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Sony CyberShot S600
Sony CyberShot S600

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Sony CyberShot S600

Editor's Review

The Sony CyberShot S600 is the latest in a line of high quality budget models from a name you can trust. At around $200, the S600 is a wonderful bargain for a 6 megapixel sensor and a slew of advanced features including a powerful, multi-point autofocus to ensure clear and crisp shots. The S600 is a great bet for those looking for high-quality digital prints at a low price.

Specifications

  • 6 megapixels
  • 3x optical zoom / 6x digital zoom (2x precision)
  • auto focus
  • auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 80-1000
  • 2 AA batteries
  • movie mode
  • 2" LCD screen
  • Part Number: DSCS600
  • UPC: 027242678187
  • Release Date: Jan 10, 2006

Shop for S600 Accessories

Sony CyberShot S600 Reviews

Sony CyberShot S600 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
Multi-burst is cool! (Chadwick — 10/23/2007)

This has been a very functional camera for us. I have never owned an SLR but this was quite the upgrade from my Pentax Optio 33L. The Sony is small enough to carry in your pocket and versatile enough to capture 6 mg pictures. It does fantastic during the day but dosen't give hardly any detail in the dark without the flash on. The multi-burst function on this camera is really cool, allowing you to capture fast activities in slow-motion. I used it to capture my dog jumping and my golf swing. The only downside to this option is that when it is shown on your computer it is a single image in 16 different frames and not the slow motion movie that is displayed on the camera. The other problem occured this summer after we took this camera to the beach and snapped some photos. When we started to use that evening, we noticed the lens wouldn't close and has remained that way ever since. Overall, a good camera for a novice but I am sure there are better ones out there now.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Too Fragile (Guy Boisvert — 02/13/2007)

3 months after purchasing,the LCD Screen broke.
I agree with everyone that the camera works very well, but it's too fragile. Back to Sony Store, they told me that the casing is in plastic and they told me that I get what I paid for. My expectations were too high ! 3 Months of use was too much ?

The warranty covers defects but it does not cover your camera when it's broken. It cost as much to fix the LCD as to buy a new camera... Be aware also : After revision, if you decide not to repair, they will charge you 60$CAD for the revision, under warranty period or not. I had a cell phone with LCD and a BlackBerry... and with the same care, none of the other have had any problem to survive in my hands !

  • 1.0 out of 5
You Get What You Pay For (John — 01/23/2007)

I was attracted to this camera because of the price. When shopping for a camera I never thought I'd be able to buy a Sony Cybershot for less than $200CDN. Well, it looks like the price suggests the quality. This is obviously targeted to those seeking a low-budget Sony Digital Camera. It even looks that way compared to others, despite similar features. I'll agree the battery life is quite pathetic. NiMh rech. batteries are almost a necessity for this camera and even then, you still don't get many pictures (approx 150 - i'm not sure since I couldn't afford to run out of batteries).
The battery problem causes the camera to shut off with the lens cap still open. Having sufficient batteries usually solves that problem. My latest problem with this camera is that the power button is stuck inside now. Secondly, whenever I power up the camera, 50-70% of the time, it'll ask me to "turn camera on and off". This has become very annoying. On a few occasions I missed my opportunity to snap a picture because of this delay. Picture quality is like a coin flip. Some pictures come out nice, while others come out blurry. Night mode is quite impressive I must admit.

In general, I regret buying this camera. Not only that, I bought a Sony Memory Stick Duo 2GB for this camera which costs me about 80$CDN at the time. I plan on taking this camera back to see if the warranty can fix this but in all honesty I'm hoping they can't fix it and give me my money back to buy a new camera. The only problem is now that I have a 2GB memory card, I have to buy ANOTHER Sony Dig. Camera to use this as this is not compatable with other manufacturers. I shouldn't have second guessed myself and bought a Canon Elph instead.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great! EXCLUSIVE image-cropping features. UNOBTRUSIVE! (paul waters — 01/16/2007)

