"Excellent low light level camera"4.0 starson by NuovoCretino
Pros: Very good pictures in low light.
Accepts SDHC class 4 or better memory cards in addition to memory stick.
Lens performance rivals that of larger lenses.
HD video in the palm of your hand.
High dynamic range mode does not work as well as it could have.
Zoom is a little touchy, but it works even while shooting video.
No histogram function to assess exposure.
No audio record notes function.
Summary: The picture quality is excellent compared to other similar sized cameras, though it does not rival a DSLR. Significant processing is apparent in noise reduction at higher ISO sensitivities, but it seems to be very well implemented and produces some of the best results that I have seen. Add to that the handheld twilight mode, and you have a winner. In this mode, the camera takes 6 separate exposures and stitches them together to reduce camera shake in select the best details from all of the frames. It seems to work reliably.
The tiny size of this camera means you will never hesitate to bring it along and you will always be ready to take a good picture. Like many point and shoot cameras, Sony has gone a long way to try to automate everything in the picture taking process so all you have to do is compose the frame and shoot. And the camera's excellent performance in all lighting conditions assures that in most situations you will come away with very good pictures or gorgeous video.
However, if you want to adjust the exposure or bracket your exposure, things get more complicated. You can adjust the EV up or down by a couple of stops, but with no histogram to guide you, you are guessing. There is no provision to bracket your exposure by taken several shots at different exposures. The camera automates everything so that you have almost no direct control over aperture or "shutter speed."
That said, I don't think I took a really bad picture, except when in the HDR (backlight correction) mode, and I was forcing it to set the exposure for the shaded portion of the frame. The sunlit portion was washed out as usual, but I had expected the camera to fix that. It did not. Its correction capabilities are pretty limited and I would not consider it to be of much value in most situations.
The overall size is almost identical to a 5th generation iPod, and the lens does not protrude from the body in use. This is a very nice feature. However, be aware that the lens and the flash are located near the top of the camera body, so it takes a little practice to keep your fingers out of the flash or out of the frame.
The sliding panel on the front can be a little difficult to operate. I eventually learned to use the Sony logo as a grip to give me the extra traction needed to operate that panel.
The camera has an usually wide angle lens and there is a panorama mode that is the easiest to use I have ever tried. All you have to do is pan the camera around about 160 degrees and the camera decides when to take the exposures and stitches them together in the camera. It worked amazingly well for me, but some people had problems panning without jerking too much.
The bottom line is the quality of the pictures that you bring home at the end of the day. In this, I can say that I have not seen another point and shoot camera do better. If I were off to a party or a day trip, this would be my first choice. But I would still grab a larger bridge camera or DSLR for portraits or pictures of the inside of houses or wedding shots or anywhere else that I might want to bounce a flash or bracket my exposure.