Sony DSC-W50 Review

 
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Sony DSC-W50 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good speed for a consumer camera.

Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
1.7
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
1.4 - 5
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
0.9
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
0.4 /~0
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.31 / 0.52
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.012
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, continuous autofocus
0.284
(Generally no increase in speed for static subjects, and we have no way to consistently measure performance with moving subjects.)
Shutter lag, manual focus
0.21
-
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.27
Times are averages. Shoots at the same rate regardless of resolution. In large/fine mode, shoots 12 frames this fast, then takes 2.6 seconds to clear the buffer. Shoots this fast continuously in "TV" mode, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures
5
(Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.70 / 0.77
(1.43 / 1.30 fps)
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" size images. Times are averages. In large/fine mode, shoots 3 frames this fast, then takes 3.1 seconds to clear the buffer. In "TV" mode, shoots 13 frames this fast, then takes 4.3 seconds to clear the buffer.
Cycle Time, Multi -Burst mode
0.03
(30 fps)
Shoots sixteen 320 x 240 shots and stores them in a 4x4 array in one 1280 x 960 file. User can choose frame rate up to 30 fps. Buffer clears in less than a second.
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
5,027 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Greater than 770=USB 2.0 High
* Note - These timings were collected with a 2GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo memory card. Slower cards could result in shorter run lengths in continuous mode and longer buffer clearing times.

The DSC-W50's performance was quite good here, with a quick start up time of 1.7 seconds, a very fast shutter response when the lens is set to its wide angle position, and a better than average response at telephoto as well. If you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's extremely fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.012 second, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are very good as well, at about 1.27 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it clears the buffer after each shot. Continuous-mode speed is where the camera slows down a bit, with its 0.70-second frame time and corresponding 1.43 frame rate. If you want to track really fast action though, the W50's Multi-Burst mode can capture 16 small (704-528 pixels, stored in a single large-size frame on the memory card) at either 7.5, 15, or 30 frames/second -- great for studying golf/tennis swings, etc. The flash takes about six seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, about average for this class of camera. Connected to a computer, download speeds are so fast that we had a hard time believing the numbers we were seeing, but repeated tests gave similar results. Bottom line, the DSC-W50 is quite responsive, if a little lacking in its Continuous mode. (* Note - These timings were collected with a 2GB Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo memory card. Slower cards could result in shorter run lengths in continuous mode and longer buffer clearing times.)

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Surprisingly good battery life for a small camera.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
LiIon battery, LCD on
390
LiIon battery, LCD off
500

The Sony Cyber-shot W50 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.

We normally always recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for long outings, but the W50's battery life is good enough that few users are likely to feel the need for a second battery.

Storage
No card is included with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W50, although it accepts Memory Stick Duo cards; 32MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
32MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,816 x 2,112 Images 10 19
File Size 3.2 MB 1.7 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 20 36
File Size 1.6 MB 924 KB
1,632 x 1,224 Images 32 61
File Size 1.0 MB 548 KB
640 x 480
Images 196 491
File Size 171 KB 68 KB

The Sony Power-shot DSC-W50 stores its photos on Memory Stick Duo memory cards or in approximately 32MB of internal memory, and no card is included with the camera. (We strongly recommend buying at least a 256MB card, preferably a 512MB one, to give yourself enough space for extended outings.)

 

Sony DSC-W50

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