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Sony CyberShot W170 review

Dennis Hissink
Photokina report
Tuesday 9th, September 2008
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

The first quarter of a year tends to be the busiest period for most manufacturers, since many introductions are usually made at that specific time. In January, the first large consumer electronics show kicks off, the CES in Las Vegas; which generally forms the start of the first camera introductions. In 2008, the PMA was held right after the CES show, leading to a genuine flood of new compact and DSLR cameras. So did Sony, and the Sony Cybershot W170 belongs to the first series of this year. The Sony Cybershot W170 is a camera model of the W-series; models that aim at a straightforward operation, yet, are equipped with the latest innovative techniques.

Sony CyberShot DSC-W170

Sony CyberShot camera
The design of the Sony Cybershot W170 makes it an interesting camera to look at. Although it is my personal view, I do find it a pretty design. It is quite difficult to come up with something unique all the time, and Sony stick to a slightly standard design. Yet small details in the form of round edges, a striking zoom lens appearance and a somewhat hollow and shiny edge around the digital camera, succeed in making the design exciting.

Sony CyberShot DSC-W170

Sony W170 image quality
The colour reproduction of the Sony Cybershot W170 is comparable with that of the Cybershot DSC-T300, a stylish Cybershot we tested recently. Up to and including ISO 400 the colour reproduction deviates slightly compared to the reality, however, already in practice this is hard to see. From ISO 400 and higher, colour stability increases with an excellent result for the highest ISO sensitivities. As far as white balance is concerned, the auto white balance encounters some difficulties in relation to incandescent light, and will obtain the best result when manually corrected. Up to and including ISO 400 the result is fine, with an elevation at ISO 800 and 3200 at which the best performance is carried out.

Sony CyberShot DSC-W170

Sony CyberShot W170 review
One of the effects is the signal/noise ratio. From the technical tests, it becomes clear time and time again that an increase of resolution on a small image sensor equals a diminishing of performance and in particular at high ISO values. For the Sony W170 this applies clearly from ISO 400, however, below 400 ISO is not that rosy either. The performance at 200 ISO and lower is reasonable to good. Still, it is obvious that this should and can improve drastically. Furthermore, the lens suffers from chromatic aberration in a way we would call a Carl Zeiss lens unworthy. Read the full Sony CyberShot DSC-W170 review at LetsGoDigital.

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