I am a pro who has worked for ELLE doing fashion and for Conde Nast Traveler. The challenge is having a camera that will fit into the pocket and produce results that can be used for publication. Although not perfect (WHY NO exterior flash synch on 90% of these compacts???), the Sony s600 is the best I have found, after trying many others, and buying ones I returned, including Olympus sp-350, Fuji E900 which claim more professional capabilities. First, I demand standard batteries. If you get stuck in some faraway place, this is the ONLY way to go. Optical viewfinder is a must, also — especially for shooting at the beach. These two considerations eliminate more than half of the cameras on the market. But there are two things that set this Sony apart from the pack. 1. The large lens which does not move when zooming and is so close to the film plane. This produces SHARP images. My experience is that just as the distance to the subject critically affects sharpness, so does the length of the lens barrel. The lack of focusing movement also makes "spy" photography more discreet. Shoot the person across from you on a crowded bus: no illumination, sound or motion comes from the camera! THEN read this! Camera allows images to be "trimmed" to a HIGHER pixel level. SO IMPORTANT. When I go out with the camera in my bag I leave the camera on VGA, which allows hundreds of images on a 256 Mg. card. That shot-from-the-hip on the bus has a portrait in half the frame? No problem. EASY menu lets me re-crop (anywhere in frame!) and RAISE the quality level to 2, 3, or even 6 Mg, even from 320X640. Results super enlarged in Photoshop show a file which is adequate for use even in magazine publishing! NO OTHER compact allows this, period. Basic results in my hooting shows image quality that is superior at 3Mg. than Fuji or Olympus at 5Mg. Flash is very nice. With a little experimentation (POSSIBLE and FAST when you can shoot at VGA!), I can shoot full-frame portrait Beauty which has none of the hot-flash typical of snapshots. Just wish there was a macro setting and exterior flash-synch so I could do really close-up work with this. Movies are quite rudimentary, but at least there is on-board editing so I can save memory by shortening the clips — a necessary feature missing on the Fuji E900 for instance.

  • 5.0 out of 5
DSC-S600 rocks! (Ash — 01/14/2007)

I got this camera for myself with my first paycheck ever, and i have to say that this camera is definitely awesome! The picture quality is excellent even if you use the 3 mega pixel mode, although i would recommend using the 6 mega pixel mode to achieve the full quality of the camera's sensor, the video mode is stunning too, although i am having some problems with my camera, that is the "Turn off the power and on again" phenomenon, usually if i am using it at cold locations and the fear of accidentally breaking parts of the camera because the body's made out of plastic, i took almost 3000 photos with it and it is still running in good condition, and i would not be kidding to say that you can compare the pictures taken with this camera with other top-of-the-line Sony cameras. Overall Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S600 didn't let me down and it is certainly a great value for money.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Clear, Sharp pictures (Oscar Bolivar — 01/09/2007)

I am sorry for those who have experienced problems with the battery life and "dead camera". I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS ON IT. On the contrary, my camera performs really good and pictures and really impressive: among the most clear and sharp images I've seen from a digital camera. These 6 megapixels rocks hard!

  • 2.0 out of 5
Not as good as my other Sony (Pamela Steinik — 12/29/2006)

This is my second Sony camera, and I have to say, I'm disappointed. I keep my camera in a case at all times so I was shocked when I went to take a photo and the lens wouldn't open. I banged it around a few times and it opened. But for some reason, it happened again. Now my photos are blurry (although this may be an issue with a setting). Given my problems with this camera, I don't recommend it.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Battery power is terrible (Tess — 12/25/2006)

I received this camera for my birthday. Ten pictures later, the batteries died. So we bought re chargable sony batteries. 100 pictures later, dead. While waiting for those to charge, we used regular batteries. Ten pictures again. It's SO annoying and a complete nuisance to constantly need sets and sets of batteries to take pictures, it drives me insane. I'm in the process of taking this camera back and demanding money back, as this camera is one of the worst I have used anyway.

