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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Gordon Laing, August 2007

More features : Lenses / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / anti-shake
 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 image stabilisation

The Cyber-shot DSC-W200 offers optical stabilisation to combat camera-shake which Sony brands as Super SteadyShot. There’s three modes available: Shooting, which only stabilises as you half-press the shutter, Continuous, which stabilises all the time but consumes the battery quicker, and Off, where the system is disabled.

The default setting is Shooting, and that’s what we’ve used for the handheld samples you’ll see in this review. Switch the W200 to Movie mode and you’ll have the choice of Off or Continuous, the latter being the default option.

Sony W200 steadyshot menu
 
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To put the W200’s Super SteadyShot anti-shake features to the test, we photographed a bottle at close range with the lens zoomed-in to an equivalent of 105mm. Traditional photographic advice would recommend a shutter speed of around 1/100 to avoid camera shake, but optical stabilisation should allow much slower exposures.

During a number of repeat tests, we found the slowest we could successfully handhold this shot and achieve a perfectly sharp result was at a shutter speed of 1/10, which corresponds to around three stops of compensation over the recommended setting. That said, we also managed to achieve a sharp result without Super SteadyShot at an exposure of 1/40, which corresponds to more like two stops of compensation in real-life.

Sony Cyber-shot W200
Super SteadyShot OFF
Sony Cyber-shot W200
Super SteadyShot ON
Sony W200 Super SteadyShot OFF
Sony W200 Super SteadyShot ON
7.6-22.8mm at 22.8mm (105mm equivalent), 1/4 sec
 
7.6-22.8mm at 22.8mm (105mm equivalent), 1/4 sec

Above are two examples showing the system being pushed just beyond its capabilities at an exposure of one quarter of a second. The crops are taken from the originals and reproduced here at 50%. The crop above left shows the result without Super SteadyShot and the blurring through camera shake is quite apparent. The crop above right shows the same composition taken moments later with Super SteadyShot set to Shooting mode, and while it’s not 100% sharp, it’s still a visible improvement over the version without.

So while the W200’s optical stabilisation is not the most impressive we’ve tested, it should give you two to three stops of compensation in real-life conditions, and that could be enough to eliminate (or greatly reduce camera shake), and save your photo.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 features

Lenses / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / anti-shake

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