SONY DSC W380 - HD recording, 5x optical zoom, decent twilight shots

The DSC-W380 is surprisingly light considering that its body is made of metal. It features a brush metal finish and weighs a mere 130 g with battery. As with most Sony cameras, button placement is good and protrudes just enough to allow easy navigation. However, the jog dial would have been better placed towards the edge of the camera body, thereby allowing you to easily switch between modes.

The camera takes a mere 1.5 seconds to power on. Its standout feature is a 24 mm wide angle lens that allows you to capture a major chunk of the subject without having to backtrack too far. The camera also features smile detection. A nice addition is the calendar mode that lets you view images according to the month and date they were taken on.

The DSC-W380 comes with six different modes, with the scene mode itself giving you 11 different scenes. To make things simpler, you can switch to the Intelligent Auto Mode or Easy mode to let the camera decide the best shooting mode.

The DSC-W380 is also capable of capturing 720p video at 30 frames per second, which is very good considering its price and target audience. You can also view captured video on external displays via the cable that is bundled in. The downside here, though, is that Sony claims the W380 can also accommodate SD cards, which is absolutely not true. The camera only features Memory Stick Pro support.

The Sony DSC-W380 does a neat job at handling colors, though there are a few places where they seem a little oversaturated. This camera is not perfect and produces visible noise even at ISO 80. Night performance is not overly impressive, but does a decent job. However, setting it to twilight mode definitely produces better quality pictures and the overall noise is also considerably reduced.

Specifications of SONY DSC W380:
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 91.7 x 51.9 x 19.7 mm
  • Weight: 130 g
  • Resolution: 14.1 MP
  • Focal length (35mm equiv): 24 - 120 mm
  • Aperture range: f2.4 – f5.9
  • Shutter range: 1 - 1/1600

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