Sony DSC-W370 14.1MP Digital Camera with 7x Wide Angle Zoom with Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization and 3.0 inch LCD (Silver)

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  1. Greg Sumner says:
    147 of 150 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Very happy with this camera, March 15, 2010
    Greg Sumner

    This is our 5th point n’ shoot camera over the years, intended for go-everywhere pocketability. Our previous two pocket cameras were Canon’s (SD300 and SD600). The Sony is a little bigger but improves on them greatly.

    The Sony DSC-W370 operates under the premise that people want the camera to be easy. Not just easy but dead simple. So much so that it includes an “easy mode” and “smile sensor” to automatically take the shot when the camera sees a smile. All of the advanced controls are hidden, although easy to get to if you want them.

    What mattered most to us:

    – Speed. The camera starts up, focuses, zooms and shoots very quickly. The auto-mode, which we use most of the time, is very smart. I haven’t been able to fool it yet.

    – Easy. You really don’t need to do anything but keep the camera in Intelligent Auto mode. It will surmise what you’re trying to shoot and pick the right mode quickly. My 5 year old took some photos today, he could use the camera with no instruction.

    – SD/SDHC memory card. Sony finally quit trying to lock us into their memory sticks.

    – HD movies. We used the movie mode in the Canons more than we ever thought we would. So this time 720p movies was important.

    – High quality. At any zoom length the shots are crisp. I tested Fuji, Olympus, Canon and Nikon at the same price range – the Sony beat them all.

    Negatives –

    Only a few and they’re minor. The zoom buttons are smallish, and it’s easy to go past 7x optical zoom and right into digital zoom, which as a rule I don’t use. You are able to disable digital zoom. I also disabled the musical menu jingles. You will too I bet.

    There are very few available buttons on the rear of the camera. This was obviously deliberate – this is supposed to be an Easy camera. But the buttons are smallish and the wheel is also rather small. There are only a few dedicated keys and they’re for the most basic of functions – flash, screen brightness and smile mode. That’s it.

    If you’re an advanced photographer and you want quick access to functions like ISO, EV or shooting modes then this camera may not be for you. Those functions ARE available with a few more key presses.

    Smile Mode seems silly to me. The camera can be set to automatically take the shot when it detects a smile. I can tell when somebody is smiling, although to be fair the Sony might actually be better at it than a human is. I haven’t tested this yet.

    I wasn’t able to test the Panasonic ZS3, the W370’s closest competitor. At the time I purchased the ZS3 was a full (…) more expensive, but they’ll probably drop the price now that this Sony is out.

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  2. T. Swanson says:
    102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A KEEPER: Almost Returned it after Reading Reviews, June 27, 2010
    T. Swanson (Phoenix, Az.) –

    This review is from: Sony DSC-W370 14.1MP Digital Camera with 7x Wide Angle Zoom with Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization and 3.0 inch LCD (Silver) (Electronics)

    While out in the desert I dropped my Canon SD870 for about the third time in 3 years on a rock and the mirco-gears were no longer in alignment–camera would no longer focus at all. I was heading out on a week trip to extremely remote areas so I needed to buy a camera in one day to take with me. Not having a lot of good value options, I settled on this model and then came home and read the reviews. It was too late to take the camera back and get another one, so I had to live with this choice. So I read the manual and experimented by taking pictures around my house. The following are my thought after using the camera for a few weeks on different trips.

    SPEED: Since I am an electrical engineer, it did not long to discover that all of the intelligent smile, red eye and other detection algorithms were taking a lot of processing time slowing down the camera. After turning them all off the seed improved a lot. Next I put in a 4GB Sandisk Class 6 SD memory card and that helped some more. In fact the speed to take still shots was about the same as my old Canon. However, when using the flash it does take about 2-3 seconds to recharge and be ready for taking the next photo, but I can live with that. The camera automatically uses the flash outside more than I like, so I turned it off and it the camera operated faster. All of the intelligent detection algorithms really slow down the camera. With all of them shut off the camera is ready to take a picture in about 1-2 seconds depending on the resolution of the picture your taking. That is about 1 second for a 5M versus 2 seconds for 14.1M of resolution. That is just the time it takes to write the image to the SD card. If you get the class 10 SD cards I am guessing it will be closer to 1 second to write the image to memory.

