Sony DSC-W100 Review

 
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Sony DSC-W100 Performance









Timing

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.7 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
1.5 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
65 seconds
(7 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.0 second
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
1.4 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
0.6 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.31 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.59 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.012 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.43 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase on our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.19 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.37 seconds
Time averaged
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.30 seconds
Time averaged
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras won't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.98 second @ 1.02 frames per second;
4 frames total;
7 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.82 second @ 1.22 frames per second;
100 frames total;
65 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged
Flash recycling
6.52 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
3,961 KBytes/sec
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Sony DSC-W100's performance ranges from quite fast to average, with a good startup time of 1.7 seconds. Shutter response is fast with the lens set to wide angle and telephoto, with an excellent prefocus time of 0.012 second (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure). Shot to shot cycle times are quite good, at about 1.37 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it captures frames continuously at this rate. Where things slow down is the DSC-W100's continuous mode, which only shoots at about 1.02 frames per second, for a maximum of four frames. The flash takes about 6.5 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, about average for this class of camera. However, the camera's Multi-16 mode captures about 30 frames per second, though images are limited to the 320x240 resolution. Download speeds are quite fast. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action, the DSC-W100 is responsive enough to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Moderate battery life with the LCD on, slightly better when LCD is switched off.

Operating Mode
Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery, LCD on
360
LiIon rechargeable battery, LCD off
410

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. Because battery life is moderate with the LCD on or off, I recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged for extended outings.

Storage
No card is included with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100, although it accepts Memory Stick Duo cards; 64MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
64MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,264 x 2,448 Images 16 30
File Size 4.1 MB 2.2 MB
2,592 x 1,944 Images 25 48
File Size 2.7 MB 1.4 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 41 72
File Size 1.7 MB 929 KB
1,632 x 1,224 Images 65 123
File Size 1.0 MB 551 KB
640 x 480
Images 394 985
File Size 172 KB 69 KB

I strongly recommend buying at least a 512MB card, preferably a 1GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.


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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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