Sony created the W-series to be its budget line of snapshot cameras. Without the sleek designs of the T-series or the high-powered zoom lenses of the H-series, the W-cameras distinguish themselves only through their modest price tags. Despite their lackluster features, the W-cameras have proven themselves with solid performance and good image quality. This trend follows in the Cyber-shot DSC-W80, Sony's high-end Cyber-shot W-camera. Like all current W-cameras, the W80 might not look like much more than a simple, shiny, blocky camera with a standard 7-megapixel sensor and 3X zoom lens. Once you start shooting, though, the W80 quickly proves itself.
The DSC-W80 boasts a newer, prettier interface than the other W-series Cyber-shots. The camera's tweaked system is much more colorful than those of the W35 and W55, and resembles the Playstation Portable's menu system more than any camera's. The home button activates this new design in a secondary menu that separates media and camera settings from more commonly used settings such as white balance, ISO sensitivity, and exposure compensation. The enhanced menu includes more media-friendly features than any other W-series camera, like high-definition slide shows with MP3 music support and in-camera image retouching. All of these features are nice, but the buttons that access them are irritatingly tiny and spaced around a slightly-too-sensitive control pad; it's far too easy to tap the wrong command when navigating the menus. The W80 also includes more useful features like optical image stabilization, ISO 3200 maximum sensitivity, and face-detecting autofocus and autoexposure.