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Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver)


Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver)


It’s the amazingly easy-to-use camera that slips right in your pocket-with an 8x optical zoom, 16.1MP photos and beautifully-detailed HD videos. And pics stay clearer, even with shaky hands thanks to Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. You can also enhance your images with built-in effects that adjust skin tone and texture or even whiten teeth.

  • 16.1 megapixel plus 8x optical zoom captures detailed subjects
  • Optical SteadyShot Image stabilization with 2-way active mode
  • Capture your videos in 720p HD Movie mode¹
  • Creative shooting with Picture and Beauty effects
  • Advanced Flash illuminates distant subjects for beautifully lit photos

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What customers say about Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver) Reviews?

  1. 88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Too many compromises., May 20, 2013
    By 
    Jeff Kraus (Orlando, FL USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver) (Electronics)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)
    The DSC-W730 contains a 16.1 megapixel sensor in the 1/2.3″ format (about 28 square millimeters, smaller than a fingernail). The obvious drawback here is noise. The more pixels you cram into a small area, the more digital noise that will be evident in the resulting file. On its own, that’s a reduction in quality that negates the need for such a dense sensor; who cares about the extra megapixels if you’re not getting any more actual information, just noise? All it’s doing is filling up your hard drive faster. In the case of the DSC-W730, you’re talking about around 6.5MB per image. You’ll even hit the limits of the optics well before 16.1 megapixels, so there’s absolutely no reason (other than marketing) for Sony to put such a sensor in this camera.

    Unfortunately, they did it anyway. And probably because of the increased sensor noise, they decided to really crank up that in-camera noise reduction. It looks awful, and it’s evident at all ISO settings. This NR cannot be reduced or defeated. It’s there for good, and it’s even noticeable when viewing an image on my computer at 50% of its original size. Of course, the higher the ISO, the more destructive they get with the noise reduction, which just makes matters worse. The issues are somewhat less noticeable when shooting low ISO outdoors with the lens at its widest setting. In fact, in that specific scenario I’d say the image quality is pretty good. Once you change any of those parameters though, you start to see more problems.

    The lens is an 8x optical (25-224mm in 35mm terms) lens, f/3.3 at the wide end and f/6.3 at the tele end. In other words, slow and dark. You will almost always need to use the flash indoors, especially if you’re zooming in at all. Autofocus indoors with zoom is spotty at best and generally takes a couple of seconds to lock on to something (if it can lock onto anything at all). Sony attempted to combat this by adding a retina-frying orange LED as an AF-assist lamp, but while it might occasionally increase the odds of getting good focus on a subject indoors, it doesn’t really seem to speed the process up at all. Outdoors (and sometimes indoors with the lens zoomed out all the way), the camera locks focus much quicker (around half a second).

    In the majority of cases, indoor flash photos are exposed pretty accurately. Outdoors without flash, I noticed in many cases the camera underexposed by 1/2 to 1 stop, and sometimes even more underexposed that that when trying to shoot indoors without flash (especially when zoomed in at all). Combined with the existing noise from the ISO setting and the very heavy handed application of NR, trying to bring up the exposure of those ambient light indoor shots to normal levels is going to increase the shadow noise quite a bit. It’s not pretty.

    The build quality is about what I’d expect from a low-end compact in this price range, entirely plastic. It may not be particularly confidence inspiring, but for the most part it seems pretty solid. It’s small and light enough to carry easily in a pocket. I’m not a huge fan of the shutter button though, which has no distinct half-press. It’s there, but you can’t really tell when you’ve gotten there like you can with most cameras. You just sort of rest your finger on it with some light pressure.

    There are a couple of interesting features, such as a panorama mode that operates similar to that of a phone camera — rather than taking several shots and stitching them, it does a panning style capture. There’s a “smile detection” mode, which I admit was fun for a couple of minutes. When engaged (there’s a shortcut button on the camera for it so you don’t need to dig into the menus to turn it on) it actively searches out a smiling face. When it sees one, it automatically takes a picture. I’m not sure how it works with groups (do they all need to be smiling, or just one?) but regardless I think the novelty won’t last long with that feature.

