Sony has a great range of basic point-and shoot-cameras that are affordable. A top choice in this category is the Sony DSC-W800. This is a compact camera in the Sony Cyber-shot series that will set you back less than $150. For that price, you gain a quality camera that allows you to take high-resolution images. Moreover, it has excellent design and can fit comfortably in your pocket.
If you want a robust camera that is easy to use, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras available for its price. But don’t expect to take high-grade professional photos with the W800. Instead, think of it as a versatile aid that you can use to capture family memories and special moments with your friends and loved ones.
Let’s start with the basics. I was amazed at the feature that this tiny camera packs in. It has a CCD 20.1MP sensor, combined with the BIONZ image processor. While this technology is a little outdated (Sony currently uses the BIONZ X processor), it still means image quality is sharp and clear.
In addition to this, the camera can record HD videos and benefits from a quality Sony lens. The effective focal length is 6-23mm, but it also has a 5x optical zoom, and up to 40x digital zoom. This provides greater flexibility for photos. The following are the basic specifications of this device:
- Size: 96.8 x 55.5 x 20.8mm
- Weight: 109g
- Sensor: Sup HAD CCD 20.1MP
- Image Processor: BIONZ
- RAW Images: Yes
- ISO Range: 100-3200
- Connectivity: USB
- Touchscreen: No
The lack of touchscreen and WiFi connectivity is certainly a negative – but this is expected as the Sony DSC-W800 is an older device. It also has a rechargeable battery pack, and the battery life should last for either 200 photos, or 100 minutes run time.
The design of the Sony DSC-W800 still looks stylish, although some may consider it a little dated. It is available in two colors – grey and silver. I personally prefer the grey finish and I like the contrast from the silver lens and the grey body.
At 109g and a longest measurement of 96.8mm, the Sony W800 is the definition of portable. It is much smaller and lighter than other compact cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI. The W800 comfortably fits in your pocket and you won’t notice the weight when carrying it. This does make it a great camera for taking on outings and day trips.
The rear button layout is simple, but again a little dated. For beginners, it’s perfect – you will quickly understand how this device functions and how to take photos. There is no electronic viewfinder, however, so to take photos you must use the LCD screen. This is fine because the screen is of high quality and shows clear previews of your images.
The Sony Cyber-shot W800 is easy to use. It is clear Sony considered usability when creating this camera. To record movies, there is a one-touch button. Furthermore, there is a myriad of different automatic program functions like party mode. This makes setting up the camera straightforward – you don’t have to have advanced camera knowledge.
There is also a cool 360-panorama feature that automatically takes panoramic shots. All you have to do is press the shutter button and sweep the camera – it will then automatically take a series of framed photos to build a continuous panorama. It’s features like this that make this camera excellent for beginners.
The image quality is OK. It’s not comparable to DSLR cameras, but photos are sharp and clear. In addition, you can create some decent macro shots with this device due to the 5cm minimum focus distance.
Sony DSC-W800 vs. Canon IXUS 175
If you want to look at similar devices, we have compared the Sony DSC-W800 to the Canon IXUS 175. This is a similar compact camera. To provide an accurate comparison, we have created a basic specification table below:
|Sony DSC-W800||Canon IXUS 175|
|Dimensions||96.8 x 55.5 x 20.8mm||95.2 x 54.3 x 22.1mm|
The Sony DSC-W800 has better low-light capabilities with a max ISO of 3200. In addition to this, the W800 is lighter. The Canon IXUS 175 does offer a greater focal range and zoom, however, it can only record video at 720p 25p, whereas the Sony W800 can record at 720p 30p.
There isn’t much to choose between these two devices at all. Both have a similar level of photographic technology. Moreover, the camera design is quite similar. On basic image quality, the W800 does have the edge – it produces 20.1MP resolution photos compared to the IXUS 175’s 20.0 MP. This is a minor difference, but it is quite important.
Should You Purchase the Sony DSC-W800?
I would classify the Sony W800 as a “fun” camera. It is an affordable, compact point-and-shoot that offers good image quality. With a 20.1MP sensor, the image quality is fantastic and is accompanied by a quality lens and 5x optical zoom. Moreover, using this camera couldn’t be easier as it has a plethora of simple functions that allow users to quickly take photos. The Sony DSC-W800 is one of the best affordable compact cameras available.
That being said, if you want a professional-grade camera, this is not a suitable choice. The Sony DSC-W800 is limited in its functionality. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer the same level of quality that you would find in a mirrorless camera or full-frame DSLR. I wouldn’t purchase this camera if I wanted to progress into professional photography. I would, however, purchase it as an affordable device that I could use for parties and family outings, etc.