I’ve had the Sony DSC-S950 SteadyShot camera for many years now. It is my handy-dandy grab and go camera when I don’t feel like using my SLR. With 10 megapixels and 4x optical zoom the camera packs somewhat of a punch. It does have many downsides though.
Before my SLR days I never noticed any setbacks with this camera. Its image quality was sufficiently good, and the camera was light. With more knowledge in photography, I am beginning to see what sets cheap point and shoots apart from SLR technology. Firstly the camera has a very slow image cycle time. This means you have to wait several seconds between taking each image (roughly 2-3 seconds). This also applies during reviewing the images on the camera. Since the processor is cheap it requires more time to perform tasks.
Beneath the lens you will find “f=5.8-23.2mm 1:2.5-5.6”. Of course, unlike SLR’s you are unable to manually change these settings and the camera will do most of the work for you. It will only open up to f/2.5 when it is wide open. This means that you are limited to f/5.6 when shooting at a tight focal length. Lots of camera shake warnings begin to pop onto the screen when shooting in low light at f/5.6.
Nevertheless, the camera does its job outdoors in ample light conditions. It even takes non-HD video. Considering it was bought for $100+ it was a good bargain. A large LCD screen on the back allows for good reviews of photographs. You can even take 7 5″x7″ shots due to some built in memory.