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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W620 Overview

Posted: 01/10/2012

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W620 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 5x optical zoom lens. For 4:3 aspect-ratio still image or movie shooting, the Sony W620's lens offers a 35mm-equivalent range from a generous 28mm wide angle to a moderate 140mm telephoto, while 16:9 still shooting yields a sensor crop and 30 - 150mm equivalent focal range, and 16:9 movies get a slightly stronger crop for 32-160mm focal lengths. The lens has a maximum aperture that varies across the zoom range, from F3.2 to F6.5. Autofocusing is possible to a minimum of just ten centimeters at wide angle, or one meter 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 either 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) high-def or VGA (640 x 480 pixel) standard-def resolution or below. Unfortunately, the DSC-W620 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 W620 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 W620 doesn't feature an optical or electronic viewfinder. The Sony DSC-W620 has a multi-point autofocus system and includes a face detection system with face tracking, but it isn't clear yet precisely how many points or faces it can detect. The face detection function is also used to provide a Smile Shutter function that automatically triggers the shutter when your subject is smiling. The W620 offers three methods for determining exposures - multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering. Shutter speeds from 2 to 1/2,000 second are possible under automatic control, and sensitivities ranging from ISO 100 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 W620 offers a selection of 12 scene modes -- High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, SteadyShot, Beach, Snow, Gourmet, Pet, Gourmet, and Pet Mode -- which offer a modicum of control over the look of images. The Sony W620 includes a four-mode flash strobe with red-eye reduction capability. Flash range is stated as 0.5 to 3.0 meters at wide angle, or 0.5 to 1.5 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 28MB of built-in memory, enough to save a few test shots. The Sony W620 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 220 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards.

The Sony W620 digital camera is available from February 2012, priced at around US$120.