Reviews for Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1 Compact Camera - Silver


Product Reviews (58)

Let me start by saying, the reason...

Strengths: Compact, Large LCD screen, Great battery life, Very good picture quality

Weakness: Insufficient memory card

Let me start by saying, the reason this camera isn't getting 5 stars is because I don't think there's a camera out there worth 5 stars. That being said, this has been a great camera so far.

Battery life is something that I find very important, and this camera excels there. The camera comes with rechargable AA batteries and a charger. I've read that they're supposed to have a really long life, but I haven't had a chance to see for myself. The reason for this? When I got the camera, I couldn't wait for the batteries to charge so I put in some Duracell batteries. They haven't died yet!

The only thing I can really complain about is that you have to budget in another ~$100 for a good sized memory card. I think I paid a little under $100 for a 512MB Lexar Memory Stick Pro. I highly recommend this camera, this camera is worthy of the high praise.

By smormando - Sep 29, 2004

I have used this camera...

Strengths: Small and lite enough to fit in shirt pocket. Fast shutter speed. Excellant in low light (with tripod). Cheap batteries that last 200-300 pics. Very sharp and clear pictures in P mode.

Weakness: Soft pictures in all full auto modes (but great pics in P and M modes)

I have used this camera extensively and have used all its features. I was worried at first by reviews of blurry images and soft pictures. I've read professional reviews stating similar weaknesses. So then why do my images turn out so great. Well, because all magazines reviews only evaluate the full auto settings. This camera has great sharpness but in auto (A) and other auto modes the default sharpness is set to normal instead of sharp. If you are the kind of person that will use auto settings most of the time don't buy this camera, buy the cannon A95 5M instead. It has great auto settings. But really, you can buy a cheaper camera that has no manual settings. Why spend money on manual (advanced settings) if you never use it?

Well program (P) mode is where you can easily take great sharp pictures. Set the sharpness to "+". If you are taking landscape shots change the contrast and saturation to "+". You will take beautiful shots. Now with increased contrast you may (as expected) experience white out if the picture contains a lot of white. In such cases turn contrast to "-" to eliminate that effect. The auto settings have a default (unchangeable) contrast of "+" so you may experience the whites being washed out. Sony does this to (rightly so) give their pictures better colors then most camera's.

In (P) mode you can also select the ISO setting. You should do this because the auto settings tend to pick the lowest ISO setting for you to give you the highest res possible. The downside is that a low ISO setting (say ISO 100) will also force a lower shutter speed…thus produces some blurry pics. If you are indoors set the ISO to 200 to eliminate this problem. As it will double your shutter speed. If it is low light conditions set the ISO to 400. The grainier pics won't be noticeable in a 4 x 6 printout.

I also like the no limit high res video mode at 30fps. Wow, it looks great. I went to a robot expo and captured some great video. I captured about 20 min in 15 fps. Something you could not do with a cannon. They limit the length of your video to 30sec.

In conclusion, I am really happy with this camera. Its small size means I can put it in my shirt pocket. And as long as you use (P) mode you will get great pics. Luckily this camera is so easy to use that you will want to try out various settings for fun.

By davidxzebra - Mar 2, 2005

What is good or bad ? All...

Strengths: Very large 2.5 inch LCD to review photos instantly with clarity. Extremely user friedly. Great flash photos with true colors better than the Olympus c-3000. Great movies. AA battery is a big plus.

Weakness: In low light setting the photo is grainier than the Olympus c-3000 using the same exposure. Not really a weakness because I always use flash.

