Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80

With a shiny new interface, fast performance, and great pictures, the DSC-W80 sits on the top of the budget snapshot heap.

CNET Rating
User Rating

View more from Sony »

Sony created the W-series to be its budget line of snapshot cameras. Without the sleek designs of the T-series or the high-powered zoom lenses of the H-series, the W-cameras distinguish themselves only through their modest price tags. Despite their lackluster features, the W-cameras have proven themselves with solid performance and good image quality. This trend follows in the Cyber-shot DSC-W80, Sony's high-end Cyber-shot W-camera. Like all current W-cameras, the W80 might not look like much more than a simple, shiny, blocky camera with a standard 7-megapixel sensor and 3X zoom lens. Once you start shooting, though, the W80 quickly proves itself.

Design and features
The DSC-W80 boasts a newer, prettier interface than the other W-series Cyber-shots. The camera's tweaked system is much more colourful than those of the W35 and W55, and resembles the Playstation Portable's menu system more than any camera's. The home button activates this new design in a secondary menu that separates media and camera settings from more commonly used settings such as white balance, ISO sensitivity, and exposure compensation. The enhanced menu includes more media-friendly features than any other W-series camera, like high-definition slide shows with MP3 music support and in-camera image retouching. All of these features are nice, but the buttons that access them are irritatingly tiny and spaced around a slightly-too-sensitive control pad; it's far too easy to tap the wrong command when navigating the menus. The W80 also includes more useful features like optical image stabilisation, ISO 3200 maximum sensitivity, and face-detecting autofocus and autoexposure.

The W80 uses Sony's new Bionz image processor, another first for the W-series. Despite its unfortunate name, Bionz seems to work very well. In CNET Labs' tests, the W80 shot much faster than its little brother's, lagging only 1.2 seconds between pictures. In burst mode, the camera captured 19 full-size photos in just 7.1 seconds for a fantastic 2.7 frames per second (FPS), far better than the W35 and W55's 4-shot bursts of 1.4 fps.

Shooting speed (seconds)
(Smaller bars indicate better performance.)
Typical shot-to-shot time
Time to first shot
Shutter lag (typical)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80
Olympus FE-240

Typical continuous-shooting speed
(Longer bars indicate better performance.)
Typical continuous-shooting speed

Image quality
The photos themselves looked great, with sharp details and accurate colours. Noise stayed relatively low up to ISO 800, when a noticeable grain developed. Predictably, shots taken at ISO 1600 appeared noisy and blurry, and the ISO 3200 setting produced pictures that looked more like impressionist paintings than photographs. Still, if you keep to ISO 800 or lower, you can pretty much count on solid pictures.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80 reigns as the current king of the Cyber-shot W-series. While the most expensive, it also packs in the most features and polish of any W-camera to date. Its solid picture quality and fast speed make it a great choice for a small, reliable snapshot camera.

Previous Story

Canon PowerShot TX1

Digital Cameras
Next Story

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S650

Add Your Review 7

* Below fields optional

Post comment as

Quavers posted a review   

The nigh time shots with this camera are blurred and out of focus and totally unacceptable.


swengw posted a review   

The Good:Automatic mode produces some solid pictures.
Features (stabilization, face detection) work very well.
Nice finish.
Somewhat cheap.

The Bad:Ugly LCD.
Some modes produce bad pictures.

While a very attractive camera with a solid brand name, it is unable to shoot acceptable quality pictures in many of the modes.


mamooli posted a review   

The Good:good menu

The Bad:purple fringing

I bought it today, thought it would be the good one, tried it indoors, noluck too many purple fringing . the picture quality is not good,


hellosony posted a review   

The Good:Small, lightweight

The Bad:Picture quality is not that great.

I hardly recommend this camera if you are looking for good pictures. I was quite disappointed with the noise level in the pictures. I seriously regret buying it.


tigerpm7 posted a review   

The Good:Fast and very user friendly.

The Bad:NIL

This camera is unreal. I was looking at many different models and have been searching for quite a while but when I was introduced to this camera I fell in love with it right away. Make no mistake, this camera is perfect in every way.


mourad posted a review   

i used to have w55 and now the pictures are darker even in the automatic settings whereas in w55 the images are top in quality


theartist posted a review   

The Good:- new faster and better sony engine
- fun and helpful in-camera editing tools
- dynamic range optimizer eliminates over and underexposed pics
- as thin as dsc-t100 (23 mm vs 22 mm; only 1mm difference)

The Bad:- 2.5 lcd only 115,000 pixels compared to the T series' 200,000 plus pixels
- relatively slow menu
- battery door feels cheap and is flimsy
- for those who owns hdtv: you have to purchase separate hd cables

bought this camera last week. bionz engine is faster than i expected. it has a new menu interface that is nice to look at, however, can be a little bit slow because of the animations. the in-camera photo editing tools are fun enough to keep you entertained. some of them are really helpful, like the blur effect which you almost can't achieve with a point-and-shoot, and the fish-eye effect which would cost you a lot of money to buy the actual fish-eye lens. i experienced almost no blown-out (overexposed) or underexposed pictures even with a subject in front of a bright background. thanks to its dynamic range optimizer. optical image stabilization is of little help since i can still get blurry pictures when shooting with minimal hand shake.

Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W80

  • Quavers



    "The nigh time shots with this camera are blurred and out of focus and totally unacceptable."

  • swengw



    "While a very attractive camera with a solid brand name, it is unable to shoot acceptable quality pictures in many of the modes. "

  • mamooli



    "I bought it today, thought it would be the good one, tried it indoors, noluck too many purple fringing . the picture quality is not good,"

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products