W300

Sony DSC-W300

I bought this camera to replace my Sony DSC-W7 in 2008. The W7's biggest flaw was it's performance in low light. Any time you wanted to take a photo indoors and it wasn't mid-day with big windows, you would need flash. At least had settings to alter flash power! What I needed was something with image stabilisation and a larger ISO range.

I went for the W300 as it was capable of up to ISO3200 (ISO6400 at 3MP) and 3fps (5fps at 3MP). These met my requirements and the camera is also a pocketable size. The handheld W300, in my opinion, performs better in dark conditions than a handheld Canon 450D (see comparison examples). The highest ISO settings are reasonably noisy and produce strange looking textures over your image. However, it is possible to take 'cameraphone quality' images in situations that would normally require a tripod and SLR to capture properly. This might be handy on holiday when it's all you have and you need something to capture the moment. Continue reading

Technophobic camera comparison – compact Vs DSLR?

This is not your usual camera comparison, this is a camera comparison for technophobes! So if you know how to use the manual functions or even the program functions on your camera this probably won't be relevant. In addition, I'm not comparing four new cameras, I'm comparing the gradually evolving Sony W Series with a Canon 450D DSLR.

So, I should explain (as this is aimed at technophobes) the Canon 450D is a very popular inexpensive DSLR. A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera which means you (usually) look through the eye piece to take your photos not look at the screen. It also provides almost unmatched flexibility with a wide selection of specialist lenses for every occasion and complete manual control. In short they are bigger, heavier and you usually carry them with a bag load of other bits.

The Sony W Series has always been a balance of powerful features and a small size. I have three on test: the W7 (from 2005), the W300 (from 2008) and my parent's shiny new WX10 (2011). Each one gets smaller as the numbers of features sky rocket. I've always liked the Sony compact cameras for their fast autofocus and good results.

Why compare compacts to a DSLR?

This is where the technophobe bit comes in. Many people I have met are like my parents, they forget how to use their camera on holiday. As a result they use the auto mode (green mode) all the time. My question is, using only auto mode which performs better?

Remember, although DSLR's traditionally produce the best quality photos they are usually in the hands of people who know what they're doing! Continue reading