Like the other models, I found the DSC-W100 to be an easy camera to learn and use, though the frequent trips into the menu system to change the metering scheme, the ISO speed, and the burst mode make it cumbersome to change these oft-used settings. The tiny controls complicate matters further.
Sony's inclusion of a manual-exposure mode strikes me as an odd choice as well. Semimanual modes--program shift, shutter-priority, and aperture-priority--tend to be much easier to use and more practical for snapshooters. Furthermore, since the camera provides only two aperture choices for a given focal length, the DSC-W100's manual exposure is actually quite difficult to use.
One advantage the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-W100 has over the DSC-W70 is a sensor that's capable of shooting at ISO 80. Photos shot at this sensitivity level--and to a certain extent, at ISO 100--are relatively sharp with little noise and few processing artifacts. Beyond that, the aggressive noise-suppression algorithms kick in, blurring and smearing details. Photos print reasonably well to as large as 8x10, but they look a little soft and foggy. In addition to some distortion in the bottom corners at its wide angle, the lens also produces some cyan and magenta fringing on the sides, as well as purple fringing on high-contrast edges.
When you toss the DSC-W100's movies into the picture, the camera suddenly looks a lot more appealing. Though you wouldn't want to play its standard-quality VGA captures at 100 percent, they look very good at QVGA (320x240). And its fine-quality movies look quite impressive played at actual size.
Despite being a solid shooter in good light, as well as performing strongly on movie capture, the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-W100 can't match the value of less expensive, lower-resolution competitors such as its brother, the DSC-W50, nor can its photos match those of the low-noise Fujifilm FinePix F30 or the Canon PowerShot SD600.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time
|Time to first shot
|Shutter lag (typical)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)