What is good or bad ? All relative. So I am doing a 2 camera comparison so I won't confuse you with these words. Countless hours have been spend to test them, hopefully this will help people make an intelligent decision. My previous job involved digital camera chip development so I had some exposure on digital imaging. The quality of the photos starts with a good ccd sensor than the colors are processed before it is stored in memory. I am comparing this Sony with my old Olympus C-3000. With the flash on the Sony camera produces very true natural colors compared to the Olympus which looks some what yellowish on facials. The natural color is very important for me because half the photos I take are at night with a flash. Without flash some darker subjects becomes faded but the Olympus still shows a fairly readable image. In bright light settings the camera can not produce the details at the over exposed areas of the photo compared to the Olympus which still retained some image data at the brightest area of the photo. The reason is mostly because the way the colors are processed. Sony had to sacrifice some details to better the image quality in other areas. This is not noticeable for most people because they think the photo is over exposed but if you lower the exposure the subject becomes under exposed so that won't fix the problem. You have to do a side by side comparison to know that Olympus is better in this respect. As far as the shutter lags goes, I have been told that Sony and Kodak are the fastest at about 1.2 second and Olympus and other cameras at 2.0 seconds. After a side by side comparison this proofs to be not completely true, there is barely any noticeable difference in shutter lag both in low and bright light. It feels like Sony is a tiny little fastest but no more than 10%. Without the proper test equipment, I won’t comment further. For those soccer moms and dads the trick is really to hold the shutter button down half way and get the camera to prefocus before taking the picture. You should not pay much more money for the 10% improvement. Most digital cameras can prefocus and you should cut lag time down by about 70% which is a ton better thant he 10% improvement. Especially in low light setting the lag time increases dramatically because it takes the camera longer to focus, so learn to prefocus. This camera is great for those moms who is got too many things to do and forget to charge the camera. You have got to get a camera which uses AA batteries and this camera uses only two of them. All batteries discharge even if you don't use them. Lithium Ion batteries are discharged in about 3-4 weeks so when you need them the most, often they are dead. Alkaline batteries take 3 to 5 years to discharge. They are great backups and they are always ready and can be purchased when you need them. Don’t ever buy a camera that uses proprietary batteries you will regret missing those photos with dead batteries. Also that is how the camera companies ripe people off by selling their proprietary batteries. Olympus, Sony and other manufacturers are getting into using proprietary batteries so be aware. Enough said about image quality and batteries but I think they are the most important issues of buying a digital cameras. Anyway after looking at the low light image quality of the Sony, I was going to take it back. But the more I use it the more I fall in love with it. Sony got the ease of use and features down to a science and makes it impossible for me to return it. It has this very large 2.5" LCD so I can review and share photos without downloading. I think the largest LCD Olympus make is the C-7000 at 2.0” and the C-3000 is only 1.5 inch. From the menus to the buttons. It feels like they are always there when you need them. Movies are great, you can email to your friends and they don’t need any software to see the movies with Win 2000 and up. Originally I was going to get a 10x optical zoom for some of my kid’s events but I figure out that a 3x zoom in a 5 mg camera is actually a 5x optical zoom in a 3 mg camera. You can enlarge a 5 mg image and zoom in than crop and still get a 3 mg resolution. So this camera is like a 5x optical zoom 3 mg camera. Don't get the 10x zoom unless you don't care about the bulkiness and the weight. I tried the macro function last night, the clarity is amazing with no noticeable distortion. You can focus on your finger nails at about 3 inches away with auto focus. My old Olympus need to focus at about 10 inches away unless I use the manual focus which really is hard to use. Another thing is that I love the sound of the shutter because it gives me the picture taken confirmation signal clearly and you can even turn the sound off at meetings. Oh, I discovered another feature on this baby, it has auto shut off. You will be in love if you run to the store and get one. My thumbs up for Sony.

By EddyLin - Oct 23, 2004

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1 is a...

Strengths: Compact Size, 2.5 inch screen, Uses AA Batteries, quick startup, great pictures

Weakness: Poor software bundle, decent flash

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1 is a compact and durable camera that's loaded with powerful features such as a Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens and a 5-megapixel imager. The W1 is easy to use in the Auto or Program AE exposure modes. Bottom line the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1 is an all around great camera. It makes a perfect choice for those wanting a compact, durable, and easy to use digicam. The 5-megapixel images it yields have plenty of resolution to make photo-quality 8x10-inch prints

By tassadar128 - Aug 20, 2004

I looked at many cameras before...

Strengths: Large LCD. Takes high quality movies that are as long as the card can hold (unusual!). Fast shutter release.

Weakness: Major weakness to me: once you have begun shooting a movie, you cannot use the zoom to zoom in and out. You are "stuck" using whatever zoom setting you began with.

I looked at many cameras before choosing this one. I take a lot of movies with my camera but did not want a camcorder. I wanted high quality/resolution movies that were not time limited. A previous camera I had would only take 1.5 minute movies and then stop, even if there was plenty of space left on the memory card. The Sony DSC-W1 camera will take movies up to the full length of what the card can hold! It's great, and many digitals do not offer this feature. Movie quality is very good and you get the movies out in an MPEG format, rather than some less common format like MOV or AVI. My big complaint is that the zoom feature of the camera can not be used once you have begun shooting a movie. You are just stuck with the zoom power you began shooting with. Major flaw. I would not have bought this camera if I had discovered this about it beforehand.

Beyond that one limitation, however, I have been extremely happy with this camera. The shutter release is very responsive; the autofocus works well even in difficult lighting conditions; and the large LCD is wonderful for those of us with failing eyesight. Also, the quality of recorded sound that you get when you make a movie is VERY, VERY good. They have a good quality audio recorder in that camera. Since I take movies at concerts, this is an important feature to me, and one that drew me initially to the camera.

