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HolidayBuyer's Guide

ISO comparison

Lens distortion

Fringing

Color

Photo quality is good for an entry-level camera. Subjects are soft and smeary with little fine detail even at its lowest ISOs, and it only gets worse as you go to higher sensitivities. But, because of consistent color performance up to ISO 800, you can get decent shots in dim light. You won't want to blow them up, crop them heavily, or print them much larger than 4x6 inches, but considering the cost of the camera, they aren't bad.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The lens is noticeably low quality. There is noticeable barrel distortion at the lens' widest position (top) and minor pincushioning with the lens extended (bottom). Center sharpness is OK, but it drops off dramatically to the sides and in the corners, making things look very soft. If you buy this camera, make sure you frame up your subjects in the center of your shots.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
There is visible purple fringing in high-contrast areas of photos, which is typical on models at this Sony's price point. The amount is above average, especially off to the sides of the frame.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Color, exposure, and white balance are all very good for a camera in this class. The only real issue is highlight clipping, which happens with the majority of compact cameras.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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