Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270

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The Good Elegant design; easy for beginners; 5x wideangle zoom; super-fast autofocus.

The Bad Indifferent picture quality; no zooming in movie mode; advanced options quickly become complicated.

The Bottom Line Do you want technology or picture quality? The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 certainly does the tech, but while it might improve your hit rate of good shots, the outright quality is underwhelming. The handy zoom range and super-fast AF raise the W270 above the ordinary, but not by much

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7.5 Overall

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If you're going to spend upwards of £200 on a point-and-shoot compact, it'd better be good. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270's specs certainly bode well. With its 5x wideangle zoom, automatic scene detection, face, smile and blink detection, and an HD movie mode, it's a pretty tempting proposition.

This isn't one of Sony's super-slim Cyber-shots, but it's still small enough to slide in a shirt pocket. The finish is plain but smart. It comes in four colours including black, silver, tan and red, so you can choose between a sober snapper or a glammed-up party-cam.

There's not much distortion and the Sony's 5x zoom gives decent definition in the centre of the frame but it's softer in the corners. You need to stick to low ISOs, though, because finer details quickly turn to mush as you increase the sensitivity (click to enlarge)

It starts up fast and focuses even faster. Sony's AF systems remain one step ahead of the rest, and you can use the usual two-stage shutter release -- half-press to focus, full-press when it's locked on -- or if the light's good, you can just stab once at the shutter and get the shot with no discernible shutter lag at all. This is exactly what a 'snapshot' camera should do.

There's no manual focus mode, but there are equally useful distance presets, so that's another way to cut out any lag. The face detection and automatic scene detection are also fast, which is as it should be. Intelligent automation is all very well as long as it doesn't get in the way, and here it doesn't.

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