Sony DSC-P200 or DSC-W7

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by bourmb, May 25, 2005.

  1. bourmb

    bourmb Guest

    I am having a difficult time determining if their are any mechancial
    feature differences between the two Sony models. Does anyone know if
    the larger DSC-W7 have an advantage over it's smaller brother? How do
    either compare to a Canon SD500? Your help is greatly appreciated.
     
    bourmb, May 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. bourmb

    David Chien Guest

    Think W7 = P200 + bigger LCD screen, direct-attach wide angle and
    tele zoom lenses, a more 'traditional' camera layout, longer battery
    life, bigger, heavier, easier to find AA battery (instead of Li-Ion)
    cells, built-in 32MB RAM (you can take pictures w/o adding a flash
    card), etc.

    IMO, not worth the extra weight unless you want either AA batteries,
    or add lens attachments often. The P200 would be the better choice for
    most consumer buyers.

    The even smaller T7 has only 5MP, but it's quite good for 4x6" to
    8x10" snaps, and packages the P100 (5MP version of P200) into one of the
    thinnest cameras on the market today. Only disadvantages? - no optical
    viewfinder, though not a problem with the big LCD, and 1 hour battery
    life (really, really small battery; but sufficient for most casual
    picture takers who don't take more than a roll or two of film equivalent
    during a day or night out).

    Between the P200 and SD500, I went for the P150!

    (Huh?)

    Well, the P150 is identical to the P200 with the exception of the
    slightly smaller LCD screen and cosmetic body styling.

    Microcenter.com stores have a full 20% off all digital cameras this
    month, so naturally --- the P200 at $399 retail sells for $320; the P150
    on clearance, even cheaper!

    That said, between the P200 (or P150) and the SD500 -
    1) People have said the SD500 has a very annoying noisy movie
    recording problem (www.dpreview.com -> forums). Bad vs. the prior ELPHs
    which don't have this problem.
    2) The P200 (and P150) still feel more responsive in my hands, esp.
    for focusing. Here, the SD500 is quick, but the P200 is just faster.

    I hate missing shots, and the P200 (P150) autofocus faster (see
    www.dpreview.com and www.imaging-resource.com and
    www.steves-digicams.com timings).

    Even nicer, the Sony's have adjustable multi-step fixed focus
    distance lock - you can set them at 0.5m, 1m, ..., 7m, and infinity!

    You'd think this pointless, but keep in mind that when you're
    trying to grab a shot of a moving kid, or anything at night, there's
    just no time to wait for the AF illuminator to light up the subject
    before AF starts.

    With focus locked (and easily changed on the Sony), you can
    preset a 3m distance for example, have the flash in ON mode (for night
    shots), and simply point and shoot! The response is 'instant' (0.001
    sec according to their specs), and it has really, really helped me to
    get great indoor shots with my buddies out dancing. The moment you see
    something, you can get it.
    3) Don't know here about the SD500 since I haven't had it at night,
    but the P200/P150 series does a very good job for P&S in lighting up a
    dark room at night to about 15 feet or so on ISO400 and still produce
    nice, low-grain photos. I hate cameras that can't make a nice, well-lit
    indoor photo, so the Sony gets my mark here.
    4) Battery life. P150 honestly gets me a solid 180 minutes of
    continuous shooting time like the monitor shows, and it does easily last
    a full night out (5 hours+) shooting at a full 7MP + 640x480 30fps
    movies until a 1GB flash card is filled when turned off between groups
    of shots. Like an Energizer bunny, it just goes and goes w/o worry.

    UNLIKE most other cameras, the Sony's display the full battery
    remaining life in MINUTES of time remaining! Others simply have a
    simply battery full, half full, empty indicator, which is useless if
    you're trying to guage how much time you've got left. The time
    countdown is extremely useful to me, and I can easily run the camera
    down to the very last minutes w/o worry that I'll run out before I get a
    shot.
    SD500 doesn't do this.

    Imaging-resources tests: SD500 - 103 minutes, Sony - 202 minutes in
    capture mode. I'd much rather have the longer battery life over
    anything else due to the large number of movies and photos I take!

    5) Uses a Memory Stick - I can drop a Duo into the P-series, take
    photos, then drop it into my Playstation Portable (PSP), and let
    everyone view the pictures on the PSP's plasma-like wide-screen (think
    portable photo album).
    6) Very fast picture to picture viewing cycle. I can go from this
    photo to view the next photo faster on this camera than others I've seen
    .. Very easy to review and go through hundreds of photos quickly on the
    P-series. Other cameras have a longer delay.
    7) Transfer rate over the USB port is faster than on the SD500.

    ---

    That said, the SD500 is 'smaller' and can fit into a shorter
    pocket, has panorama stitch assist, sound memo recording to add to your
    photos, more system adjustments, more color adjustments, and higher
    tested resolution.

    But, I figured shutter response (when focus is preset) and night
    shots were more important for me along with battery life, and with the
    $100+ difference in price at microcenter.com, I went for the Sony and
    have been very happy thus far.

    The happiness stems from the fact the P-series Sony's run like a
    SLR - fast, responsive, instant reaction, reliable exposure,
    to-the-minute battery indicator, etc. An intuitive camera for
    traditional photographers who understand that when you're locking the
    camera to 1m or 3m focus, you actually get quite good depth of field and
    can snap all day long w/o worrying about misfocused or missed shots
    (never have to worry about those slow AF systems anymore - not to say
    the Sony's isn't good, it's actually quite good with 5 point MF). SD500
    just simply didn't respond as fast in my hands.

    ---

    Personally wouldn't buy the more expensive W7 myself - can't see
    any reason for it unless AAs are a thing to have. (Also, knowing how
    low the W5 blew out of stock at <$180 at target stores and elsewhere
    (www.fatwallet.com/c/18/), the W7 definitely isn't worth the $449 it
    retails for today.)

    -----

    Keep in mind the FujiFilm F10 as well, which has rated very good
    across most reviews. dpreview.com writes:
    "And it may not be as slim and sexy as models such as the Canon
    SD500, but it handles a lot better and produces better results in most
    circumstances - most especially when light levels start to drop."
    And has a 500 shot rated battery life!
     
    David Chien, May 26, 2005
    #2
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