My old Sony Cybershot DSC-W120’s mode dial had been giving me problems for a few years. I’ve had it since oh, 2008? Everything else in that camera is still working great, but the loose mode dial was something that had really annoyed me and I ended up not using the camera as much. What is the mode dial? It’s that wheel thing you turn to get to the different modes. What is the mode dial problem? When I turn the mode dial, for example, to go to Night Mode or to Movie mode, it doesn’t go to the mode I want. It moves and I can turn it, but the camera doesn’t respond by going to the appropriate mode. Sometimes it take several tries to finally get to Movie Mode, and I’ve lost precious minutes trying. Having googled possible fixes as well as called the service center, I came to the conclusion that it would be far better to just get a new one.
So for several months, I was on an on again, off again hunt for a new digital camera with NO mode dials this time. I’m still keeping my old Cybershot as a back-up. I was wavering on several models. I didn’t want anything too pricey. I had no illusions of becoming a professional photographer, but I still wanted something with a good, sharp lens and that can take good pictures in low light.
Months go by and I’m looking for sales and price drops. I almost bought the Samsung DVF150 at P4,600 for the dual screen. Fortunately, the seller was out of stock. I also realized that the Samsung only had digital stabilization. I’m no expert, but I think optical is still the way to go. The lower-priced Canons had some negative reviews about the battery life. So I was looking at a Sony Cybershot DSC-W800, which was in a similar price range. But it only had a Sony lens.
In the end, after much consideration, I finally decided to get the Sony Cybershot DSC-830 instead. For just a bit more, I get a much better Carl Zeiss lens and 8x optical zoom instead of 5x. There’s no Wifi but I figure I can live with that. I can always buy a wifi SD card should I find myself really needing wifi for this camera.
Getting the camera at a discount
A great thing happened during this transaction! While searching online for anyone selling the W830, I came across Anson’s. We’ve bought a few items from them before and they’ve always been great at giving discounts. They had the W830 on discount at P6,299 while others were selling it for more than P7,000. I had a bit of trouble though – I first went to their Ortigas branch and they didn’t even have any cameras for sale. So I called their Makati branch and they weren’t aware of the discounted price. I finally called the number on the Anson’s website and was able to talk to someone who helped me out, and he even gave me an additional discount for a final price of P6,000! When I picked up my camera from their Makati branch, the people who assisted me were very nice and knew all about it. I got a free 8GB SD card and a free carrying case, too. Overall, I’m very happy over this interaction with Anson’s and would deal with them again. I got my camera for much, much less than I would have from the other online sellers known for low prices.
What’s in the Box?
We opened the box and tested the camera at the store, so this isn’t exactly a real unboxing.
Opening the box, we find the 8GB Sony SD card (Class 4), the camera itself, wall charger, USB cable, strap, N type battery, adapter box, manuals and warranties. To charge the battery, connect the wall plug to the square adapter, and then from the adapter, connect the USB cable to the camera. The battery charges inside the camera. This is different from my old camera where the battery is taken out and there is a separate cradle for the battery to charge in.
Take note: as usual with Sony, this camera has a proprietary port, so you MUST NOT lose the USB cable that came with this camera.
The Sony carrying case is a bit bulky. It’s one of those things that you can clip on your belt. But hey, it’s free. Not complaining. But I’m going to use my old camera case for my W830 and will just use this carrying case for my old W120 instead.
My first impressions:
The camera is small! It’s not a bad thing though. It’s really very small as digital compact cameras go. It’s also very, very light.
Startup is amazingly fast. Forgive me, but I came from using a 2008-era camera. So yes, I find the startup of this new camera amazingly fast. Upon turning it on, it’s ready to take pictures in less than 2 seconds!
Instead of a mode dial, it has a slider. I like this because I can quickly go into Movie Mode. The other choices are Camera mode and Panorama mode. These are the most common things I need, anyway. The other modes like Night Shot, etc.. will take a bit more work. You would have to manually go into settings and pick the mode from there.
I just did test shots and the camera seemed really responsive and the pictures seemed really clear. Not much to say there except that it is what I expected from a Sony Cybershot with a Zeiss lens. I feel like it has exceeded my expectations a bit. I had low expectations since my first experience with my sister’s Canon Ixus circa early 2000’s was really crappy ;P
I haven’t really used the camera that much in the short amount of time that I’ve had it. I will post additional feedback once I’ve used it for a while.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!