Opinions wanted on Sony digital cameras

I’ve been looking for a new digital camera, and I’ve started coveting this one, the Sony Cybershot DSCW70. In fact, I was all ready to buy it, but my local camera salesman told me that it’s dumb to buy a Sony because all of the accessories (like the memory sticks and the batteries) are proprietary and therefore expensive.

Your thoughts on this issue, or on this camera in general? Thanks.

Two words on why you shouldn’t buy a Sony camera.

Memory Stick.

Steve’s Digicams is the best online resource for digital cameras that I’ve seen. Extremely in-depth reviews and actual images taken with the camera being reviewed.
IMHO, Sony memory sticks are way overpriced.

Forget the memory stick issue, Sony’s put some nasty spyware on their CDs and DVDs in recent years as “copyprotection software,” and unless people stop giving Sony money, they’re not going to learn to change their ways. I won’t buy a Sony product because of it.

I love my Sony digi cams - I’ve had 3 of them since the floppy Mavicas. I have three of the memory sticks already, so why invest in some new media storage? I bought the memory sticks a few years back from Amazon, with a rebate, and they weren’t terribly expensive - I hear the ‘expensive media’ thing all the time and honestly don’t think I paid too much for it. I travel wtih my laptop (or these days, I use my ipod with a camera connecter) and stick the pictures on there, so its not like I need a bunch of memory sticks - a few 128 MB sticks are good for a day’s shooting.

None have ever crapped out on me (memory sticks or camera), and IMO they take damn good pictures. The battery systems rock (I’m the envy of all my traveling buddies who go through AAA’s like I go through chocolate) and I’ve never had to buy new or replacement batteries for them, so no expenses incurred there. I’d buy a Sony camera again.

The Sony music division isn’t really related to the consumer electronics division except in name. Sort of like Verizon landline and Verizon Wireless. Not buying a Sony MP3 player because of the rootkit on their CDs is kind of silly. Boycott their CDs, sure.

In any case, I love my Sony DSC-T1. It’s small, light, takes pretty good pics for a point-and-shoot, and has every feature I could ever want.

Most cameras are going to have proprietary batteries these days, so that’s no concern. Memory Sticks suck only because you can only use them in other Sony products. If you’ve got a ton of CF or SD or something laying around, you may want to explore other options. If you’re going to have to buy a memory card anyway, Memory Sticks don’t suck any more or less than any other kind of memory.

Memory Sticks are definately more expensive than CF or SD, but not that much more expensive. If the camera is the one you really like then don’t let the memory format stop you. With the price of flash memory dropping like a stone, it’s really not that big a deal in the long run.

Many small cameras have proprietary batteries, and they can be a bit of a pain. But I’ve found that Li-Ion rechargables do extremely well in the cold, and they allow the camera to be much smaller. You can often buy third party batteries, I’ve found several much cheaper and just as good at B&H and NewEgg that work well as backups.

So, if you really like the camera, buy it and take photos and don’t look back. Having said that, IMO there are better cameras than the W70 on the market right now. Take a look at the Canon SD700 for example. It’s a bit more expensive initially, but factor in the above about cards and it’s closer. And I think you get a better camera.

Perhaps, but they’re also forcing their crappy copyprotection schemes onto the hardware side of things. Admittedly, not an issue with a camera, but screw 'em anyways, I say.

I have a Sony CyberShot. Yes, I paid a chunk for the larger memory stick, but since then, I can take movies on the camera, get great shots and it has every feature I need.

I am one VERY happy customer.

I’m very happy with my Sony too. I had a P51 previously and now am making serious mileage on my P73. Although Sony uses the Memory Stick format, since Sandisk is officially allowed to make them. And the size of these things has grown so much that you can get decent amounts of memory for a reasonable price on nearly every format. Shop around, and you can get a 2gb Memory Stick for less than 100$. Additionally they are very fast and reliable.

To boot, the P73 had USB 2.0 as one of the first, came with a recharger and runs on regular rechargeable AA batteries, also included, as well as a cable for connecting the camera to a tv. It was definitely one of the best value for money cameras at the time, and in quality only surpassed by the Canon (which however was more expensive and didn’t come with anything).

Additionally, it already had incredibly powerful recording options for such a cheap camera. I think all in all, the cameras cannot be beat for value, but of course some of that depends on your own priorities.

The cameras have also had top scores on ease of use, and I can definitely see why.

In short, I love my Sony cam. :slight_smile: Would buy another one for sure. Only if a series of reviews scored another camera with the same value consistently higher would I consider another one.

Once you’ve got your camera and your memory stick, you really don’t have to worry anymore. Sony make a great product, and for that reason they’re a good buy. But you can buy whatever you wish, really.

I heard something once that makes sense. Get your digital camera from a camera company, as they are more likely to more about making cameras than a consumer electronics company. The CCD may be a commodity item, but lenses are less so.

I accidentally immersed my Olympus C-2040 in water. I’m debating getting it fixed ($114) or getting a new one. I’d get another Olympus (since I’m satisfied with what I had, and am used to the Olympus menu system), but Olympus also chose to go the propriatary card route. The cards are not only propriatary, they have a reputation of being slow (tho the new “fast” cards are better)


Conversely, you could argue that you should get your digital camera from a consumer electronics company as they know more about the digital/user-interface aspect of the camera. Sony has incorporated a lot of features in their digital cameras based on their years of video camera development. (Night shot for an example.) The lenses on some of the Sony digital cameras are very highly regarded – they use Zeiss lenses on their “prosumer” grade cameras.

Generally Sony digicams are very good. Recently they’ve had trouble with improperly sealed lenses that allow dust to get on the sensor. The cameras I know of where that has been true is the P150 and P200, both of which have been discontinued.

The memory stick is a non-issue. There may be a small price differential, but not enough to make it worth deciding one camera over another.

I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-F717

I like it. I’m not a camera pro by any means (the camera has a hell of a lot of features I’ve never used). I have two memory sticks-- the one which came with it, and a bigger 128 MB one. They’ve always been adequate for my needs.

Canon uses Sony CCDs in most of their digital cameras. The distinction between a “camera company” and a “consumer electronics company” is pretty meaningless at this point.

You can buy 2gb SD cards for $35 and 2gb CF cards for under $30. There is a real price difference, and it can be a factor in the long run. If you have other items that use SD cards (phones, MP3 players, etc) it makes some sense to stick to a single format. It gives you more options down the road when buying your next cameras. Sony makes pretty good cameras right now, but they are behind the curve on several categories.

I can easily shoot 1 Gig of images/video on a dayhike. For an upcoming hike I’ll be carrying 5 Gig and 4 batteries. It can be an issue if you shoot like I do. If you start shooting video on a regular basis it’ll eat up flash memory quickly.

Memory Stick Pro 2GB is $58.00 on Amazon. Not a significant difference over the life of a camera.

Thanks everyone. You’ve allayed my worries about Sony, and now that I’ve done some more serious research I’m looking at a more expensive model: the DSC-T30

The size of that camera is the only thing that would be a drawback for me. I don’t like little cameras. They tend to be easier to lose, IMHO.

I just bought a JVC video camera that costed about $500

The picture is very good (mini DV)

Yeah, sorry, that’s much cheaper than under $100. I should have checked - I’ve been looking at Duo Pro sticks because those also go into my PSP.