Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W330 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W330

Photos from the W330 are good to very good depending on how critical you are about picture quality from a $170 camera. There's noise/graininess that's visible at all ISO sensitivities when images are viewed at full size (which is very, very large). However, it doesn't have much of an impact below ISO 200. Go to higher ISOs and you start to really lose fine detail and subjects get fuzzy and lack definition. At small sizes photos up to ISO 800 are usable, though. Colors start shifting above that and combined with the noise and noise reduction, the photos aren't good for much; don't count on using ISO 1,600 or 3,200.

Of course, a big downside to all this is that despite having a 14-megapixel resolution, you won't be able to crop in that much if you plan to make large prints. The W330's photos are generally soft and lacking in fine detail when viewed at full size with the exception of those taken in macro. Also, though the camera creates 45x60-inch photos, Sony only recommends prints up to 13x19 inches for the W330.

As for the wide-angle lens, Sony keeps the barrel distortion in check and there's no sign of pincushioning at the long end of the zoom, either. The amount of purple fringing is normal for a camera in its class. Center sharpness is fairly good on the W330, but subjects off to the sides--especially in the corners--are noticeably softer.

Colors are bright and natural and reasonably accurate, though blues seem to be a bit pumped up. The auto white balance appears a little warm as does the Flash setting. Exposure is generally good leaning toward underexposed, but highlights are prone to clipping.

Video quality was OK, suitable for easy Web sharing if nothing else. Again, you do not get use of the optical zoom while recording.

There's a lot of sacrifice for the $30 price difference between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W330 and the W350. Other than price, its advantage is a slightly larger LCD, and it's not even that good of a display. In the end, the W330 comes across as a great way to upsell consumers to the better W350, which I recommend doing if you can.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W330
1.8 
3.4 
2.6 
0.7 
0.4 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350
1.9 
3.9 
3.1 
0.7 
0.4 
Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS
1.4 
3.2 
2.1 
0.7 
0.5 
Nikon Coolpix S570
2 
3.8 
2.2 
0.8 
0.6 
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15
2 
3.3 
3.1 
1 
0.7 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Ultracompact
  • Optical Zoom 4 x
  • Optical Sensor Type Super HAD CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 14.1 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer electronic (Steady Shot)
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.3"