Featuring 14.1-megapixel resolution, 4x optical zoom (26 mm to 104 mm), a Carl Zeiss lens, SteadyShot image stabilization and a budget-friendly price tag, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530 is a "relatively cheap, very light and compact camera that's designed for users who want something simple to operate and easy to carry," says Elias Plastiras of GoodGearGuide.com.au. Though users say it takes colorful, fairly detailed images in ideal conditions, it struggles with low-light settings and fast-moving objects. Menus are easy to navigate, but the "laughable" viewing angle limits the 2.7-inch LCD screen's usability, Franck Mée and Morgane Alzieu of DigitalVersus.com say. Both experts and users report noticeable delay between shots.
Though basic compared to Sony's higher-end compact cameras, the W530 does have automatic scene selection (iAuto mode) and creates decent panorama and portrait shots, according to user reviews. At ISO 800 and higher, experts report noise and loss of detail in images, and shooting in wide-angle creates soft edges. Image quality is "adequate at best and it's suitable for taking happy snaps -- just don't expect it to do a good job in all situations," Plastiras says. Sony's DSC-W570 (*Est. $125), the next step up, offers HD video recording (rather than standard-definition video) but little improvement in image quality.
The W530 doesn't get many expert reviews, but DigitalVersus.com and Australia's Good Gear Guide offer thorough evaluations. User reviews at Amazon offer feedback on long-term use.
Franck Mée and Morgane Alzieu of DigitalVersus.com tackle the W530 in sections, awarding a rating to handling, responsiveness, picture quality, and video. Overall the W530 earns only a 2 out of 5 stars for its poor video quality and "disappointing" picture quality.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot W530, Franck Mée and Morgane Alzieu (Translated by Catherine Barraclough), March 22, 2011
Elias Plastiras awards the W530 2 out of 5 stars, saying the camera suffers from poor image quality and is "generally not fun to use." Plastiras does note the W530 is lightweight and easy to carry.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530 compact camera, Elias Plastiras, May 10, 2011
More than 100 users weigh in on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530's performance at Amazon.com. Roughly 80 percent of users give the camera with 4 or 5 stars, while 20 percent give it 3 stars or below. Users enjoy the W530's portability and impressive image quality under good lighting conditions, but some are disappointed by its low-light performance and lag time between snapping shots.
Review: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W530, Contributors to Amazon.com