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Photos: Hands-on with the Sony Cyber-shot W170 and W150

The Sony Cyber-shot W170 and W150 are a pair of identical twins, both boasting 5x optical zooms. We found the difference eventually, but not before a whistle-stop tour of famous twins...

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

History is filled with twins doing fascinating things, and the interest lies in looking at both the similarities and the differences between them. Rome, the empire that gave us roads, aqueducts and the Asterix books, was founded by twins Romulus and Remus. The difference was that Romulus killed Remus for the right to name the city. Today, a pair of camera twins has doubled up in Crave: the Sony Cyber-shot W170 and W150. It's hard to tell these identical twins apart at first glance, so let's meet them and see just how they diverge.

The W170 is a 10.1-megapixel point-and-shoot, with a 5x optical zoom. The lens has a pleasingly wide 35mm equivalent focal length of 28mm. If the god Mars had wanted to record the momentous day his sons stood atop five hills and claimed them for a city, he would have been able to fit plenty into this wide frame. He also could have ensured a cheery picture by using the smile shutter feature, but it's unlikely -- partly because the kids were too busy trying to kill each other, but also because smile shutter is stupid.

More useful features, which might be appreciated by twin detectives Thomson and Thompson, include face detection with high-speed subject tracking and optical image stabilisation. Those two could be told apart by their moustaches and the fact that they had different names (and, er, weren't actually twins). Meanwhile the W170 and W150 both look the same and have identical feature sets.

If the likes of Keith Chegwin, Will Young and Billy Dee 'Lando Calrissian' Williams have Sony Bravia televisions, they can invite their non-famous twins round to watch stills slideshows and high-definition video straight out of the cameras, and possibly gloat about how famous they are. Other twins, such as the Breeders' Kim and Kelly Deal, wizards Fred and George Weasley, and indeed your intrepid Craver and his twin, may appreciate the detail-boosting D-range feature.

The Sony Cyber-shot W170 comes in cherry red or silver, with a brushed metal effect to the frame, and will set you back about £176. Click to the next page for more on the W170 and W150, and to see if there really is a difference between them. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 review

There'll presumably be no sibling rivalry between the equally famous, and equally annoying, Monica and Gabriela Irimia -- otherwise known as the Cheeky Girls -- or Sam and Amanda Marchant (Big Brother irritants and pop-flop duo Samanda). They can all enjoy this 69mm (2.7-inch), 230,000-dot LCD screen.

The W150 is pictured above on the W170's screen. As you can see, the mode wheel, clickpad and optical viewfinder are all identical. The difference -- huzzah! -- is that while the W170 boasts 10 megapixels, the W150 has 8. As a result, it's twenty quid cheaper at £156. Is there a difference in quality and value? Stay tuned for our in-depth reviews to find out.