  • 4.0 out of 5
sony camera (Erin — 11/11/2006)

I really like this camera, especailly the menu set-up and the pretty speedy recovery time. the only thing i dont like is that with certain types of batterys it wont work at all. The first time that happened it really worried me , overall its a pretty good camera,m and i would recomend it

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent value for money (Nina — 10/25/2006)

I wanted to get a DSLR, but that doesn't really fit my budget comfortably yet, so I decided to go with this cheap and simple camera while I gather more cash for the next purchase. And I was not disappointed.

First off, the batteries that come with it are complete waste, they lasted for less then 100 pictures (though manual states they really shouldn't last much more, so not like they were lying) and depending on use they might drain so quickly, you'll think you got a defective camera, like many people here did. Just get decent rechargeables. I got more then 600 shots on a pair of high capacity Duracell AA's.

As to the picture quality, it is very decent. The noise levels are usually rather noticeable in anything but bright sunlight (or with flash, it's pretty powerful), but otherwise the pictures are great. Colors, levels of details on a full scale shot, all is very good. The dedicated macro mode is missing, but it is still possibly to make macro shots by bringing the camera close enough to the subject (~10-15 cm) - the result is the same as if it had the macro switch turned on. The lens captures wider angle then most others in this category, which is good for landscape and groups shots, but also means you will not get as close to the subject at the full 3x zoom when compared to other similar cameras. I compared the pictures taken with Sony's S600 and W50 - both have same 6 megapixels, but lens on S600 appears slightly bigger, which seems to be the reason I preferred its pictures to the W50's.

The camera is compact, but not very thin. From what I gather, all these tiny cameras are on the limit of how small a lens can get and still produce decent shots. This one is not extremely small, but still small enough to fit in a jacket pocket with no problems.

It is lacking video out, which might be sad for some, but for me it was not a deal breaker. On the bright side, the USB connection it provides is plain mass storage device through the usual mini-USB connector, so no extra drivers are needed for all the major platforms and the cable can be shared with many other devices (unlike the above mentioned W50, which has a proprietary interface and a proprietary cable). I also like that unlike the really ultra portables, this one eats ordinary AA, which are easy to replace if you suddenly run out of juice far from home, in another city, country or continent.

The video shot at the best settings is pretty good quality, but only 25 minutes of it fits on a 2 Gb card. Make sure the scene you are filming is well lit. Don't bother with lower settings - they look very choppy.

Overall, highly recommended for all kinds of amateur photography, as well as for "prosumers" who do not want to carry a bulky SLR all the time, yet want to always have the ability to take pictures.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I Love this Camera (Barry — 10/07/2006)

I have taken a lot of pictures with this camera. It is easy to use and the quality of the pictures is great. I have posted many of these pictures on Webshots and have received alot of wonderful feedback from all who have seen them.

  • 4.0 out of 5
good camera (IsthiaqRaziq — 09/15/2006)

user friendly

  • 1.0 out of 5
1/2 star-defective out of box (padredog — 09/09/2006)

I really had high hopes for this camera as it really seems like a lot of bang for the buck. But it would not power up at all after unpacking. I was finally able to get it powered up after much fiddling.The manual even said to take out batteries for 1 minute to solve problem. This annoying "fix" worked maybe 50 percent of the time.This power up problem is real streaky as well. It would get my hopes up by starting fine about 6 times. Then it would fail to start up again on 6 more tries. Now the lens are stuck open and it will not power up. It's going back it the box today and back to the very helpful dealer. I doubt seriously I will get this model again in exchange and will probably not even touch a Sony brand camera again after this experience, given Sony's notororius difficult warranty support. Quite a shame. This could be a great camera. Judging by by the number of similar complaints I see here, looks to me like a they have quality control problem. Which means no more Sony cameras for me. I would have only given this a 1/2 star if it was an option.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not so good (gunwant singh — 09/03/2006)

I have read some review, but Problem with batteryso i cannot go with this.

