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Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review

We speak to Ben Waller who's been shooting with the Sony Cyber-shot W830, a budget camera with a 20mp sensor and 8x optical zoom.

| Sony Cyber-shot W830 in Compact Cameras
BUY NOW SONY Cyber-shot W830

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review: Sony Cyber Shot DSC W830 Silver (1)

Ben Waller has been shooting with the Sony Cyber-shot W830 for over 2 years, and has shared his photos and thoughts on the compact Sony Cyber-shot W830. The W830 features a Zeiss branded 8x optical zoom lens, a 20mp CCD sensor, and a compact camera body, making it easy to take with you. The W830 is available from around £95

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Features

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review: Sony Cyber Shot DSC W830 Silver (7)

From Ben Waller: I have worked in the photographic industry for a number of years, with extensive experience of wet developing and printing.

What I want from a compact camera: (D)SLR like results – I know this is unrealistic.

Why I like compact cameras: It doesn't matter how good your camera gear is if you haven't brought it with you, because if it's too big you may as well not have it. I like that they are smaller and portable and you can take them anywhere without noticing any extra weight.

What I use it for: Mostly photos for Facebook when out on motorcycle rides.


The Sony Cyber-shot W830 features a Zeiss branded 8x optical zoom lens, with Sony Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation, and the lens is equivalent to 25-200mm in 35mm terms. 


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The camera has a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p (1280x720 pixels) video recording, and 360 panoramic shooting. Intelligent Auto makes it easy for beginners, and there are a number of scene modes. You can adjust the ISO speed, there's face-detection focus and a built-in flash.

On the back is a 2.7inch screen with 230K dots. The camera weighs just 120g with battery and memory card. It measures 93.1 x 52.5 x 22.5mm making it very compact.

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review: Sony Cyber Shot DSC W830 Silver (5)

Key Features

  • 20.1mp Super HAD CCD sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens, f/3.3-6.3, Zeiss Vario-Tessar
  • Sony SteadyShot - Optical image stabilisation
  • 2.7inch screen, 230K dots
  • 5cm macro focus
  • Intelligent Auto
  • ISO80 to ISO3200
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 360 sweep panoramic
  • Available in black, silver, pink, purple

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Handling

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review: Sony Cyber Shot DSC W830 Silver (6)

The Sony Cyber-shot W830 has a plastic camera body, with a metal effect. The mode switch on the back lets you switch between photo, panoramic mode, and video recording. There's a playback button to switch to playback mode. 

From Ben Waller: The camera takes a full-sized SD card - not a huge issue as I have several adaptors but I was expecting it to take a microSD, most smartphones and action cameras do these days.

Sometimes the camera has remained on with USB connected to the computer after the computer has been shut down. This has led to missed photos due to a flat battery.

The camera weighs just 120g with battery and memory card, and thanks to its compact size it will fit into even small pockets, making it easy to take with you anywhere you go. Battery life is rated at 210 shots, which is fairly standard for a compact camera, however charging the camera is easy, as you can simply use the provided USB cable and plug it in anywhere there is a USB socket. 

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Reader Review: Sony Cyber Shot DSC W830 Silver (2)


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Sample Photos

Images: Ben Waller. Noise can be seen in photos with strong blue skies when viewing images at 100%. If you're sharing images on Facebook, then this won't be an issue, as colours look very good, with bright saturated colours. Dynamic range can be an issue when there is a bright sky, however, the DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation) option can help slightly.


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Lens test images

Images: Ben Waller.

Wide-angle shots show softer corners, with the right-hand side of the image soft as well. The 8x optical zoom lens gives a good level of reach for a compact camera.


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Other sample images

Images: Ben Waller.

From Ben Waller: Images seem unsharp – they fall off particularly on the top right, and right-hand side in general. This is not an isolated problem and has been seen with other compacts.

Images seem to only be focused where the green squares [ ] have indicated a focus lock or focusing point, almost as if the detail is being recorded in software with little regard for the rest of the image.

I tend to set exposure compensation -1/3rd stop (-0.3ev), as I feel compacts often overexpose photos and leave highlights washed out.


Value For Money

The Sony Cyber-shot W830 is priced around £94 and could make a good entry level point and shoot camera for use on holiday or in good lighting. Alternatives to look at include the following budget cameras:

Canon IXUS 185, 20mp, 8x optical zoom, £89
Sony Cyber-shot W810, 20mp, 6x optical zoom, £89
Sony Cyber-shot W800, 20mp, 5x optical zoom, £69
Nikon Coolpix A10, 16mp, 5x optical zoom, AA batteries, £75
Nikon Coolpix A300, 20mp, 8x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £129

Have a look at more budget cameras in our Top Budget Compacts around £100 or Top Budget Compacts under £100. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot W830 doesn't feature Wi-Fi and other connectivity options but is one of the cheapest compact cameras with optical image stabilisation. In good weather, the camera produces images with bright saturated colours, and images will look good when shared on social media websites, like Facebook. If you can avoid using higher ISO speeds, then the camera can produce good results. You'll need to spend quite a bit more to get a compact camera with Wi-Fi, with the Nikon Coolpix A300 (£129), or the Sony Cyber-shot WX220 (£159) the closest alternatives.


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Pros

  • Convenience
  • Wide-angle 25mm 
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • 20.1-megapixel sensor
  • Size and weight
  • Price

Sony Cyber-shot W830 Cons

  • CCD Sensor
  • Lacks Wi-Fi
  • Plastic Construction
  • Noise at higher ISO speeds
  • 720p video

Overall Verdict


Sony Cyber-shot W830 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/6.3
35mm equivalent25mm - 200mm
Optical Zoom8x
Image Sensor
Pixels20.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5152
Pixels (H)3864
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest2sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting0.8fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick (Sony)
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)210shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Battery Pack NP-BN, AC AdaptorAC-UB10C/UB10D, Wrist Strap, Multi USB cable, Instruction Manual, AC Power Cord

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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot W830

Hugh CornwellJim Sclavunos Alton TowersDown to menswear.....

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