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I needed a new camera last year after the heavy and unreliable brick of a camera I used to own had finally died!
Looking in Argos, I knew what I wanted from my new camera. I wanted something handheld, compact, pink and reliable.
I finally came across the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350 (and it came in pink too!)
The camera is approximately 9cm in length, 5cm in height and1.5cm in width, 90x50x15mm or in inches roughly 3.5"x2"x0.6"
This is the perfect size for me. Its small but not impossibly tiny. It fits nicely in my hand and can easily be used one-handed for a quick snap or steadied by both hands quite comfortably.
The camera is about 115grams in weight. This is with the battery and the memory card included too, so this makes the camera very lightweight!
LOOK AND DESIGN
The Cyber-shot is a very pretty camera and as they are available in different colours, (silver, black, pink, blue and gold) mine is the metallic pink. Its very simple and elegant design with a large lens on the right-hand side on the front of the camera. There's a small flash bar just off-centre at the top of the camera too.
On the back of the camera there is a big screen which covers around 75% of the back of the camera (measuring 60mm by 46mm) Along the right hand side of the back there is a control panel which is very simply laid out. From top to bottom there is a zoom in and out bar, a slider to switch the function from a camera, to a panoramic shot to a video shot, then there is gallery button to take you to the photos taken, then there is a circular pad with 4 functions (display settings, manual flash, timer, and a smile shutter), then underneath that there is a 'bin' button and a menu button. On my pink camera, these buttons are in silver and stand out against the black panel.
On top of the camera, there is an on/off button and a shutter button. Its a very uncluttered design and is easy to get to grips with.
The battery is a lithium ion based battery and is a small lightweight pack approximately 40mm x 35mm x 4mm in size. It comes with its own battery charger pack which it simply slides into. A light on the side of the charger lets you know if its charging or not. The battery slots comfortably into the bottom of the camera and clicks into place - the cover then locks into place with a small slider.
Its hard to pinpoint how long the battery lasts for as I've never run it out in one go so haven't been able to measure the length of it but it takes plenty of photos in one go and there is a battery icon on the screen when the camera is turned on to show the user how much battery life is left to use.
EASE OF USE
As the camera has only a few buttons to press, its hard to not be able to use! Turning on the camera is simple enough by just pressing the on button on top. This pops the lens out and lights the screen up.
In the top right hand corner of the screen, a memory card icon lets you know how many more photos the card can hold. (This memory card fits in right next to the battery in the same compartment so is easy to fit and/or change).
To change the function of the camera, there is the slider on the right hand edge of the camera which only needs to be moved slightly to change from a camera to a video camera or even a panoramic shot. I would say if you've kept the camera in your pocket or bag then this can be changed without knowing and so when you turn the camera on you can sometimes find yourself video recording where you really want to just take a photo. This is not a massive flaw but just something to be aware of.
Setting up the timer is really easy also. When the camera is turned on, you would only need to press the down button on the dial (this is displayed with a small clock icon) which gives a menu about what timing setting you'd like to chose from. These are 'off', '10secs', '2secs', '1face' and '2face'. The 10 second delay and the 2 second delay are self explanatory however the 1 face and 2 face settings are new to me. These basically wait till either 1 face is detected or 2 faces are detected before taking the photo. This can be useful but haven't used this function al that much myself.
To set up/turn off a flash manually, you only need to press the right button on the dial (displayed by an electricity bolt) which brings up a menu with 2 options to chose from. These are to select 'no flash' or 'auto flash' which judges the amount of light in the shot and switches the flash on automatically or just keeps the flash permanently off.
To look back at photos/videos taken, you only need to click the review button which is displayed by a 'play' icon (triangle on its side) in a box. This then takes you to the most recently taken photograph or video. Its so quick and easy, a child could use it!
The camera prides itself on its 4x optical zoom which is really useful when trying to get photos of things far away. It also has 14.1 mega-pixels which means that the photos taken are really clear quality. I understand that with professional cameras this quality of photo wont compare, but for a simple digital camera I want to use for the odd occasion its perfect and brilliant!
It also has a power-save feature which can be set up through the menu button which prolongs the battery life even more.
VALUE FOR MONEY
I paid £120.00 from Argos for the camera last year which at the time seemed like a lot of money for a digital camera, however I think for the quality of photograph and the range of features it can be used for, I think the camera is worth every penny. I am aware this is now available for less than this so would definitely buy this camera again for the price its now selling at!
I think the colour of the camera doesn't make it look cheaper either which is what I was initially worried about but I have found that the pink is refreshing and makes it obvious that it belongs to me! I can always find it at the bottom of my handbag because of the colour which is always a bonus!! A picture of the colour is shown below :P
I would definitely recommend this camera for anybody who would like a quality, durable and multi-functioning digital camera without any of the professional complexities and price tag! Its simple and bright and can be used well by children also as its so easy to use!