Sony DSC-W130 Review

 
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Sony W130 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A 4x optical zoom lens with fair performance. Digital Zoom performs much better than average.

32mm 128mm 2x Digital Zoom

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130's 4x optical zoom lens covers the equivalent of a 32-128mm range, just a little longer zoom than most average consumer digital cameras. At full wide angle, overall detail is soft, but corners aren't bad. The entire right side, however, is quite soft, as if all the coma distortion were concentrated on that side of the lens. Corners are still a little soft at full telephoto, though overall detail is much better. Again, some chromatic aberration is visible, especially in high contrast areas. The camera's 2x Precision Digital Zoom performed well, despite slight losses in detail and resolution. Fine details actually remain fairly well-defined considering the digital enlargement.

Macro
A small macro area with soft detail. Flash exposure is uneven.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Sony Cyber-shot W130's macro setting performed pretty well, capturing a small minimum area of 1.80 x 1.35 inches (46 x 34 millimeters). Detail and resolution were both soft at the very center of the frame where it's usually sharp, with very strong blurring in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode, but the Sony W130's is a little stronger than average.) The Sony W130's flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area and was partially blocked by the lens, resulting in a very uneven exposure. Plan on using external lighting for any macro shots with the Sony W130.

Distortion
High barrel and pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 32mm is 0.9%
Pincushion at 128mm is 0.5%

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130's 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is quite high, and noticeable in its images. At the telephoto end, the camera's 0.5% pincushion distortion is also quite high and visible. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic aberration
High at wide angle, low at telephoto. Very noticeable effect on some images in the corners toward full wide angle.

Wide: High and bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: High and bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: Low,
top left @200%
Tele: Low,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is high at wide angle, with very bright coloration on either side of the target lines. However, at telephoto, the effect is much lower, with really only a couple of much duller pixels visible. (This distortion is visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Fairly strong blurring in the corners of the frame at wide angle and telephoto.

Wide: Soft in the
corners (upper right).
Wide: Sharp at center.
Tele: Softer in the
corners (upper right)
Tele: Sharp at center.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130 produced soft corners of the frame at full wide angle and telephoto lens settings, and again, the entire right side is also soft. At both settings, the strongest occurrence was in the upper right corner of the frame. Though blurring wasn't as strong elsewhere, it did extend fairly far toward the center, but details at center remained sharp.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor, though a very tight optical viewfinder.

32mm eq., Optical 128mm eq., Optical
32mm eq., LCD 128mm eq., LCD

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130's optical viewfinder proved quite tight and inaccurate, showing only 78% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 76% at telephoto. However, the LCD monitor proved much more accurate, showing about 102% of the frame at wide angle, and about 99% at telephoto.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W130 Photo Gallery.

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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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