By Neil Bennett | on May 15, 2008
Price When Reviewed: 212
Pros: Excellent output. Great IS system. Some manual controls. Great looks.
Cons: Proprietary card format. Manual aperture can be changed by full f-stops only.
The Cyber-shot W300 is a pocket-sized camera that offers one of best balances of size, performance and ease-of-use we've seen – and to us it’s one of the best looking to boot. It’s not without flaws, but overall it’s a cracking little camera.
A digital camera is an essential part of every professional creative’s toolkit. Illustrators and motion graphics artists need photos as compositional elements and reference materials. Designers are often required to quickly take shots of people and products to add to their layouts. Stills provide video editors will materials for pan-&-scan shots, while 3D artists use cameras to capture textures and reference shots.
For the highest-quality shots, it’s best to invest in a digital SLR. However, models like the W300 offer high-quality sensors, flawless glassware, powerful digital processing and a wide set of manual controls within small, sleek, light bodies – so you can keep them on you at all times, ready to capture that perfect shot as soon as inspiration strikes.
The W300 is small considering its functionality, and has a unique dark gray styling with black and silver flash that’s going to garner envious stares from your colleagues and friends. It’s not as tiny as ultra-compacts such as Casio’s Exilim Card S10 – but those models have very limited feature sets and tiny, fiddly control buttons.
On the W300’s back is a zoom rocker, a mode wheel, a D-pad and four buttons. All of the other cameras we’ve looked at have forward-facing rockers on the top, and these are generally better as they allow for a wide sweep for precise control – but seeing as the rockers on the W300 rivals have limited motion, Sony’s system is no better or worse than them.