does offer a 7.2-megapixel CCD, a 3x optical zoom lens and enhanced Sony features like Face Detection and an array of preset scene modes. However, image quality is lacking, and problems with image noise and color accuracy should push consumers to look at other cameras in this class. The Sony S750's poor printed results are tough to get around, with even ISO 100 images appearing soft in 8x10-inch prints. Though the Sony S750 looks nice, we recommend looking at some of the digital cameras below.