PROS / This is one of the most portable cameras we reviewed.
CONS / This camera lacks any kind of physical exposure controls.
VERDICT / The Sony Cyber-shot W830 is a small, inexpensive camera that captures high resolution images. Though we weren’t particularly impressed with its performance, it’s hard to expect much more for the price.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W830 is one of the smallest and lightest cameras that we tested; it’s also one of the least expensive. For its price range, it does fine in terms of image quality and performance, but it is much less capable than the best cameras we tested in every way except portability. In other words, this isn’t a point and shoot camera you’d choose for its image quality, but rather one you’d choose for its size and price.
In our image quality testing, we found that the W830 struggled to produce clear images in low light, but it did decently well in terms of dynamic range and color accuracy. In this price range, however, nothing outperformed it by very much. Seeing as they’re all fairly similar, it might be better to make your decision based on performance, features and design.
At 300 shots per charge, this device is above average for battery life. Small point and shoots often take a hit to battery life, so we were pleased to find this camera holds up well to heavy shooting. Despite this, extra batteries are available should you need them.
The zoom range on this camera is not very good, which isn’t surprising considering its size. With 8x optical zoom, it’s not the shortest range on our lineup, but it’s close. This means you’ll have to rely a little more on your feet to get close to subjects. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking for a more versatile camera.
As the form factor shrinks, physical controls are often the first features to go, and that’s certainly the case with the W830. While there is a small amount of manual exposure control, it’s not a priority for this camera. There are no programmable buttons, no dials and only a handful of features available without delving into the menus.
While this camera does have optical image stabilization, most of the other features we looked for – Wi-Fi, screen articulation and viewfinders – were missing. Again, we weren’t surprised by these omissions, but they’re definitely something you should consider if you’re after more than basic functionality.
The Sony Cyber-shot W830 failed to impress us in terms of image quality, performance and features, but there’s something to be said for a camera that is unashamedly dedicated to offering a low price and a convenient design. We wouldn’t recommend this camera to most people off the bat, but those looking to keep their purchase around $100 would do well to consider the W830.