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Sony Cyber Shot W170 Digital Camera

John Milligan
 


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The Sony DSC-W170 Digital Camera matches point-and-shoot ease-of-use with advanced features to pack a powerful punch deriving its power from a proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which is CIPA rated for about 370 shots on a charge.

The W170's buttons and dials are petite but elegant and nicely laid out. There are no manual controls on this camera but there are three automatic modes: Easy, Auto, and Program Auto. With your index finger perched on the Shutter button and your thumb on the Zoom lever, it's easy to operate the camera with just one hand.

The Sony W170 also has an optical viewfinder, an increasingly rare feature that's useful when the LCD is difficult to see, or when trying to conserve power. It also includes Sony's latest face detection technology, which can now distinguish between the faces of children and adults - yes, I kid you not! And as if that's not enough there's also a feature known as Sony's new intelligent scene recognition (iSCN) technology, which allows the camera to automatically select what it “thinks" is the optimal scene mode for a variety of shooting situations. I mean come on, can it get much better than that?

Well actually yes it can. In Smile Shutter mode, you press the W170's Shutter button and nothing will happen until someone smiles! I'm not kidding you.

The camera's 28 to 140mm lens is wider than most and incorporates Sony's Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization to minimize blur caused by camera shake at slow shutter speeds. There's also the ISO sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 3,200, a Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo card slot, plus 15MB of built in memory. This camera also offers high definition component video output, via an optional proprietary cable or cradle and when it comes time to print, you'll be happy to know that this baby is PictBridge-compatible.

You won't get tired of the Sony Cyber Shot W170 very quickly. It's a compact bargain, including the hottest technology Sony has introduced in its 2008 lineup.

John Milligan.

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