Entry-level cameras are often overlooked as an option for potential buyers due to the abundance (and increasing quality) of smartphone cameras. However, don’t be fooled: there are still plenty of features accessible only in a standalone camera, and those looking to take their first steps in the world of photography will appreciate accessing those features for less than 100 dollars with Sony’s DSC-W800.
It features a 20.1 megapixel sensor and an optical zoom lens 5 times, which means you can, with a little patience, take great photos in many conditions. Combine this with SteadyShot image stabilization, USB charging and an easy-to-use 360-degree panoramic mode, and Sony has put together an attractive package for beginners looking to get their wordings.
The Sony DSC-W800 comes with a highly pocket-sized design that takes away no excuse not to take it with you. It’s 3.8 inches wide and 0.82 inches deep, and weighs a lean 4.2-ounce with battery and memory inside, it’s even lighter and smaller than most modern smartphones. The only downside to this featherweight design is that we found that the camera was a bit inconvenient when handling it. This is a remarkable compensation, in our view, but certainly noteworthy.
The buttons and controls, on the other hand, feel as robust as we would expect. The only weak point was the video recording button, which is a bit melancholy positioned and difficult to press.
A familiar drawback for a camera so size conscious, of course, is that anyone with bigger hands will have trouble holding it and using it comfortably. While this can be difficult for older adults, it certainly makes it an ideal camera for children, who will benefit not only from the size, but from the affordable controls and the prevailing price.
When you initially set up the camera, simply plug in the battery and connect the cable included in the only external port to start charging. The device contained enough load from the box to start using and testing the camera immediately, but its mileage may vary.
Since the battery is small, the camera can achieve a full charge very quickly, but this, of course, comes with the disadvantage of being rated only for 200 shots or 100 minutes of continuous use. In our tests, this was suitable for short jets, but a diligent load was definitely required before taking it out for use.
Photo Quality: No Big Surprises
We don’t sweeten it: you’re paying about 90 bucks for a camera, and you’re getting that level of photo quality. Buyers familiar with the latest camera alternatives that cost three to ten times more might surprise the somewhat unpleasant image quality. That said, with a little patience and the right equipment (advice: get a tripod), you can definitely take good photos.
As with most cameras at the lower end of the price spectrum, Sony’s DSC-W800 will provide much better results in brightness conditions. Autofocus delays in lower lighting conditions and newer sensor technology allow you to open the shutter for longer in moderate and dim lighting situations. Simple English: Wait 1 to 4 seconds to take a good photo inside at night without using the flash.
One last item of the note: the 2.7-inch (4:3) /230,400-point screen on the back of the camera is not a very high resolution and the photos you are taking with the camera will be much better when removed from the camera and computer.
Video quality: fine but not cool
Like other cameras at this price, the video quality is a bit of a later idea. A 1280 x 720 video recording resolution falls below Full HD (1920 x 1080) and is difficult for anyone who wants to use this device primarily for video purposes. Those hoping to make the jump to the video will better serve savings for a camera that offers at least 1080p, if not 4K recording capacity.
Price: Friendly wallet for a reason
With less than 100 dollars, Sony’s DSC-W800 gives you everything you can reasonably expect to receive in a new camera at this price. It will be difficult to find a cheaper alternative that is worth considering, so if spending more is not really an option, you don’t need to look too far.Photo:Sony
What we like
Smart, easy-to-use design
20.1 megapixel sensor
Direct and untied controls
Better removable battery for product longevity
What we don’t like
Slow Autofocus Performance
Less than the quality of the stellar image
720p video resolution
Limited manual controls
Sony DSC-W800 Specs:
- Product Name DSC-W800
- Product Brand Sony
- Price $88
- Weight 8.8 oz.
- Product Dimensions 2 x 2.1 x 0.9 in.
- Color Black
- Compatibility Windows, macOS
- Max Photo Resolution 20.1MP
- Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720