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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750

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Joshua Goldman
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Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

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It's hard to criticize a camera that retails for less than $130. You simply can't expect greatness at that price point, and while a low-priced model will likely excel at something, it's inevitably because other things were sacrificed. Such is the case with Sony's 7-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-S750, which ponies up a stylish, ultracompact body and easy operation at the expense of good picture quality and speedy performance.

6.2

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750

The Good

Inexpensive; good looking, lightweight, and small; fast, accurate face detection.

The Bad

Slow; battery/memory card door opens too easily; mediocre photo quality.

The Bottom Line

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750 is a convenient, budget-friendly pocket camera that takes pictures--just not very good ones.

Measuring 3.6 inches wide by 2.2 inches high by 1.1 inches deep and weighing 5 ounces, the S750 fits easily in a pocket or small bag. Dressed in silver, the body is a combination of metal and plastic: it's strong enough to resist damage from banging around in a bag, making it a nice choice for keeping handy for surprise photo opportunities. The only flaw is that the door on the bottom concealing the rechargeable battery and Memory Stick Pro Duo slot slides open a little too easily--even during use. That, and it's very easy to put the battery in incorrectly since it's not keyed for a particular direction.

Instead of the Carl Zeiss lenses found on many of Sony's point-and-shoot cameras, the S750 uses a Sony 3x f2.8-4.8 35-105mm-equivalent lens. Other than the power and shutter buttons on top, all controls are on back next to the 2.5-inch LCD. The inset mode dial is small, but moves well and stays put when pulling the camera in and out of pockets. All the buttons are tiny, too, and occasionally require repeated presses to get your point across.

Navigating the menu system is extremely simple, partially because there just aren't a lot of options on the camera. It has the requisite scene modes, subpar video capture (320x240 without zoom for up to 10 minutes), and a Program Auto mode that lets you adjust exposure values, metering, focus, ISO, and white balance. A nice bonus for this camera is the face detection, which worked quickly and accurately. One oddity, though, is the ability to pull up a histogram on the screen. I'm not so sure the targeted user for the S750 would find it as helpful as composition guidelines, which are not available.

The S750 is not a fast camera, but the performance is decent given its budget status. Time to first shot is 2.2 seconds. Shutter lag averages at 0.7 second for CNET Labs' high-contrast test and 1 second on our low-contrast test, which mimic bright and dim shooting conditions, respectively. Without the flash, the shot-to-shot time is 2 seconds; adding the flash nudges the wait time up to 2.6 seconds between shots. The burst mode on the S750 is limited to three shots, but drops the shot time to a relatively fast 1.5 frames per second.

Picture quality is about what I expected for this camera: better than camera phone, but not very good. In all conditions, photos lack sharpness and detail and have noticeable fringing. Colors and white balance were passable, though it has some problems in the blues. Shooting at ISO 200 and below is your best bet; starting at ISO 400, what little detail the camera captures becomes smeary and riddled with color artifacts. The S750 has an ISO boost mode that takes it up to ISO 1250, but from ISO 800 up, pictures would only be usable at small sizes because of the number of artifacts.

So is there any reason to consider the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750? Well, it's relatively cheap, compact, attractive, and easy to use, making it a reasonable choice for those who want something better than a camera phone and small and sturdy enough to carry at all times, but doesn't cost a lot--like most tweens or teens, for example,. If you can afford a little more the Cyber-shot DSC-W120 is a significantly better choice, adding features and improved picture quality and performance. Those who don't mind a bigger body in favor of good picture quality could also check out the similarly priced Canon PowerShot A580, or check out our list of best budget cameras.

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)  
Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS
1 
3.5 
2.1 
0.7 
0.4 
Kodak EasyShare M1033
1.7 
2.4 
1.7 
0.9 
0.4 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120
1.8 
2.7 
1.3 
1 
0.5 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750
2.2 
2.6 
2 
1 
0.7 
Nikon Coolpix S210
2 
3.4 
3.1 
1.5 
0.9 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

6.2

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S750

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 6Image quality 5