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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W610 Overview

Posted: 01/10/2012

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W610 digital camera is based around a 1/2.3"-type, 14.1 effective megapixel Sony Super HAD CCD image sensor with RGB color filter array, coupled to a Sony-branded 4x optical zoom lens. For 4:3 aspect-ratio still image or movie shooting, the Sony W610's lens offers a 35mm-equivalent range from a generous 26mm wide angle to a moderate 105mm telephoto, while 16:9 still shooting yields a sensor crop and 28 - 114mm equivalent focal range. The lens has a maximum aperture that varies across the zoom range, from F2.8 to F5.9. Autofocusing is possible to a minimum of just four centimeters at wide angle, or 60 centimeters at telephoto. The camera can capture 4:3 aspect ratio images at up to 4,320 x 3,240 pixel resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio images at up to 4,320 x 2,432 pixels, or 30 frames-per-second Motion JPEG video at VGA (640 x 480 pixel) resolution or below. Unfortunately, the DSC-W610 doesn't offer any form of optical image stabilization, instead relying on software techniques to fight the effects of blur from camera shake.

On the rear panel of the Sony Cyber-shot W610 is a 2.7-inch Clear Photo TFT LCD panel with a resolution of 230,400 dots. This serves as the only method of framing and reviewing images, since the Sony W610 doesn't feature an optical or electronic viewfinder. The Sony DSC-W610 has a multi-point autofocus system and includes a face detection system, but it isn't clear yet precisely how many points or faces it can detect. (We do know that it doesn't include face tracking capability, however.) The face detection function is also used to provide a Smile Shutter function that automatically triggers the shutter when your subject is smiling. The W610 offers three methods for determining exposures - multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering. Shutter speeds from 1 to 1/1,600 second are possible under automatic control, and sensitivities ranging from ISO 80 to 3,200 equivalents are on offer. 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3 EV steps.

Eight white balance settings are available, including auto and seven presets. As well as Intelligent Auto and Program modes, the W610 offers a selection of ten scene modes -- High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, SteadyShot, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, and Pet -- which offer a modicum of control over the look of images. The Sony W610 includes a four-mode flash strobe with red-eye reduction capability. Flash range is stated as 0.3 to 3.5 meters at wide angle, or 0.6 to 1.8 meters at telephoto, when using automatic ISO sensitivity. A two- or ten-second self timer allows the photographer to get in the picture themselves, or to avoid camera shake caused by pressing the shutter button when shooting on a tripod.

Images and movies can be recorded on Secure Digital, SDHC, and the latest SDXC card types, as well as on Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo, PRO HG Duo, and Micro or the standard microSD and microSDHC types using the appropriate adapters. There's also a not-so-generous 21MB of built-in memory, enough to save a few test shots. The Sony W610 includes both USB 2.0 High Speed data connectivity, and video output, although we don't yet know if this is standard or high-definition. Power comes courtesy of a proprietary NP-BN (supplied) or NP-BN1 (optional) lithium ion rechargeable battery pack, rated as good for 250 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards.

The Sony W610 digital camera is available from January 2012, priced at around US$110.