Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 12 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Bronze)

Sony Cybershot DSC W230

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 camera combines style with power and intelligence. The W290 comes in 4 sophisticated colors and has a stylish look. With the W290 taking great pictures is now easier than ever. The iAuto mode goes beyond the traditional auto mode, thinking and working for you; recognizing scenes, lighting conditions, faces, and automatically adjusts camera settings resulting in clearer images, and faces with more natural skin tones and less blur. The W290 also features HD Movie mode, recording in 720p for capturing your precious moments on video. Compose, review, and share your memories on the large 3.0” (230k pixels) LCD.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 12 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Bronze)

Features Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 12 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Bronze)

  • 12.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD image sensor
  • 5x optical zoom, 28mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens; Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 720p high-definition movie capture; BIONZ image processor
  • 3.0-inch (230K pixels) Clear Photo LCD; Face Detection and Smile Shutter technology
  • 11MB built-in memory; capture images to Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo Media (not included)
Overall Rating: Rating=4.5
(Full Reviews Product)

List Price: $ 249.99
Sale Price: $ 249.99

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 12 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization (Bronze)

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  1. Corey Scott says:
    94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Love it!, April 9, 2009
    Corey Scott (Rocklin, California, United States) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I originally bought a Sony DSC-S950, for around half the price of this camera, but I returned it the same day due to a faulty flash bulb. I decided to upgrade to the W290, because I wasn’t very happy with the S950 – it felt cheap, and lacked features.

    I’ve put together this list of pros and cons of this camera. Don’t let the seemingly long list of cons scare you though, as they are all quite minor and not even important enough for me to rate this camera anything less than 5 stars. I just felt it was necessary to list everything I could think of. Sorry, I couldn’t properly review the HD Video capability, because I don’t have the HD cables (see below), and my computer seems to be too slow to properly play back HD video.


    -BRILLIANT colors! I am very very impressed with the colors in my shots, especially when shooting outdoor scenery shots (which is primarily what I purchased this camera for).

    -Night-time shots using a tripod turn out very well also, giving as much detail as one could see with their naked eye.

    -Smile shutter, as mentioned in previous reviews, works flawlessly. One thing that doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere, is that when it’s in Smile Shutter mode, it will continue to snap photos automatically as long as it keeps detecting smiles, which is very cool. So if you are taking a group picture, and you’re one of those people that likes taking 3 shots of the same thing “just in case”, just keep on smiling and the camera will take care of that for you.

    -there’s a 3-shot burst mode, where it automatically takes 3 pictures when you click the button: one with your default EV, one at -1EV, and one at +1EV (or different intervals even, if you choose). That once-in-a-lifetime shot you take will have 3 different versions automatically, and you can choose the one you like the most and delete the rest later.

    -The Intelligent Auto mode works fantastically, it takes a lot of the stress out of taken urgent pictures. The only time I ever don’t use it is when I have plenty of time to plan for a shot.

    -Startup time is great! I’ve seen other complaints from people that say this camera takes too long to startup and be ready to use, but those people must be the most impatient people ever, because this thing is faster than any other camera I’ve owned, digital or otherwise. When you click the power button, the lens fires out lightning fast and the screen immediately displays the picture and is ready for action. Probably takes about 0.5 seconds from pushing the button to being ready to use.


    -Plastic cover on LCD screen protrudes from the camera body, making it more easily scratched. I would recommend getting some screen protectors, as I’m about to do.

    -the jack for the all-in-one cable is on the bottom of the camera, which will be great once a dock is available, but in the meantime it’s a very inconvenient place to plug in the cable. It forces you to lay to camera on either the lens side, or the LCD side (which, as mentioned above, is designed in such a way that it could be scratched quite easily without a screen protector)

    -Doesn’t come with HD video cables, only the typical yellow/red/white RCA analogue cables. Seeing as how this camera records HD video, it would be nice to be able to play it back in HD on my tv without burning it to a DVD first. You can buy the HD cables from sony if you really need them, though.

    -Comes with an NP-BG1 battery, which disables the camera’s ability to show you the remaining minutes. You have to buy the optional NP-FG1 battery to see that. That’s the only difference, both batteries have the same capacity. It was obviously designed that way to force us to buy a second battery… but that was fine with me, since I planned on buying one anyways.

