Sony DSC-W300 Review

 
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 Optics


Lens

Zoom
Good performance from the DSC-W300's 3x optical zoom lens, though some noticeable blurring in the corners at wide angle. Sony's Precision Digital Zoom performs much better than average digital enlargement.

35mm 105mm 2x Precision Digital Zoom

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300's 3x optical lens covers a fairly standard 35mm-equivalent range of 35-105mm. Results at full wide angle are pretty good for the most part, though there's a significant amount of blurring all of the corners of the frame except the lower right. Some coma distortion is also noticeable. At full telephoto, results are also very good, with less pronounced blurring in the corners. The camera's 2x Precision Digital Zoom did an excellent job of holding onto fine detail, despite slight losses in resolution. Great job overall.

Macro
An average size macro area, though very strong blurring from the lens. Closest focusing distance is too close for the flash.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300's macro setting captured a minimum area of 2.06 x 1.54 inches (52 x 39 millimeters), which is about average. Detail and resolution were both good at the very center of the frame, but strong blurring from the corners extended far into the image area. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode, but the DSC-W300's lens produced more than average.) The DSC-W300's flash had trouble throttling down for the macro area, however, and produced a very uneven exposure. Plan on using external lighting for any macro shots with the Cyber-shot DSC-W300.

Distortion
High barrel distortion, and higher than average pincushion.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 0.8%
Pincushion at 105mm is 0.3%

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300's 0.8% barrel distortion at wide angle is higher than what we typically see, and is noticeable in many of its full wide angle images. At the telephoto end, the DSC-W300's 0.3% pincushion distortion is also a little higher than average. 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
Moderate to moderately high levels at wide angle and telephoto, with some exaggeration from strong blurring in the corners. Bright pixels at wide angle.

Wide: Moderately high but bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: Bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: Moderate but less bright,
top left @200%
Tele: Moderate,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderately high at wide angle and telephoto. At both zoom settings, the distortion appears to be increased by some strong blurring in the corners of the frame. (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, not as bad at telephoto, when compared to the center of the frame.

Wide: Quite soft in the
corners (upper right).
Wide: Sharp at center.
Tele: Very soft in the
corners (lower left).
Tele: Sharper at center.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 produced soft corners at full wide angle and telephoto zoom settings. At full wide angle, blurring was strongest in the upper right corner, with the lower right corner showing the least blurring. The degree of softness in the corners also varied at telephoto, with the lower left corner showing the strongest amount.

Viewfinder

Coverage
A tight optical viewfinder, but good results with the LCD monitor.

35mm eq., Optical 105mm eq., Optical
35mm eq., LCD 105mm eq., LCD

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300's optical viewfinder showed about 86% frame accuracy at wide angle, and about 81% at telephoto, which is a bit tight. Alternatively, the LCD monitor showed about 104% coverage accuracy at wide angle, and about 100% at telephoto, actually a little loose on the wide angle end.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 Photo Gallery.

Sony DSC-W300

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