Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W380 Review

3.0
March 26, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Sony CyberShot DSC-W380 produced images of only average quality during the review period. Noise and a general lack of fine detail is the biggest problem, visible even at the slowest ISO settings of 80 and 100 and becoming progressively worse as you move up the ISO range, with 800-3200 not really worth using.

Chromatic aberrations were also apparent, with some purple fringing effects appearing in all high contrast situations. The 14 megapixel images were a little soft at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, as you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is quite good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 24mm wide-angle focal length. The built-in flash worked well enough indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure.

Anti-shake is very useful when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The disappointing maximum shutter speed of 2 seconds doesn't allow the camera to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-W380. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Sony CyberShot DSC-W380's 4x zoom lens offers a fairly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:

24mm

120mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony CyberShot DSC-W380 handled chromatic aberrations fairly wellduring the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony CyberShot DSC-W380 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony CyberShot DSC-W380 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (120mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (120mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Sony CyberShot DSC-W380's maximum shutter speed is 2 seconds, which is not good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/8th second at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Dynamic Range Optimizer

DRO is Sony's solution for improving shadow detail in photos taken in contrasty light. The selectable settings are Off, Standard and Plus. The examples show the effect of the different settings.

Off

Standard

   

Plus

 
 

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W380 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching. The catch is that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution, and moving subjects tend to be replicated. Check out some examples below.

 

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 720p, wide-angle, sony, 2.7 inch LCD, 5x zoom, 14 megapixel, 24mm, cybershot, 380, cybershot w380, dsc-w380, sony w380, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W380 Review

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