Available for just £69, and featuring a 20mp sensor, and 5x optical zoom lens, is this camera worth considering as an ultra-budget point and shoot camera?
Whilst the features may seem basic, it’s the ease of use that stands out on this camera, with an intelligent auto mode, numerous scene modes, panoramic shooting, and a P mode. You’ll even find an “Easy” mode that enlarges the icons to make the camera even easier to use.
There’s a 5x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 26mm to 130mm, along with a 20mp CCD sensor, which means high-speed continuous shooting isn’t likely to be very impressive, and the maximum resolution for video recording is 720p (1280x720 pixels).
There’s face detection autofocus, and a built-in flash, so portraits and photos with flash should be better than some smartphones with just an LED light.
The screen is a 2.7inch screen with a resolution of 230K dots. Electronic image stabilisation is an option.
The camera weighs 125g with battery and memory card and can use SD or Sony Memory stick cards, making it very light.
- 20.1mp 1/2.3inch Super HAD CCD sensor
- 5x optical zoom lens, f/3.2-6.4, 26-130mm equivalent
- 2.7inch screen, 230K dots
- ISO100 – ISO3200
- 720p video, 30fps, mono sound
- 5cm macro focus
- Easy mode
- Available in silver or black
The camera has a plastic body, with a metal effect on the front. There’s a plastic tripod socket underneath, and the camera takes a Sony lithium-ion rechargeable battery. You’ll also find the memory card slot next to the battery slot, and we used an SD card with the camera.
The screen looks okay but isn’t anything particularly special, functional, rather than brilliant.
The zoom control is a more basic design using buttons, and the shutter release button is on top, next to the on/off power button. On the back is a 4-way controller with a middle OK button. The Menu button brings up on-screen controls giving you quick access to photo settings. If you scroll to the bottom of this you can access the more advanced menus.
It’s all very functional, easy enough to use, and there are a reasonable number of controls for a basic point and shoot camera, with options to change ISO and White Balance. There is a panoramic shooting mode, as well as an "Easy" mode, should you need it.
Battery life is rated at 200 shots, which is average for a compact camera, and a spare battery is recommended if you want to shoot more. Focus is reasonable in good light but can be slow in low light.
The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera.
Camera Performance - Images taken at lower ISO settings, and in bright conditions (or when using the flash), give reasonable results, but as soon as the light drops, and the ISO speed increases, then image quality suffers, with poor results at ISO1600 and above. If you're just wanting a point and shoot camera, and are likely to be shooting in bright sunny conditions, then the camera's images could be considered good enough, particularly if you're simply planning on sharing photos on Facebook and other social media sites. Focus in low-light is aided by the AF assist lamp, but can still struggle in low-light. Colour reproduction is reasonably good, and the camera has a DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) option to improve the dynamic range captured by the camera, boosting shadows.
Value For Money
There are very few cameras available at such a low price point, with the Sony Cyber-shot W800 priced at £69, and therefore this could make a good entry level point and shoot camera on holiday or in good lighting.
The Sony Cyber-shot W800 doesn’t offer any of the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from cameras released in the last couple of years, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or NFC, however, at this price point that’s no real surprise. The camera provides value for money for those that want a simple point and shoot camera, and also offers a 5x optical zoom lens, something which at the present moment is very difficult to find on a smartphone. If your budget will only stretch to £70, and you don’t want to buy a digital camera second hand, then there is little else to choose from, and this makes the W800 a decent option.
Also see: The Best Cheap Compact Cameras UK