  • 5.0 out of 5
SUPER (Andromed — 07/29/2006)

Fantastic!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Bright Flash, Zeiss Lens, Optical Finder (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've owned, and own, several digital cameras. I was impressed with this one because of the small size and big features. I like this camera over some other new ones because it still has an optical finder, meaning you can see to take pictures in bad light, and also shut off the screen, thus saving your batteries. I was drawn to the good Carl Zeiss lens. I'm satisfied with the build quality, too. Some people stated that it has no "Macro" mode. Well, it doesn't need any. The lens focuses down to macro proportions without a separate mode. The macro is within the focusing range. I just took a picture of my keyboard at about 6 inches, and it was clear and well defined. With 6 mega pixels, digital zoom is a viable option, too; because you can crop and enlarge a small area of your picture without losing visible detail.

Another nice feature is that this camera will auto focus in the dark. That's right, its designed so that the self timer light blinks on in the dark to allow the auto focus to work. It's called the "AF Illuminator". It works well.

When I bought this camera the store threw in a 256 mb Memory Stick Pro Duo. If you shop around, these cameras can be bought for about $180.00 with a free memory stick. What more can you get in this day and age?

  • 4.0 out of 5
Ok camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

To answer 'hidden info' review, I have used the included USB2.0 cable connection and that works just fine. No need for external card readers.

I have taken a lot of pictures with this camera and I find the quality of pictures very good. I have also taken quite a lot video material with this and done few home-family-DVDs from that material. I find it very usefull to have decent quality video recorder as well as good quality camera with me.

Only complaints go to the battery life department, after shooting about 200 pictures, the battery charge meter show low and it is time put in new (recharged) batteries. Also red-eye flash bliker is doing a bit too many pre-flashes and thus it takes sometimes too long before the actual picture gets takes.

But for less than 200�� this camera is great value.

  • 5.0 out of 5
People, use your heads! (this camera rocks!) (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is awesome! "this camera breaks after 10 pictures lol!!11!1one". Guys, think; these are 6mpx pictures (HUGE), and for every moment in memory they will drain the battery, so of COURSE the system will try to retain the pictures by trying to keep the camera off. This is a guard against just using the camera's batteries all the way up taking all kinds of pictures, and then immediately dying, erasing all the pictures you just took! To get around this, save to media that doesn't use the system battery to retain data (like a memory card). I paid $79 for my 1gb, but I could have paid 1/4 that on ebay if I wanted to wait for shipping. Total cost for the camera ($199usd) was about $290 after memory and whatnot.

As for the usage?: Fantastic. Absolutely. Clear images, great flash, and if you white-wash the image, TURN OFF THE FLASH! A lot of the time, even in LOW light, you don't need it (it auto corrects for that kind of thing, hence the 1000iso tech) and it will just blank everything over needlessly (and waste batteries).

Transferring to the computer?: I use the Memory stick adapter (from pro duo) directly into the side of my laptop. I haven't tried the USB connection because really I don't need it (I run linux, that why I bought a camera that could use external memory, so I don't need to rely on crap windows linking software).

I was even surprised to find that not only does it have a mic (that's REALLY clear), but a SPEAKER! This thing has all the features you need short of a full-fledged camcorder (which I'm not sure I need anymore). My next purchase would be a digital-film camera if needed (production quality video that is), but this comes pretty close to my needs for that now anyway.

Buy it! :D

  • 1.0 out of 5
Shuts off (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

For some reason nobody could explained it powers off and I took it back.
bad experience

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good quality wtith its price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera has superior image quality compare to its price.
It is the best except battery life and menory stick price.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love it (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The quality of these images is impressive. I'm baffled at some of the complaints on here that you ' have to buy a sony magic memory duo stick for 40-60 bucks.' Not true, at least about this price. Go to ebay and you can get one of these for under $25 with shipping. I got a 512mb sony magicduo stick for $14 bucks. Thats an incredible deal. Do your homework and DONT get a memory stick at retail or you'll overpay. My one complaint with this camera is the fact that it powers off if you have more than 11 pics. Thats lame. I also think the battery life sucks. But its so user friendly that I can over look this. I might buy some rechargeable batteries just for use in this camera. The video quality is really nice too. Buy this camera, you won't be disappointed.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Good camera with price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

