Sony has announced upgrades to its W-series compact digital camera line at the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) 2006 trade show.
The Rangefinder-style W series gets a facelift as the lower end is now a continuation of the more compact P-series of the recent years, and is more akin to the Canon ixus line in size and feature set. The higher end models retain the old W size and form factor, but now sport higher resolution CCD sensors (7 and 8 megapixels!) and upgraded optics.
New models include the W30 (SRP: US$ 230) and W50 (SRP: US$ 250) on the lower-featured, more compact side, and the W70 (SRP: US$ 300) and W100 (SRP: US$ 350) on the larger, more feature-packed side.
Across the W series, common enhancements include the following:
- Increased light sensitivity, up to 1000 ISO equivalent settings (up to 1250 ISO for the W100)
- Intuitive helptext for menu system
Now what would I do with that fast a light sensitivity? I’m worried about noise and pixellation at those ISO levels, even if this was meant to enable faster shutter speeds at low-light operation! But the help system is cool, though, for novice photographers–it takes out the guesswork in photography (sometimes “Auto” mode isn’t enough, since there are a plethora of options one can explore even on a simple point-and-shoot digicam)
At any rate, the W series is worth looking at. It strikes good balance between price and funcitionality.