We're impressed with the camera's shutter-lag time of 0.3 seconds under high-contrast illumination, but the delay balloons to a frustrating 1.7 seconds under low-contrast lighting with the red focus-assist lamp. Power-on to first shot takes 1.6 seconds. Thereafter, the shot-to-shot time remains a speedy 1.3 seconds, slowing to 1.6 seconds if the flash needs to recharge.
We're very impressed with this camera's photos. They come out well exposed under a variety of lighting conditions, with lots of detail in the shadows and highlights. The DSC-W30 doesn't blow out whites as much as many other cameras in its class. It produces neutral but highly saturated hues, especially in the reds and the oranges. The most serious image problem was noise. While it's barely visible at ISO 80, you can start to see smearing from the noise reduction at ISO 200 and discolourations at ISO 400 and beyond. Most people will find the high-ISO noise annoying, but at least it's available for moments when you really need to forgo the flash.
Even though it's the bargain of the W series, the DSC-W30 offers impressive low-ISO image quality for its resolution and price class. If you're looking for a camera this size and don't need manual controls, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30 could do the trick.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
||Typical shot-to-shot time||
||Time to first shot||
||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Edited by Philip Ryan
Additional editing by Nick Hide