Pros Excellent 720p videos
Cons Poor indoor pictures (blurred),
Summary Love CNET reviews; but do not agree with the W290. I tested/lived with Sony W290 and Canon SD960. Both 12MP with same chip size; wide-angle, 720p video and compact. I tested each camera and combed various camera websites and compared pictures at 100% crop. See digitalcamerareview.com and Steves-digicams.com The Canon SD960 wins with sharper pictures, better colors and 16:9 screen.
Picture quality. Accurate colors; though I prefer the slight oversaturation seen with Canon cameras giving subjects more "life". Macro is good; however when pixel peeking at 100% crop the pictures are a little blurred with flowers looking "painted". The Canon SD960 if life-like with fine detail and textures.
** BAD indoor daytime pictures**. W290 has very poor shutter speed. If the camera moves a little or the subject moves; the picture will be very blurred/useless. Taking birthday pictures of my kids was impossible. Even with forced flash I could not get the subject to "freeze"...still came out with blurred moving subjects. My friends SD880 took GREAT pictures.
Video...Great for on-the-go 720p videos; prefer my Sony CX-12 for videos. The digital zoom does work during record (not optical) so the image gets grainy past 2x zoom. One great thing is that the macro adjusts during record so that focusing is an active process. SD960 focuses once when the shutter is pressed, but will not adjust focus (on macro) during that clip.
Bottom line. CNET is right about most things; but not the W290.
Best Camera...Get a Canon SD880 because 10MP has less noise inherent to these new 12MP cameras, has wide-angle (very useful) and ALL the reivew across the internet rave about the SD880.
If 720p video is what you want as well, get the SD960. Also has wide-angle, slightly less noise (DIGIC IV processor), GREAT pictures (color/sharpness) and sports a 16:9 monitor. With HD plasma, computer monitors, camcorders all moving toward 16:9, I would not be suprised if cameras slowly moved this direction.
I happily returned the W290 and am very satisfied with Canon SD960.
Pros Smile detection for photos with children. HD movie quality. Simple menu. Large view screen.
Cons Occasional problems with consistency of photos. Deleting photos could be one less step.
Summary All in all, a very impressive camera, especially compared with models with lower video capability, and slightly lower resolution, but cost is greater or equal. It has great feel, and is very intuitive. Works seamlessly with Mac OSX , iPhoto and iMovie. I highly recommend this camera.
Pros Well to begin with, this camera has the new and improved scroll wheel to select what to do, (Movie, Easy, Auto, Programmable, and Scenes), The camera can record in HD video which is great for most people who like to make videos! It overall amazing!
Cons Finding a case for this that is not the easiest thing to do if you want a small case, either they are for tiny tiny cameras or they are to big an bulky making it unattractive. The accessories from Sony are overpriced but possibly worth it.
Summary The camera is a amazing camera if you want to get one that can catch amazing images, Although it is not Sony's proclaimed top of the line one (W300) It has better zoom, records high def video, has all of the same scene features, it just lacks that titanium coating that protects it from scratches, although honestly I have never ever gotten a scratch on any one of my Sony Cybershot cameras, I had a older W80 camera and it broke after I hit on the wall and floor when I fell on vacation, even when I did that it doesn't have a single scratch it just broke the LCD which is why I bought this new camera. So really this IS better that the W300, the only thing it lacks is the coating that does nothing, and those 2 more megapixels which chances are aren't even noticeable difference. The one thing I hate about this camera is that if you break the LCD screen, I don't think that you would wish to pay $100 to replace it, so buying a warranty is highly advised if your a active photographer. The accessories are cool but are over priced for just going out and buying them so they would be more for a special occasion because they range from $50-$200+! But overall if you are in need of upgrading a camera or buying a new one, the Sony W290 is right for your wallet and it will blow you away in quality and features! Also I forgot to talk about the battery, the charger works around the world, although it has a United States 120V plug with the two long prongs coming out, somehow it automatically detects that it is in a 220V outlet or other voltage and changes it and allows you to charge your battery like normal, all you would be needing is a converter so no transformer is necessary! So this makes this an added feature that makes it great for travelers also!
Pros Ease of use, functions, 12.1 Mega Pixels, HD Movie 720p shows without the flicker or floating in and out of color levels like most other brands.Did have a Pentax Optio that cost $325.00 that lasted 3 months.
Cons The battery and memory card door is easy to break. I do recommend that Sony address that issue. The door or cover for that area is very delicate and should be handled with care. Not for the fumbling fingers and hand type person.
Summary So Far, I love it! Hope Sony keeps up their quility. Have an older version of Sonys digital camera. I've had for 15 years and it take a kicking and keeps on ticking.
Thanks, CNET and you too Sony, JT
Pros 5x zoom starting at a wide 28mm is great. HD movies look good and file size isn't too bad. Lots of advanced features like smile shutter and automatic scene mode selection.
Cons Movies record in mp4 format, which can't be viewed in windows movie player or edited in windows movie maker. This seems like a major flaw.
Not as much control over the functions as I'd like. The shutter and zoom buttons are small and hard to push.
Summary Good camera for the low price if you don't plan to view the videos in windows photo gallery.