very good camera.
Must buy

  • 1.0 out of 5
What a lemon! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera stinks! I hadn't used it for the first 15 days I had it and then I was just playing around with it, taking shots inside the house etc. It wasn't bumped or roughly treated but it just died after about 10 pictures. We got it on sale, so we can't argue about the price, but we did have to spring for the memory stick at an additional $100 CDN. I thought at first it was just the batteries that had died so I replaced them but the camera won't stay on at all and the lens won't close. This is going back immediately.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great resolution (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is my first digital camera, but it is definitely alot better than any of my families camera's. Takes very nice looking pictures, especially when looking at them on the computer. It does fade skin tones at close range, but that is very easy to fix with simple saturation/brightness levels with photoshop. The batteries it came with were absolutely worthless, lasted about 10 minutes, and never worked right, but new re-chargable batteries last for a very long time.

In general, im VERY happy with this camera, and would definitely reccommend it to friends and family members.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent but... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this from a duty free shop. Its really fabulous with its clearity. We can take more picts by using 3M function. The battery life is not as good as i expected. Some white dots in dark occasions.. Otherwise its excellent.

  • 2.0 out of 5
It Sucks Battery (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The came is no doubt excellient, with great features .. I love it !

BUT !

It requires too much battery consumption, when using the 2" LCD ... Other then battery problem it is a great product.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Very pleased with features/quality for the price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Picked this up at a bargain �94 from Ebuyer recently. Think it was a mis-price as it's now about �125.

I'm no camera expert and have only limited experience with a small range of budget cameras, so can only say what I see and could not possibly say whether it's better or worse than other models in the same price range. However, compared to the Casio QV-R40 it replaced and some budget models I've had experience of, I'm very pleased with the features and quality.

The pictures are sharper and colours a little brighter than the R40's, which I'm fairly sure is down to a better lens and/or CCD. The one thing that has really impressed me is the detail captured in underexposed images. Where images are too dark I've been able to fix them in Photoshop and the detail hidden in dark patches is revealed. This surprised me because with the R40 and dark patches just revealed a lot of image noise when compensated for in image editing packages.

My wife appreciates the 'point-and-click' functionality and I, myself, am more than happy with the range of manual and preset setup options. It boots up quickly and the menues are faily intuitive (I haven't had to resort to the manual for much).

I miss the dedicated macro setting of the R40 a little, but closeup shots are still crisp and clear and can be cropped to fill the screen better if desired.

I stuck a 1Gb Sony memory card in (�27 from eBay) and can capture 45mins of continuous video footage (with sound) or some 360 images at highest quality setting. The video clips are decent, but no substitute for a dedicated videocam.

Transfer must be USB 2.0, as it's far faster than with the R40. The camera feels decent quality and the display is adequate, although I found it hard to determine whether detail had been captured in sunny conditions unless I zoomed in.

I paid roughly the same for my 4.0MP R40 18 months agio but have to say I think the S600 has represented better value.

Pros - Sharp images, decent video clips (compared to any other cameras I've used), easy for novices (point & click with optional presets)with decent range of manual settings for more advanced users, uncluttered and intuitive, quality look and feel.

Cons - No dedicated macro function, can't zoom 'on-the-fly' while filming, zoom buttons less accessible than the R40's solution.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Easy to use, Good price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is my first digital camera, but it is definitely alot better than any of my families camera's. Takes very nice looking pictures, especially when looking at them on the computer. It does fade skin tones at close range, but that is very easy to fix with simple saturation/brightness levels with photoshop. The batteries it came with were absolutely worthless, lasted about 10 minutes, and never worked right, but new re-chargable batteries last for a very long time.

In general, im VERY happy with this camera, and would definitely reccommend it to friends and family members.

  • 4.0 out of 5
I think it's just fine. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I purchased a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S600 from Future Shop, in Canada, for $250 cdn plus taxes. The camera comes with a software CD, usb connection cable and well written manuals. No rechargeable batteries, no extra external memory and no usb extension cable (the latter would have been nice). I have shot film for about 20 years and have owned several cameras including 2 slr's. I have taken photography courses. This is my first digital camera, so occasionally I discuss the digital/film jump as opposed to the Sony specifically.

