Review posted for Sony DSC-W1|
(Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 09:10 EDT)
A near twin to the DSC-P100 in many respects, Sony's DSC-W1 is another good and surprisingly capable subcompact point-and-shoot digicam.
Housed in its tiny, all-metal shell are a 5.0-megapixel CCD, a sharp, high-quality 3x optical zoom lens, six preset Scene modes and a host of other options. Its pictures show excellent color and sharpness, and unusually low levels of image noise for its combination of a five-megapixel sensor and compact camera design. On the down side though, the low noise is achieved at some cost to subtle subject detail, caused by its very aggressive anti-noise processing.
While its tone curve is as contrasty as many of its consumer-grade competitors, it has a very effective contrast adjustment control that does a good job of taming the high contrast for times when you're faced with harsh lighting. It has a very good macro mode as well, and is much better than average at shooting under low light conditions. Add to this its very good battery life and surprisingly fast shutter response, and I think Sony is going to have another winner on their hands.
If you're looking for a great "take anywhere" camera with great versatility and excellent color and tonality, the Sony DSC-W1 would be an excellent choice. A "Dave's Pick," but I'd be happier if its noise-suppression processing were a little less aggressive. Check it out!