There isn’t much of a difference design wise between the Sony Cyber-shots especially when you look at the W series models. If you put them up against one another the only difference you will be able to note are a few curvy and rounded edges that some sport. Other than that, they look and feel almost the same.
What we have here is the Sony DSC-380 that pretty much resembles the WX-1. The DSC-380 comes with a brush metal finish and measures in at 91.7 x 51.9 x 19.7 mm – which makes it easy to carry around. Moreover the DSC-380 is significantly light considering that the body is made of metal – a mere 130 g with battery. As with most Sony cameras button placement is good and protrudes just enough to allow you to navigate with ease. The jog dial would have been better placed had it been shifted a little more towards the edge of the camera body – thereby allowing you to switch between modes with ease.
The DSC-380 comes with a 2.7-inch LCD display that works well under broad daylight but sadly isn’t resistant to scratches. The camera has an image resolution of 14.1 MP and features a sweet 5x optical zoom and an optical image stabilizer.
The Sony DSC-W380 is fast and takes just about 1.5 seconds to switch on thereby allowing you to shoot almost instantaneously.
A nice addition to the DSC-W380 is the calendar mode that allows you to view images according to the month and date they were taken on. The best part of the camera is the 24 mm wide angle lens that allows you to capture a major chunk of the subject without having you to move far away. The camera also comes with a smile detection mode that automatically clicks the moment a smile is detected. Moreover it also comes with an intensity level – slight, normal and big. Setting it to big will really require you to do more than just smile. You will definitely need to stretch till your jaws and cheek hurt. Wonder why some companies keep such insane levels for just a friggin smile?
The camera comes with six different modes with the scene mode itself giving you a variety of 11 different scenes. To make things even simpler switch to the “Intelligent Auto Mode” and “Easy” mode and the camera decides the best shooting mode depending on the scene. While the iAuto mode allows you to change a handful of settings the Easy mode on the other hand simply allows you to change the image size and enable/disable flash.
Now if you are the adventurous type and find the need to do more than just click then the camera's program mode should keep you going. But don’t expect an overabundance of features as it only allows you to adjust the ISO, focus, metering and white balance.
Apart from still images the Sony DSC-380 is also capable of capturing videos at 720p with a frame rate of 30 fps – which is good considering its price and target audience. While you can obviously view the captured videos on its 2.7-inch screen the option of viewing it on a larger display via the cable provided has also been thrown in.
The DSC-W380 does a neat job when it comes to handling colors though there are a few places where they seem a little too oversaturated. This holds true especially for colors that have a bit of red, blue and yellow.
Though the image looks good when viewed on the device, view it on a larger screen and it tells a different story. The overall picture looks a little blotched and grainy even on ISO 80 – though this only holds true when the overall light conditions are below normal, such as indoor shots or when shooting in the shade.
The camera's night performance is not very good but does a decent job when compared to others. However changing the mode to twilight definitely produces better quality pictures. The overall image noise is considerably less than pictures taken in auto mode.
As you can see from the picture below the cameras macro mode does handle close-up shots quite well provided the picture is clicked in a well lit area. The DSC-380 also performs well at keeping color fringing at its bare minimum.
The only aspect that works against the DSC-W380 is its lack of capturing sharp and detailed pictures. So the DSC-W380 actually leaves a lot to be desired and would have been a good bang for your buck had it produced better quality pictures at its lowest ISO. Nevertheless if you are going to resize the images then you really don’t need to pay attention to the overall sharpness. But for a price close to Rs. 15,000 there are always better cameras to invest your money in but without HD recording.
Published Date: Mar 05, 2010 03:58 pm | Updated Date: Mar 05, 2010 03:58 pm