I immediately took the camera to St Lucia on holiday, and shot 200 pictures on both 3mp and 6mp settings during the day, at night, with and without flash. I took some very dark "mood" shots, used the selftimer, all the flash modes, a couple of the picture modes, and used the ISO mode extensively. I then returned home and took a bunch more shots of my new nephew, etc. I've used the internal memory, and a Sony brand duo pro stick in the 512 size. By the way, the memory must be Duo Pro, not just Pro. This would be Sony's newer, more expensive, and physically smaller memory.

I have printed out about 200 shots at a local Japan Camera Center (dedicated photolab retailer) and have imported the pics into my computer, where I have both burned the pics to CD and employed post processing using Photoshop to make some wallpapers, emails, etc. Finally, I have seen the undoctored pics, burned to cd, and displayed using my $120 DVD player on my "bad" TV - a 10 year old Sony 27" Trinitron. Whew - let's get to the review!

OVERALL: I think its fine, particularly for its size and weight. The pictures look very good on a computer and range from quite good to fine everywhere else, mostly due to how much light was available. I especially like how fast it turns on - it's ready to go in 1 second. I count size as a big part of value and therefore am happy with the value for money overall. The LCD screen does not have good enough resolution to adequately check the quality of low light no flash shots, but otherwise works well. I�d give it 8 stars out of 10. It doesn�t get 9 or 10 stars because the pics aren�t as good as my SLR and the memory is more expensive, and it gets more than 7 stars because the pics are almost as good as my slr outside, it�s price for 6mp, and it didn�t break when I dropped it 12� onto a table top.

PICTURE QUALITY: I think it's quite good really. Most other people think they are �really excellent�. I found myself comparing the printouts of outdoor daytime shots to my Canon F1 SLR, and really I shouldn't be doing that, so they're pretty good. They look great as wallpapers. Actually, the pics I uploaded looked better than the examples I found on the �net. They look fine as 4x6 printouts. Certainly far better than my older point and shoots at that size/price, and certainly far better than older digital cameras that are bigger, cost more and have less megapixels. They look better the more light there is. Low light shots look fine, just not as good as bright outdoor daylight shots (well duh). Skin tone is not bad, with and without flash. The flash is good and strong. Optically zoomed pictures look good, it's hard to tell on a printout how zoomed in I was. Actually this holds for the 2x �smart� digital zoom, which Sony sells as a �virtually distortion free digital zoom�. Sometimes I feel the colours could be more saturated. For a cheap small point and shoot I'm quite pleased with it.

I have some interesting feedback on picture quality from another source. I�ve worked in several photo labs. The most recent one still has the same manager as when I was there. We�ve become friendly over the years. When she saw I had bought a Sony she read me the riot act, saying that Canon cameras do a much better job. My reply was that I know that, but for the same features, the Canon�s were all much bigger and about $100 more, which she couldn�t argue with. In fact I still enjoy �at cost� purchasing there but bought the Sony anyway. I�m sure this will change in the next 6 months, but for right now comparable Canon�s were too big to fit in my pocket � for me this is a deal breaker. Anyway, we all held our breath while the first pics printed out. My friend admitted that other than the indoor flash shots, the quality was �the same�. The indoor shots were �almost the same�.

To sum up on picture quality, I'd like to print out some 5x7's of landscapes, but at this time I have no plans to upgrade in the future. If I did I would upgrade all the way to a digital SLR.

OPERATION: As I mentioned it boots up very quickly. It zooms quickly and quietly. All the buttons work well and have the right amount of pressure etc. I never took a pic by accident, or failed to take one. Sometimes I have to take a second stab at the power to turn it off; I guess it likes to be held a bit longer than I want to push it. No problems turning it on though, and yet I never turned it on by accident in my pocket. The lens shuts if it's left on playback for a bit. After you take a pic the pic is displayed a second then you go back to capture mode. There is a very easy to use button that brings the pic back for consideration. The "in focus" and "flash is ready" lights and beeps and icons are loud/bright enough, even in some very loud chaotic situations (Castries market for example). It does take a bit too long to achieve focus (only used the spread metering, not the center metering). One has to push the shutter release half way down and wait for it to do its thing. It�s particularly easy to access common settings, like how many megapixels you�re shooting in, the flash modes, playback/shoot, and erase the last shot.

