Design and features
You've got to hand it to Sony for producing such stylish looking compact cameras at an affordable price point. The W570 retails for AU$249 but it doesn't look like most other cameras that grace the same price, with its brushed metal exterior and slimline finish. It comes in silver, black, purple and pink finishes.
The Carl Zeiss-branded 5x optical zoom lens, at 25mm wide-angle, is controlled by a zoom button at the rear of the camera. The lens has a maximum aperture range of f/2.6-6.3, which is rather narrow at the telephoto end. Behind it sits a 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor.
Each silver button at the rear of the camera is miniature — cute for dainty hands, but larger ones might find the buttons are a little too small for practical use. The mode switch, to alternate between standard shooting, sweep panorama mode and HD movie mode, slides with ease between each option. Offsetting each of these controls is the 2.7-inch LCD screen at 230,000 dots.
There are four main shooting modes to choose from on this camera: easy, which increases the font size and simplifies the menus, intelligent auto, program and scene.
While sweep panorama works well, automatically stitching together a set of shots taken across a horizontal axis, it performs best when the subjects are static. Any moving objects, like cars or people, will inevitably get cut off in odd places due to the stitching.
An example of the shot produced using sweep panorama mode. (Credit: CBSi)
Other features that have become part and parcel of the Sony compact range are here, including smile shutter and optical image stabilisation. The W570 also has an in-camera guide that can walk you through the common camera functions and tell you what each of the icons mean, as well as a troubleshooting guide.
At the bottom of the W570, near the tripod mount, is a proprietary Sony connector that can be used to connect the camera to a computer or to attach the optional party dock. This extra accessory automatically scans the room to take photos when it detects faces; an autonomous "set and forget" picture-taking machine. A slim rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and a dual Memory Stick Pro Duo/SD card slot complete the base of the camera.
General shooting metrics (in seconds)
- Time to first shot
- JPEG shot-to-shot time
- Shutter lag
- Sony Cyber-shot W57024.30.5
Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)
- Sony Cyber-shot W5700.5
Sony rates the battery for the W570 at 220 shots.
The W570 produces punchy images straight out of the box on default settings. When inspecting images more closely, though, you'll notice lots of digital noise and over-processing, particularly as the ISO range starts to climb to 400 and above. There's definitely too many megapixels here for the lens to be able to resolve.