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The W350 is capable of consistently fine-quality snapshots, particularly outdoors in daylight. Sensitivities go from ISO 80 up to ISO 3,200, but usability for prints above 8x10 inches drops off at ISO 200. This is because even at ISO 80, photos viewed at full size have noise to them that only gets more pronounced as sensitivities get higher. Add to that the watery effect of Sony's noise suppression and you end up with pictures that appear soft and painterly. If you're planning to make prints larger than 4x6 inches, just keep the ISO as low as possible. However, if you're OK with some noise in exchange for getting a shot, photos up to ISO 1,600 can be usable for small prints or using online as long as you're not doing a lot of cropping.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
The best fine detail you're going to get from this camera is in Macro mode, which is fully automatic whether you're in Program Auto, Intelligent Auto, or Easy mode.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
OK, so this was taken at ISO 400. The large image is a 100-percent crop of the lower photo. At full size you can see that the detail of her eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair is nonexistent, her eye looks painterly, and the outline of her face is soft. As a 4x6-inch print, though, it looks very good.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
As for the wide-angle lens, Sony keeps the barrel distortion in check (top) and there's no sign of pincushioning at the long end of the zoom, either (bottom).
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The quality of the Sweep Panorama photos isn't great. It's a cool feature and it should be enjoyed for what it is--an easy and fast way to shoot scenery. But they're nothing you're going to want to view closely or print at full size.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors are bright and natural and reasonably accurate, though blues seem to be a bit pumped up. That's fine by me, because they still look great. Exposure is generally good leaning toward underexposed, but highlights are prone to clipping, such as the sky and buildings behind the taxi.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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