The LCD works fine. It could use more resolution � it�s not a good representation of how the pic will look. It works fine when I hold it above my head, off to the side, etc. I think I had to use the optical viewfinder twice out of 200 shots due to bright sunlight obscuring the lcd. The info displayed on the LCD is good. You can easily turn the info or the screen itself off/on as you wish.

The menus are a bit funny (upon calling the menu you can go both up and across, which threw me) but I got it and that was that. Now that I've got it it's fine, and I like that there isn't a lot of confirming to be done - choosing common tasks uses less button pushes rather than more. Since these settings are on the screen (or not your choice) as you're taking pics you know you've got what you wanted.

FEATURES: Well at $250 the big story is the 6 megapixels, and as mentioned they do their job quite well. The extra ISO sensitivity works very well; in fact I can't see where I'm going to use ISO1000. The pic can get quite noisy using higher ISO's in low light situations. The beach pic mode didn't seem to make a huge difference - auto worked just fine. The slow sync flash mode doesn't work great - the people are overly flashed. The background does show up however so at least it does work. The ISO setting works very well to take darker "mood" shots, although some may be noisy depending on something I haven't quite figured out yet. I did get some great dark mood shots lit by candles. Unlike film, these types of shots seem more vulnerable to graininess. I guess, since this is a dig pic, that's actually pixilation. Anyway, it's different from film and not quite as good. However, given I would probably never have taken the shots in film in the first place I prefer what I get from digital. I just take several shots and throw away the bad ones. You get the bracketing without wasting the film. I feel this is a major strength of shooting digitally and the Sony makes a good partner in this endeavor. One thing I like is the ease with which you can resize your shots after they are taken (if you need to free up memory for example, you can resize a bunch of 6mp shots down the 3mp). When resized, a copy is made, so you can check and then erase the big one. It�s irritating that the resized pic is put at the end of the shots however, and you have to resize them one at a time.

The zoom works well. One note about the digital zoom � this feature only works on 3mp sized shots and lower. At 6mp, you get the 3x optical zoom only.

The camera takes AA batteries which I far prefer over a built in battery. You can buy them anywhere.

I haven't shot any video yet, but I've looked at a lot of video off the web. In my opinion, if you can't shoot a video in 640 x 480 at 30 fps you shouldn't bother. The DSC-S600 does shoot 640x480 at 30fps, so I'm happy with that feature. When memory comes down a bit I'll buy a 2 gig card and shoot some. the 'net reports the sound and pic quality on video's is quite good, for what that's worth.

BUILD QUALITY / MEMORY / BATTERY LIFE: Build quality is fine. Actually we dropped this about 12� on to a wooden table (woops!!) and it worked fine after that abuse � way to go Sony! All the little doors seem strong enough. The rubber cover for the USB port gets annoyingly opened when I pull it from my pocket. It�s only held in by nubbins molded to the part � I could see this area potentially becoming a problem, we�ll have to wait and see. The camera has 32meg of on board memory which is enough for 20 3mp shots, or 10 6mp shots. Pics don�t look horrible on 3mp, especially when they�re all indoor flash shots of your nephew running around, so it�s helpful to have it. I also used a 512kb Sony brand memory stick. The memory has to be the new, more expensive Duo Pro type. Yes, it�s harder to find and more expensive. At this point in time you won�t find it in the duty free at the airport, even though everything else is there. Given the Pro sticks are there, I expect they will appear shortly. I still found some in St Lucia when I needed it. Yesterday I checked out the local Chinese rip off store � they had a Chinese aftermarket 1 GIG card for $125 cdn. That�s cheap enough for me. Battery life is exceptional. Basically 1 pair of NiMH shot the entire 200 pics (I took 6 pairs and a charger, ha ha ha). We spent endless time reviewing them and composing them as well.

