Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W120

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The Good Good picture quality; quick performance; broad feature set.

The Bad Small buttons; misses many on-board editing options other models have.

The Bottom Line It's not as feature-laden as higher-end models, but the Cyber-shot W120 offers plenty of style and substance for the price.

7.4 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Image quality 7

Sony packs a surprising number of features and color choices in its Cyber-shot DSC-W120, a 7-megapixel shooter that teeters on the fence between budget and fashion. It lacks some of the features of the Cyber-shot T- and higher-end W-series cameras, but offers much more than Sony's budget Cyber-shot S-series. It's a middle-ground camera that stands on its own without catering strictly to budget-minded shoppers or stylish gadget-hounds.

The attractive, metal W120 is available in black, silver, blue, and pink versions. Curiously, the step-up W130 only comes in silver, black, and pink. The inch-thick camera weighs just 5.4 ounces with battery and Memory Stick Duo card, and slips easily into most pockets. On the backside of the camera, a 2.5-inch LCD leaves room for a small optical viewfinder, a mode dial, and a handful of buttons. While the small, flat controls feel more comfortable than the last generation W90's buttons, they still seem a bit small for larger thumbs.

The 7-megapixel shooter includes a 32-128mm-equivalent, f/2.8-5.8 lens with Sony's Super SteadyShot optical image stabilization. The lens offers a slightly longer than usual 4x optical zoom, though slight barrel distortion is present at its widest angle. A 9-point autofocus system helps the camera lock onto subjects, and face detection can automatically adjust focus and exposure to suit the faces in your pictures. Adult and Child Priority face detection modes can differentiate between and focus primarily on children or adults in group photos, and Smile Shutter mode automatically captures photos when subjects smile. Sony's Photo Music, an in-camera slide show program, lets users show off their photos either on the camera's 2.5-inch screen or, with an optional video connector, on an HDTV. The slide shows can use a variety of transition effects, and users can upload their own soundtracks to the camera.

Despite its broad feature set, the W120 leaves out many of the onboard retouching and picture editing tools found on most other W- and T-series cameras. Its brother, the W130, comes with several photo filters, such as radial blur, fish-eye lens, and unsharp masking. The W120 can only rotate and resize pictures in the camera. A lot of these in-camera editing features are more flashy than functional, but it would have been nice to include at least a digital red eye removal.