We found high-quality reviews from a bunch of sources, including Digital Camera Resource Page, CNet.com, Steve's Digicams and DigitalCameraReview.com. All rely on sound testing, but CNet's is the most readable for a general audience. Although Consumer Reports doesn't review the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150, we include its subscribers-only report because it covers three other models in Sony's DSC-W series. Owner reviews at Amazon.com offer good insights, just remember that most of the complaints can be found in reviews of other tiny digital cameras.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 is basically a cheaper version of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 (*est. $225) ultracompact digital camera, the main difference being 8.1-megapixel resolution instead of 10.1. While reviews say the Canon PowerShot SD880 IS (*est. $250) is the best ultracompact, there are some advantages to the DSC-W150, chiefly a 5X Zeiss lens instead of the Canon's 3X. Like most Sony cameras, a "smile detection" feature is included that will snap a photo automatically. When professional reviews praise image quality and some user reviews pan it, remember it's relative. Ultracompact point-and-shoots are marketed to folks wanting something basic that's easy to use (although tiny buttons are a problem), and they don't deliver state-of-the-art images.
Despite "middling" photo quality in lab tests, "tiny" controls and barely qualifying as a subcompact, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 rates a "very good" from CNet and slightly lower in about ten user reviews. Pluses include the 5X lens, good image stabilization and many shooting options.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 Review, Joshua Goldman, Dec. 4, 2008
2. Digital Camera Resource Page
DCRP offers very thorough reviews that include photo and video samples, but unfortunately doesn't ever say "buy this one." Reviewer Jeff Keller likes the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150, but notes the dearth of manual controls wouldn't make it a good choice for those who need long exposures or operate in unusual lighting situations.
Review: DCRP Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150, Jeff Keller, April 11, 2008
Reviews here are based on solid testing and are more than long enough, but fall short by not ranking the cameras. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 is recommended highly as a versatile performer, although the small buttons can be a problem.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 Review, Editors of Steve's Digicams, May 13, 2008
Reviews here are long and thorough and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 gets favorable feedback, despite some red-eye problems. It's worth noting that in a later review of the DSC-W170, which costs about $50 more, reviewer David Rasnake says the W150 is the better deal.
Review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Review, David Rasnake, May 23, 2008
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 is not among the nine Sony digicams ranked, but three other DSC-W series models are. Still, you have to be a subscriber to see the ratings, and more detailed reviews are available elsewhere for no cost.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of Consumer Reports
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W150 draws about 70 owner reviews at this writing, with about a dozen scoring it fewer than four out of five stars. Most of the complaints concern image quality, though that's normal for small digicams. One says the smile detection works for only very broad, ridiculous-looking smiles.
Review: Sony Cybershot DSCW150 8.1MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com