    I would definitely recommend this camera to anyone looking for a great quality point-and-shoot digital camera!

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  2. R. Bellamy says:
    198 of 211 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Comparing the Sony DSC-W290 to the Canon SX110IS., April 2, 2009


    My wife and I are planning a long vacation trip and needed a compact, but versatile, alternative to a full blown DSLR. I’ve owned this little camera for just 20 hours, but can offer some first impressions. We bought a Canon SX110IS at Christmas for our daughter. Compared to the jewel-like Sony, the Canon’s build quality seems substantially less. However, it has a 10X optical zoom compared to Sony’s 5x, but 9 mega pixel resolution compared to 12.1 on the Sony. I doubt that the image quality difference will be notable, but I will update this when I can make a valid comparison.

    One of the main reasons I picked the Sony over the Canon is that it is truly compact. While the Canon is small, the Sony is flat – less than 1″ thick – and hardly shows in a pocket (although I have ordered a case). Comparatively speaking, its LCD screen is huge and bright (but does not swivel like some Canons). BTW, neither camera has a viewfinder, so I am not confident that either will be easy to see in bright sunlight.

    This model does NOT employ a touch screen (which I did not value), but the controls (though small) are simple and generally intuitive once you learn Sony’s ops language (different from Canon’s). I will admit, if you happen to be a bit ham-fisted, you may not be willing to struggle with such tiny controls which are suited more to a child’s hand than an adults. Also, because they are so small, the two adjustable dials are hard to read – not so handy when your eyes start to fail as are mine.

    The special features (many on this camera) all seem like they may be useful, but the “smile” feature seems a bit useless to me. The facial recognition works great – even when I pointed it at a TV image. It takes longer than I am used to to auto focus (I normally shoot with a Canon full frame 5D that uses focus motors in the lenses – hardly a fair comparison).

    Also, if you plan to use this camera to record full 12.1 mega pixel images, you will have to buy plenty of Memory Stick storage, although it will shoot at much lower resolutions, it has limited internal memory. I bought two 16GB Sony brand Pro Duo sticks on eBay for $21 each to be able to do so. BTW, that is much cheaper than Amazon, say. Also, since this camera shoots HD (720P) video in MPEG4 format – one of the features I plan to exploit – you’ll want plenty of extra storage anyhow.

    I’ll have to reserve my opinions on picture quality until I can do a real world test, but the images I shot indoors with the built-in flash were crisp and noiseless at 12.1 mega pixels, less so, of course as I tried lower resolutions.

    And did I mention that the Sony’s “anodized” blue finish trimmed in “black chrome” is elegant and stunning?


    Shortly after writing this review, I decided to double-check my “cheap” memory purchase. What I found was disturbing. It is very likely that the Pro Duo memory sticks I bought on eBay are FAKES! I’m telling you this so you won’t make the same mistake I probably did (my Memory Sticks have not yet been delivered). If you will check out this eBay link BEFORE you buy memory for your new camera (or other Sony device), you may be able to save yourself a lot of trouble (and $$$).


    Like they say, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”. I know better, and now, so do you. I will confirm the results after I have had a chance to try them out. Incidentally, just shot some outside images of our flowering crabapple blossoms. Pictures look great and I could see the LCD in “cloudy bright” afternoon sunlight.


    As promised, an update. The Memory Sticks from Hong Kong did indeed turn out to be bogus. They look exactly like Sony products, including the very detailed packaging, but they simply didn’t work. The Sandisk Ultra 4GB version I bought at Staples works great, even when recording “HD fine” video. Playback looks beautiful (considering the source) on the computer, but not nearly as sharp on an HDTV when using the composite cable that came with the camera. I now have no qualms about substituting this for my miniDV camcorder on the next trip, however.

    The “smile” function actually works, but I could live without it. The camera makes it really difficult to mess up exposure. I’ve even tried fooling it with extremely harsh back lighting and it still exposed faces properly. 12.1GB images are not as sharp as I’d like when I carefully examine the detail, and there is some noise present. Keep in mind, however, that I typically shoot with a Canon full frame DSLR. I will, however, compare it to a Nikon Coolpix I used a couple of years ago. The Nikon was substantially sharper in similar situations. If the ultimate picture quality is high on your priority list, look at the comparably priced Nikons and Canons…

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