Sony DSC-W300 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Sony Cameras / Sony Cybershot i Review

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 Performance


Timing and Performance

Blazing fast to sluggish timings, depending on the action.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.9 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

1.7 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Slightly sluggish times here, particularly start-up.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.5 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.8 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.8 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are also slower than average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.42 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.54 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Full Autofocus
Flash

0.77 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.008 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.36 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.38 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"

Shutter response is better than average at both wide angle, at 0.42-second, and also pretty good at telephoto, at 0.54-second. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.008 second, which is excellent. Good results here.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.77 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

2.01 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don'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

0.52 second (1.92 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
High Speed
3MP ONLY

0.20 second (4.96 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640 x 480 JPEG

0.63 second (1.59 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1.5 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

9 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Pro Duo Extreme III memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are on the slower side, at about 1.77 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) Surprisingly, the lower resolution, 640x480-JPEG setting results in an even slower 2.01-second cycle time. Continuous mode is pretty good, at 1.92 frames per second for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures more than 20 frames this fast. The High Speed mode is blazing fast for a consumer digital camera, capturing 4.96 frames per second for more than 20 frames, though it is limited to the 3-megapixel resolution. The flash takes 9 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is on the slower side.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

9,619 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are excellent.

Overall, the Cyber-shot DSC-W300 is a bit of a mixed bag, timing-wise. Its startup and mode-switching times are a little slow, and shot-to-shot cycle times are also on the slow side. However, shutter lag is pretty good, and the High Speed continuous mode is blazing fast, as are download times. Thus, the DSC-W300 should handle most shooting situations well. And though the High Speed Continuous setting is limited to the 3-megapixel resolution, we think it's an excellent option for capturing fast-paced action.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD On
(CIPA standard)
300
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, LCD Off
(CIPA standard)
340

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is about average, so we definitely recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 accepts Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo memory cards, and includes about 15MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
15MB Internal Memory
Fine
4,224 x 3,168
Images
2
File Size
5.3 MB
3,264 x 2,448
Images
4
File Size
3.2 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
6
File Size
2.5 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
10
File Size
1.6 MB
640 x 480
Images
169
File Size
257 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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