    My suggestion? Honestly, if you’re determined to find a camera in this price range and you can’t save your pennies for something better, I’d recommend looking at the used/refurb market. For example, top-of-the-line Canon Powershot SD cameras from late 2009 were about the same size and weight as this DSC-W730, around 12 megapixels (still more than enough for any camera this size), built like small tanks, with better optics and overall better image quality. These days even those high-end models can be bought for less than this camera. A quick search shows that an excellent condition Canon Powershot SD980 IS can be had for around $60-$80 (or refurbished by Canon for $129 which I think includes a warranty) and that was the best, most expensive Powershot SD model of its time. It even has a big touchscreen display.

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  2. 35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    …Awesome Photos! :) , May 29, 2013
    By 
    Katharena M. Eiermann “Existential Diva — Pr… (1,000 miles from Nowhere…) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver) (Electronics)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)
    Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver)

    Impressive right out of the box which contains one Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD, an AC Adaptor, Rechargeable Battery Pack, Dedicated USB Cable, Wrist Strap. note: there are no memory sticks or cards included.

    Some of the Many features the Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD has, that stood out for Me:

    I might suggest, the first thing one does, before anything else — attach the, longer than normal, wrist strap (included). Wouldn’t want to, accidently, drop (*shudders at the thought*) your new Sony 16.1 MP Digital Camera before having the chance to fully explore all the bells-and-whistles.

    I chose the Silver Cyber-Shot, which has a sort of brushed satin, finger print resistant finish. Sleek and classy, goes with most any outfit! The screen is large and (for Me) easy to view without using a magnifying glass. The slightly recessed buttons are easy to press, respond well. The camera navigates from mode to mode, function to function et al with ease and is pretty fast. When powered on, the navigation icons, are good sized, colorful and invoke a sense of fun — and, have readable balloon pop ups that explain what each selection does.

    Using a dedicated side slide type button, switching between Still Images, Panorama 360° (that’s a full circle) and 720p HD Movie mode is an absolute breeze. Pressing the zoom toggle switch, camera responded quickly — zoom in, zoom out — without any lag, or stiffness.

    The built in flash is very bright, and does an excellent job of lighting the subject, or adding a bit of fill flash to a dark area (like shade).

    On the bottom of the Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD, is a dedicated tripod socket hole. I was able to screw (mount) the camera onto a monopod and 3 different tripods, that I use regularly, with ease — resulting in a secure fit with no wobbling.

    The Instruction Manual is very concise and informative. The graphics are clear and understandable. There is also an in-camera guide. With a couple of clicks of a button, one can have their own personal guided through instructional of most anything this camera can do — plus, it will always be in the camera, in case it is needed on-the-fly, so to speak. Nice! :)

    Charging the battery: Insert (supplied) battery in camera, connect the camera to the AC adaptor (supplied) using the dedicated USB cable (supplied). Connect the AC adaptor to the wall outlet. Orange light comes on (camera) when charging. About an hour later, light is off, camera battery is fully charged. Easy! Insert Memory card (not included). I used a Standard SD HC 16 gig Flash card, class 10 — and it worked just fine for all functions.

    Right off the bat, there are 2 modes one can choose from: Easy Mode (for those who just wish to pick up the camera and Photograph) and the Standard Mode — for Creative shooting with Picture and Beauty effects etc.

    * 16.1 megapixel plus 8x optical zoom captures detailed subjects — that 16.1 megapixels means about a print size of 13×19. One can easily chose from a variety of qualities/sizes.

    * Optical SteadyShot Image stabilization with 2-way active mode. After taking 50 photographs, I had no blurry photos.

    * Continuous shooting mode. Fantastic for capturing multiple still images at action packed events without pausing: soccer, baseball, basketball, ballet recitals, parades, birds in flight etc.

    Whew! Lots more to explore with the Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD. This camera will keep one busy for a very long time. *sips espresso* :)

    Does the Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD, sound like what you may be looking for? :) Highly Recommended! –Katharena Eiermann, 2013

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  3. 16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    For the Lucky, May 25, 2013
    By 
    Nerd Alert (USA) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Sony DSC-W730 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver) (Electronics)
    Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What’s this?)