SUMMERY: I found the market to be a dizzying array of choices. I put about 5 hours of research into it, and this is what I picked. There might be a better camera for the price out there (probably is) but I didn�t find it conveniently for sale where I live (Toronto, Canada). I�m happy with my choice despite the memory being more expensive.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Flaky after just 12 pics (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera in a hurry to stand-in for my Fuji F600 as its battery died at the last minute. Pro's:
Price and photo quality

Cons:
1. Only 32mb - enough for only 11 pics before you have to download to a pc. Alternative is to spend another $60-70 on a Sony Duo memory stick.
2. Flash pics bleached out light colors eg. skintones closer than 10 ft. - unacceptable.
3. Without even being bumped this camera stopped operating reliably after only 11 pics! It automatically shuts down and you have to push the power button a dozen times before it finally switches on.

So, I'm returning it right away.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Easy to use, takes a decent picture, works great. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Paid $ 154.00 (tax included) at Best Buy, on sale 2/6/06 for $ 188 + tax (i had a $ 50.00 gift certificate) S600 was not my first choice, was actually looking for Kodak V530 or V550 or a HP Photosmart R817; they did not have these in stock, so had to choose between this and a Canon A520 as these were in stock and after examining all of the ones that they had in stock, the S600 and A520 had the best specs in the under $ 200 price range. I chose the S600 because (a). I am not anticipating needing to use a memory card (b). Sony S600 has 6.0 effective megapixels vs. the Canon A520 4.0 MP. If I had needed, say, a better focal length, or if i felt I was going to need to use a memory card, then I would have bought the Canon as it has a 23.2mm focal length vs. the Sony's 15mm and the Canon uses a non-proprietary SD memory stick whereas the Sony uses a proprietary Sony memory stick duo card. In my case, am only anticipating using the S600 for very simple and basic, down and dirty taking of pics for web/email where image quality and resolution are not particularly important, so the Sony's onboard 32MB is more than sufficient for my purposes: according to the chart in the manual, when the S600 is set to 640 web/email VGA mode, the onboard memory will store 191 pictures using fine image quality and a whopping 491 (!) pictures using standard image quality. And even if you crank it up to full 6 megapixel mode, the S600 will still hold 10 - 20 pics using the onboard memory alone. One other reviewer wrote that he could not download pics w/o a memory stick duo card inserted in the camera, I frankly don't know what the heck he was talking about, read his review before I bought the camera, had the girl at BB take some pics w/ a demo model and download them to a PC in the store before I bought it, demo model worked great w/o the card in the store and the one that I bought also works great without a memory stick duo card in it. I bought the S600, took it home, popped it out of the box, inserted the two included AA batteries and after consulting the manual for about 3 minutes I was off and running; took a couple shots of the exterior of my house with the camera set to 6.0 MP, came back inside, hooked up the USB cable between the camera and my PC, Win XP on my PC immediately recognized the camera and it only took a couple of seconds to download the pics from the camera to my hard drive. No fuss, no muss, no bother, absolutely could not be happier and the pics looked OK too, not the quality you would get with, say, a $ 1,000.00 + Canon Digital Rebel XT or equivalent high-end model, but thats not what I bought the camera for, and for a sub $ 200.00 6MP camera, the picture quality was more than satisfactory. In my considered opinion, if you are a beginner or an average user this camera is a really excellent choice, see if you can find a store that has a demo model available to play with and check it out.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Hidden Info (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera and returned it after one day for the following reasons that I have not seen published anywhere: 1) It does not have a Macro setting for talking close-up shots, 2) you cannot download the photos from this camera unless you purchase and insert a memory stick for an additional $40+ Save your money and buy the DSC-P200 instead (which I did and I love it).

  • 5.0 out of 5
excellent according to its price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

it gave fantastic pictue.this is my 4 th digital camera from know i ll buy sony only .great iso fantastic.

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