With the Cyber-shot DSC-W610 everything comes down to price. The camera costs just over $100, which makes it the most affordable cameras on the market, and definitely the cheapest new model Sony announced at CES. Sony kept the price down by making the W610 a simple camera. It doesn't have the flashy features and controls that you get on higher-end cameras, but it's got everything you need if all you want to do is point and shoot.
The big question about the DSC-W610 will be image quality. If the camera comes through our labs and shows us lackluster performance across the board, then it probably won't be a model we'll recommend. Sure, we can say that about every camera, but the Sony DSC-W610 needs to prove to us that it takes better photos than your cell phone camera before we can justify buying one.
There's a few nifty features on the W610, like Sony's Sweep Panorama function, a 5x optical zoom, and a simple interface with easy-to-read menus, but nothing about the DSC-W610 really wowed us. In fact, the most exciting thing about the camera may be the various paint jobs available to choose from (we liked the green one in particular). If you want a few extra features, like 720p HD video recording instead of a standard definition video mode, you can spring for the Cyber-shot DSC-W620 or DSC-W650 instead. All you have to do is pony up a bit more cash ($20 extra for the W620; $30 extra for the W650), and you can get one of the W610's higher-end siblings instead.