    I do not own a DSLR, and I have never purchased a fancy camera. My cameras have always been in the same price range as the Sony DSC-W730, but that is not so bad any more. Some companies are making startlingly good cameras for the budget point-and-shoot crowd. Is Sony’s new contender worthy of the competition?

    BUILD

    The DSC-W730 is compact, though not as small as some cameras in this category. Still, it’s easily pocketable or pursable. The housing is made of plastic with chrome plastic accents, and there is no attempt to make it particularly sleek. Exposed screws and large seams may make it look cheaper than its price tag, but it all feels durable and ready to take a few drops.

    The SD card slot is a bit flimsy, but careful use should prevent it from breaking. Storage space should not be an issue given the compatibility with SDXC cards.

    INTERFACE

    This is my first Sony camera, so the interface was a bit confusing. The lack of a scroll wheel for options made me think that the screen would allow touch, but it does not. Navigating through the options is a bit slow and unintuitive. Switching between picture, panorama, and movie modes is accomplished with a handy slider, and the screen is bright enough to see on a moderately sunny day.

    IMAGE QUALITY

    Given my positive results with other cameras in this price range (and perhaps low standards compared to DSLR owners), I figured that the complaints about this product were from picky users expecting too much. I was wrong. Compared to others I’ve used (Canon, Olympus, Kodak), the pictures are very grainy and sometimes blurry. This is a shame, since I was excited about the 16 MP resolution. The pictures look like they were snapped from a low end phone rather than a dedicated camera. However, every once in a while, with bright outdoor light, everything works just right and the picture is not bad at all. What is the issue?

    One problem is perhaps a small sensor, which means that the subject of the image and my hand need to be very still to avoid motion blur. The advertising on the Amazon page talks about image stabilization, but I do not see it working. A tripod would help with this, so this camera might work for product shots for ebay.

    Another issue is the slow and unpredictable auto-focus. With a point-and-shoot, auto-focus must work well, since we aren’t focusing manually. Most camera manufacturers have this down to a science at this point, and surely Sony does as well with their higher end cameras. In general, the software seems completely confused, and the auto scene selection (nighttime, macro, etc.) is random. I am not sure what happened during development, but taking a photo with this camera is like playing the lottery. Do you feel lucky?

    Panorama mode is a major bullet point in the advertising and has its own button, so I played with it in different environments. Overall, it works, though the focus and contrast issues of the still images can be exacerbated. It is a fun effect, but for a photo that you want to keep of family or a cool nature spot, I suggest taking a series of pictures and using software to do the panorama. The difference for me was night and day, and you can even do it in free software like the photo editor that comes with Windows. One caveat: do not use burst mode to take the pictures. The focus is far too sluggish for that and the software is not smart enough to keep up. Even with the super slow burst rate, the pictures look like a mess.

    VIDEO QUALITY

    My old low end Canon point-and-shoot (and my phone) don’t have HD video, so I was looking forward to trying out the video on the DSC-W730. It is nice to have video in widescreen and with smooth zooming during video. When zooming, the motor noise is not obnoxious. This was my favorite aspect of the camera, and I’ve included a video with this review. The downside, which is not so evident in this video, is that the picture can be soft and not “HD” looking because it isn’t sharply in focus. If you are taking a video of people or moving around, the camera is easily confused and can make everything blurry for a long time. This can happen with any camera that doesn’t have a big depth-of-field, but it happens a lot more with this camera than others.

    EDIT: Amazon would not allow my video to be posted because they said it violated their guidelines. It was of some trees and a pond, so I don’t know why. Sorry about that.

    CONCLUSIONS

    For all of my critiques, I don’t hate the DSC-W730. While the image quality and speed is more reminiscent of my cheapo phone than a point-and-shoot in this price range from a company like Canon, some pictures come out very nicely. It is not just a hardware problem, but perhaps even more critically a software problem. The video fares better, though again it doesn’t compete well with Canon. In this very competitive low…

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