Cameras

Sony Unveils Flashy Cyber-Shot DSC-W300 Point-and-Shoot

It’s flashy, small, and meant to show off. Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-W300, announced today, is the new flagship of its W-series. In addition to its chart-topping 13.6 megapixels, the W300 offers a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD, and a n

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*Feb. 25, 2008 - *It’s flashy, small, and meant to be shown off. Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-W300, announced today, is the new flagship of its W-series. In addition to its chart-topping 13.6 megapixels, the W300 offers a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD, and a number of new features and in-camera editing options in a scratch-resistant titanium-coated shell. The W300 will retail for $349 when it hits stores in May.

The W300 features many of Sony’s latest and greatest innovations, making it a must-have for the gadget-conscious consumer. Updated face detection that prioritizes children or adults, improved Smile Shutter, and an in-camera sharpening tool are some of the highlights.

The W300 is the successor to the DSC-W200, which featured 12.1 megapixels and a 2.5-inch LCD. Like the W200, the W300 features Sony's Super Steady Shot image stabilization system to reduce blur in images. While the W200 offered a High Sensitivity mode of ISO 6400 at 3 megapixels, the W300 offers a lower ISO 3200 High Sensitivity option. This has its ups and downs – it’d be nice to have the option of boosting the ISO past 3200 in dimly-lit shooting situations, but such a high ISO tends to flood images with speckly, unattractive noise.

The W300 includes a number of upgrades, including a High-Speed Burst mode that records 5 frames per second at 3 megapixels, semi-manual focus, and improved Smile Shutter technology, able to recognize multiple smiles and snap a photo when one or more smiles are detected. The camera, for example, can be set to only snap a photo once everyone in the frame is detected as smiling.

In addition, the W300 features Intelligent Scene Recognition (iSCN), which chooses a Scene mode automatically for users in Auto mode should the conditions resemble a certain scene. In manual modes, iSCN takes two photos, one in the original settings and one with the Scene mode settings, displaying them side-by-side for the user to choose.

The W300 also features Sony's updated adult and child face recognition, which allows users to select to only auto focus and expose on children's, baby's, adult's faces, or all three. The updated face recognition also works in conjunction with Sony's Smile Shutter, allowing users to set the shutter to go off only when a child smiles, an adult smiles, or a baby smiles.

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A "Real" color mode is also featured on the W300, which keeps colors as accurate as possible to the image captured. Real mode results in less in-camera processing, allowing the user to adjust colors in post-processing.

The W300 also offers in-camera editing options, including an "unsharp mask" function usually only found in more-advanced editing software, such as Photoshop. Sony’s D-Range Optimizer (DRO) is also included, offering a one-touch option to fix shadow and lighting problems in photos.

The W300 features a face search function, which categorizes photos by face, along with a calendar view and, like its predecessor, HD output. The W300 also offers slide show functions with new music and effects, and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

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