    BATTERY LIFE: There are different modes you can set the camera to operate that control the amount of current used to operate. Because of all of the bad reviews, I set it to the “Stamina” mode as I was going to be away from power sources to recharge the battery and was planning to take lot of pictures. On a trip to Chevelon Canyon to take pictures of Petroglyphs I used it continuously for 3 hours and took 291 5M resolution pictures. I turned it on and off about 50 times that day and after doing this for about 3.5 hours and 291 images later, the battery showed 2 of the 4 bars of still available battery life. I turned it on the next day and took another 100 images and there was still one bar of battery life available. I did not use the flash for any of these pictures. Using it the way I did, would allow taking 400-500 5M resolution pictures which is more than I got with my Canon.

    BATTERY CHARGING: My canon took about 30 -45 minutes to charge, but I now think it used a higher current than the Sony and so it gives a quicker, but not as deep of a charge. It was shocking to learn the Sony took about 3 hours to charge. It must be a low current slow charge method which usually makes batteries last longer and hold their charge better.

    PICTURE QUALITY: I am not a professional, but people have told me I take good pictures. With that in mind I could not see distortion around the edges and corners as I read in other reviews. Maybe some or one of the auto detection algorithms does compensation that messes up the images? With the camera setup in a minimal auto mode as described above, the pictures I have take are of the same quality as those I took with my SD870–VERY GOOD!

    WIDE ANGLE LENS: It does not have the digital zoom lens feature the SD 870 does and it is fantastic compared to the fixed zoom of the W370, and the wide angle is not as wide, but if you move closer or further back a few feet it gets the job done. When your truing to take a picture of a cliff dwelling located on a ledge that is difficult to get closer to, digital zoom is missed.

    PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE: It comes with a reduced function NERO photo editor. They only allow certain functions to get you to buy the package. NERO will not even allow a person to delete a photo from their computer unless they buy the upgrade. Well you can go to where your photos are stored and delete them yourself or just use a good inexpensive photo editor and forget using NERO. I tested the results of the NERO editor against the FREE editing capability in PICASA (free by Google online) and I could not see any difference. I just transfer the images and then use an editor to do the croping, etc.

    CONSTRUCTION: I checked out a couple of the canon model for a similar price and they weighted about half as much as the W370 and did not feel like they were built very solidly. This camera is as sturdy as my old SD870. While taking pictures the first day I had to jump from rock to rock over a flowing creek and when I landed on the far side the camera went flying and landed on a large flat & smooth boulder and slide about 6 feet before stopping. I cringed as…

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  3. the-movie-guy "movie and electonics buff" says:
    159 of 166 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Good, March 7, 2010
    This review is from: Sony DSC-W370 14.1MP Digital Camera with 7x Wide Angle Zoom with Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization and 3.0 inch LCD (Silver) (Electronics)

    Let me say, I’ve owned several Sony digital cameras over the years. First a DSC-P50 circa 2001, then a couple of random ones I purchased new and wound up selling because they had poor picture quality. Then in 2005 I purchased a Sony DSC-W7 (7.2 mp) point-and-shoot. This is a good little camera but the PQ has always been a little hit and miss. I would say I got one or two good shots out of every 100.

    Some problems with the W7 were autofocus that didn’t focus properly (especially in indoor, low-light conditions), redeye was pervasive (even with the redeye reduction feature turned on), and shutter lag time. (One feature I liked about the W7 was the inclusion of an optical viewfinder, which it seems most of the manufacturers have now abandoned on these small digital cameras.)

    Most of these problems seem to be addressed with the newest (2010) generation of Sony DSC point-and-shoots. I decided this was the time to replace the W7, and it came down to a choice between a DSC-W330 and DSC-W370. After taking some test photos in the store, and sending those photos to my personal computer at home for analysis, I decided to purchase the W370.

    The W370 does not have an optical viewfinder, but it has everything else, and does everything right. The low-light, indoor shooting that the W7 could not handle is not an issue at all for the W370. Each indoor shot has been clear and well-focused, with exquisite background detail in shot after shot. In 10 test shots, only 1 came out bad, whereas with previous Sonys there might be 4 good shots and 6 bad.

    The quality is light years ahead of the W330. I was attracted initially to the W330 because of its sleek look and small form factor (the W370 does not have this sex appeal), but the W370 blew the 330 out of the water in terms of photo quality, especially autofocus (always sharp) and redeye reduction (no redeye or hint of redeye at all in shot after shot).

    In sum, I purchased the W370 and haven’t looked back. This is an excellent little camera and everything a digital camera should be. Takes excellent photos whether indoors or out, natural light or artificial, bright conditions or low, etc. I highly recommend this product.

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