Expert Review of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot can be seen as a way out for photographers on average budgets since they are delivered with fairly plausible zoom and high resolution that Sony always promises. The W730 offers 16-megapixel super HAD CCD sensor, the zoom lens, and up to 8x zoom being Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar branded. The continuous still shoots at 1fps is of course embarrassing, but ISO sensitivity range beginning from 100 up to 3200, can make you look at the bright side. Coming to focal length range, the 35mm-equivalent begins with 25mm at wide angle and ends at moderate telephoto, at 200mm. The max aperture is slightly dull as it falls to f/6.3(telephoto position) starting from f/3.3(wide angle). More in the bag is Sony's very own SteadyShot optical image stabilization to aid shake-free photography at slow shutter speeds. To achieve the same power in movie shooting, there is Active mode for it. At the back, you get slightly smaller Clear Photo LCD screen. These days almost every other digicam is featuring 2.7 inches wide screen, so digesting a 2.7 inches monitor in W730 may be a deal for some. The resolution of the screen is 230k. At the front, you have the flash and when you are using Auto ISO, beware that flash on will works for 2.8 meters distance at wide-angle.
Sony seems to astound every of its digicam users with the Intelligent Auto mode. The iAuto mode analyzes the type of scene at hand and aptly sets up the camera settings to extract the best from the scene. The 360 degrees sweep panorama is the next offering that catches multiple images as you pan across the scene with the shutter release pressed gently. The function then stitches the images gracefully enough to bring up a beautified panorama. There is the beauty effect function that enables you to retouch images to smoothen, to tone subject's skin, remove extra shine, whiten teeth, or widen eyes. For movies, you can shoot them at 720p resolution at 30fps, the frame size for that would be 1280 x 720pixel. The W730 fetches power from a proprietary NP-BN lithium ion rechargeable battery. Your work can be stored on SDHC/SDXC/SD/Proprietary Memory Stick Duo card. The connectivity options for this camera are USB 2.0 high-speed data and composite standard-def video output. The camera gets shipped in colors of Silver, Pink or Blue.
Design and Build Quality
At the roof of the back panel and to the right of LCD, there is a zoom rocker. There is a three-way switch for switching between video and stills mode. The buttons namely, menu, flash, and playback are conventionally styled. The trash icon also does the job of guide button. It deletes images in playback mode and helps in video record mode. Atop the slim body, there is a power button and a shutter button. The four-way control's left position shows a smiley face for launching smile shutter. The other three go clockwise as display mode, flash menu, and self-timer respectively. There is only one port that works for the AV/USB high-speed 2.0 located at the bottom of Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot.
Focus and Face Detection
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot performs focus as the green light at the bottom of the rear turns to its right color and the AF box at the center of the screen takes up the same color confirming that focus has been locked. If the light conditions aren't so well, an anti-shake alerts pops. There are three focus options under the focus menu. You can turn on/off the AF tracking. Focus menu options are Multi Point AF, Center Weighted AF, and Spot AF. When face detection is turned on, you can select the face to be tracked. The face detection menu includes Auto, Adult Priority, and Child Priority.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot offers optical Steady Shot image stabilization. The zoom lens, branded by Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar has 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 25-200mm. You can zoom up to 8x. You can zoom digitally up to 4x.
Screen and Menus
Screen for Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot is 2.7 inches wide Clear Photo LCD monitor. Some of the frequently accessed menus are focus menu that encompasses Multi-point AF, Center Weighted AF and Spot AF. When the iAuto mode is up and the info is on pressing the DISP, the upwards take you to a menu where you can turn the info display off. The menu for face detection has, Off, Auto, Adult, and Child Priority. Under the metering modes menu, you have Spot, Center and multi-pattern metering. Under the scene menu you get, Soft Skin , Landscape , Fireworks , Night Scene , Night Portrait , Gourmet , Pet , High, Sensitivity , Snow , Beach , and Soft Snap . Under the picture effect menu, you get Toy Camera, Pop Color, Soft High-Key, and Partial Color. Under the shoot menu, you can access AF Illuminator, Red Eye Reduction, Blink Alert, Display Resolution, Digital Zoom, Write Date, and Grid Line under the main menu, four pages for basic cam settings. Here you can access everything from display, to PC connectivity preferences and sound settings.
Specs on the site for Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot reflect that lowering the resolution can prolong the life. On full charge, you can capture 110 photos. The battery compartment is besides the memory card. There is a hinged door at the underside to hold the battery inside. The camera comes with an AC adapter that helps you to charge the battery while it is in the camera. The battery life of this proprietary NP-BN lithium ion rechargeable is not that great but you can always buy a new one and use it while the other remains on charge inside a separate compact charger.
There is no dedicated movie button to Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot but there is a three-way switch for turning from still mode to video mode. With battery on full charge, you can achieve 20 short videos as tested. The Optical SteadyShot/Active mode works for stabilizing video as well. With inbuilt PlayMemories, it gets easier to transfer your videos and stills to PC for post processing and uploading online. There are three options to record a movie with VGA, STD, and Fine, and you can capture videos as 640 x 480, 1280 x 720 x 1280 x720pixels, all at frame rate of 30fps, respectively. The video format remains MPEG-4.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W730 Point & Shoot offers Super HAD CCD sensor of size 1/2.3 inches. The effective megapixels offered are 16.1MP.
· Small and slim body
· There is an in-built camera guide
· Zooming while in video mode is very smooth
· Slow burst shoot mode at 1fps
· AF may not always work
· Flash cannot be used in burst mode
· Low noise performance is not great
· Battery life is low