Having problems with your Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170 Digital Camera ?

Blurry photos on the Sony DSC 170

\015 When I take pic of a slowly moving subject such as my son crawling the pics come out blurry on Easy and Auto selection. When I use my cheap $100 fuji junk camera the photos are crystal clear. Is there something wrong with this camera. \011\011\015

Answers :

This issue often is related to lighting, subjects in the foreground, and the lack of optimal settings when using the Easy / Auto function.

First, you should look at subject matter.  If you have the camera set to Easy / Auto, it will focus for you.  This is good if the subject of the photo is the only thing (or the nearest thing) in the frame, however if there is anything else closer to the camera, it will assume that the nearest object is the one being photographed, and will adjust accordingly.  Although it may be something large such as a chair, sofa, table or even a houseplant, it may also be focusing on something as small as a child's toy.  If you must use the Easy / Auto function when photographing your children, make sure that your children are the only (or the closest) subjects in the photo, and the camera ought to set the focus on them.

The second issue is lighting.  Even when using the easiest settings on this camera, you still must make sure that the lighting and flash are optimal.  The flash, for instance, can be set to three different intensities, as not all situations require the same amount of additional light.  Make sure that if photographing indoors, you have either a decent amount of lighting, or the flash set to add the appropriate amount of additional light.  If the area photographed is too dark / bright, the camera (when set to the easiest settings, without any additional specifications from the user) will have difficulty finding (or choosing) the main subject of the photograph.  This is why you will occasionally see multiple little green squares, when it looks (to you) as though your children ought to be the primary --and only-- focus of the photo.  In simple terms, the camera is confused, and will choose what stands out as the main subject.

Remember that although this camera is technically of the point-and-click variety, one of the things that makes it stand out as a digital camera is the ability to adjust the settings as the situation dictates.  I suggest learning what each of the camera settings are used for (it seems daunting at first, but I assure you that it isn't as difficult as it first appears to be... remember, this camera is technically for those who have little-to-no experience with photogrpahy) and applying the available settings to the photos you take.  I am able to turn on my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC W170, adjust the settings to the situation, and photograph my children in less than two seconds more than it would take to turn it on and set it to Auto.  I have taken photos with this camera that have come out beautifully enough to print at the actual stated 8"x10" size (which is rare for a point-and-click), by adjusting only the ISO and flash (and nothing more) to accomodate the setting.

If you are looking for strictly a point-and-click camera that you do not need to set anything on (essentially the digital version of a quality 35mm disposable camera), there are some excellent ones on the market today.  I would reccommend the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC W170 to those who are looking for a camera that is slightly above "beginner" level (though well below "expert" level) cameras.  My husband purchased this for me as a birthday gift, to have on hand for quick photo-taking (quicker than setting up a tripod and adjusting my primary camera) while out and about with our children.  

I have been able to take some very beautiful photos with this camera (three outdoor photos were nice enough to sell), however I have only made use of the Easy / Auto settings a few times, while playing with the settings after first receiving the camera.  There are other beginner-level point-and-click cameras that, in my opinion, take far better digital photos than photos taken using the Easy / Auto functions of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC W170.

This camera was designed for consumers who make use of the various settings, to ensure an optimal photographic experience (much like the difference between a professional photographer's 35mm camera and a basic 35mm camera).  For this reason, anyone looking for a camera that is an easy, simple point-and-click (i.e. you turn it on, take the photos, and that's it), I would suggest shopping around for a simpler camera.  There are many excellent ones that are designed to be quick and easy, and take good quality photos, without needing to adjust anything.
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