The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 is ideal for casual shooters seeking an inexpensive, entry-level compact, but users shouldn't expect much, reviews say. Like most cameras in the sub-$100 price range, the W510 offers fewer features than high-end models and also lags behind point-and-shoot competitors such as the Canon PowerShot A1200 (*Est. $90) , which has both HD video and an optical viewfinder. Otherwise, the 12.1-megapixel W510 comes with a 2.7-inch LCD display and wide-angle 4x optical zoom lens (26 mm to 105 mm), effective for group photos or "very dramatic" landscape shots, says Ken McMahon at CameraLabs.com. For even wider shots, the W510's Sweep Panorama mode lets users take 231-degree horizontal photos by pressing the shutter button, though CNET Australia's Alexandra Savvides finds this feature to be sluggish.
Aside from Sweep Panorama, the W510 offers a range of shooting modes for amateur users, including Easy Shooting and Intelligent Scene Recognition, which automatically selects the right camera settings depending on each scene. Measuring less than 4 inches wide and weighing slightly more than 4 ounces, the W510 easily fits into a purse or shirt pocket. But reviews say large-handed shooters may find the camera's slim, lightweight frame insubstantial. Another drawback is the camera's grainy, low-resolution LCD screen, which McMahon says can't match the Nikon Coolpix L24's (*Est. $70) "brighter and better" 3-inch LCD display. Photos don't fare much better with over-saturated colors and wide-angle barrel distortion in some tests. For $20 more, the Canon PowerShot A2200 (*Est. $80) offers better images and 720p HD video.
Reviews are scarce for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510. CNET Australia and CameraLabs.com are the only sources to professionally test and evaluate the W510 while a handful of owner comments are posted on Amazon.
1. Camera Labs.com
Ken McMahon says the affordable, entry-level Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 "provides some great features in a very compact form," including an ultra-wide angle 26 mm lens. But the lack of HD video and image stabilization are drawbacks, he says. Also, sluggish shot-to-shot times make the W510 unsuitable for action sports photography.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 Review, Ken McMahon, May 2011
2. CNET (Australia)
Despite reasonable macro performance and a "fairly stylish" design, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 leaves Alexandra Savvides unimpressed. After running it through tests, she finds "there are lots of better options than the W510." The camera's slow shooting modes, over-saturated images and "terrible" LCD screen are key concerns.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510 , Alexandra Savvides, April 4, 2011
A smattering of owners weigh in on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510, with a few praising its ease of use and compact size while others criticize picture quality and slow performance.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W510