Camera has a nice "feel" in the hand. I rejected another Sony model because it didn't feel good to hold.

I like that you can purchase extender lenses for this camera, although I haven't done it yet.

I take a lot of photos and movies in dark lighting situations. The LCD is very helpful to me--it shows what "mode" you are in on a "dial" on the screen that mimics the physical dial that you turn with your fingers. This is invaluable in the dark.

Batteries last a long time before needing to be recharged. They are very cheap so having a second or third set is not big deal. I prefer using batteries to the expensive, specialized "battery packs" that some digitals require.

The 32 MB memory stick that comes with the camera cannot hold very much. You will need to purchase additional memory sticks, especially if you are taking movies. The Sony ones are very expensive. I purchased 2 SanDisk 256K memory sticks for $50 each at a discount retailer.

The other accessories I purchased are a neck strap and a small case (not Sony--again very expensive).

By megbro - Dec 14, 2004

This is the first digital camera...

Strengths: Fast response time and turn around time between shots. Large and clear LCD. Provide optical view finder. Reasonably priced for the features

Weakness: Slow charging with bundled charger

This is the first digital camera of my parents. The criteria in my mind when searching for such a cam are: 1. Large LCD so that parents can read the menu easily. 2. Good picture without doing complicated setting. 3. Have optical view finder for taking photo under strong sunlight. DSC-W1 is the only camera that fall into this category in my search. My parents take my suggestion and bought it. They are now enjoying taking photos using the default mode. I am sure they can explore the other features easily. The price is reasonable. HK$2395(US$307) with extra sony bag, 2 AA rechargable batteries, 128MB memory stick and a cooking pot(that's the free gift chosen by my mom).

By marcong - Dec 7, 2004

I took the camera the first week I...

Strengths: This camera is the 5th camera that I have purchased over the last 10 years. I love it. Great features, super quality photos, easy to use, and you gotta love the large LCD screen.

Weakness: None - this camera is quality. Don't expect much from the photo software. I use photoshop anyway.

I took the camera the first week I had it to Florida deep sea fishing. The only bad experience I had was that sometimes when taking photos in a hurry - the pictures were out of focus. Make sure to focus the camera by pressing down half way, wait till the light turns green (camera will focus) then snap the photo. I belive I can set the camera to do this automatically, but I have not read that far yet. All in all - this camera rocks!

By jasonhudnall - Jul 18, 2004

First thin that I suggest you do...

Strengths: >Great MegaPixel count for the money >Easy to view Screen >All metal body made to (pysically) last a long time >Hystogram feature is pretty swell >USB 2.0 compatable

Weakness: >Battery Charger that comes with the bundle charges slowly. I would like an AC adapter instead >3x zoom could be inadiquate in some situations that arn't point and shoot >No option to save under tif

First thin that I suggest you do when you buy this camera is purchase a memory card with some actually storage. The 32mb memory stick is inadequate. Maybe a 256 or a 512 would be more suitable for this camera if you plan on taking a lot of high resolution pictures.

The focus isn't as sluggish as other ulta-compact digital cameras (Nikon 5200), however it could be just a taaad quicker.

Movie mode is of high quality (640 x 480) and records with sound. The 640 x 480 resolution requires a memory stick "pro" card, but movie mode doesn't require a pro card. For instance, the sick that comes with it is capable of movies, however there aren't as high in the quality rating.

I’m looking forward to the longtime ownership of this camera.

By Bahama_Llama - Dec 8, 2004

There is no AC Adapter..but Sony...

Strengths: WOW!! The quality and ease of this cam is awesome!!! The LCD is UNMATCHED...The quick start and off ..lens time... is amazing. This is the perfect camera!!!

Weakness: The software is a joke. But the truth dont need it. Download Kodaks from their website ..its free and its awesome. Or just USB to your pc and Download to My Computer...ezzzzzzzzzzz!

There is no AC Adapter..but Sony wasnt asleep at the switch on this one....YOU DONT NEED AN AC/A! Just buy a 20 dollar USB/Card!! The Memory Stick is so ez to pop out and into your pc...and Doesnt need charging!!

There is a cool AA battery charger...included..and additonal batteries of the Sony type are only 5.00 each at Radio Shack.

I looked at allllllllllll Digital cams on the market!

RUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN to buy this puppy..It is one Awesome Digital cam with tons of quality ez features!!

By JimNVa - Sep 15, 2004

Easy to use compact digital. I...

Strengths: Super fast image capture, 2.5" LCD, flash does a good job for a compact digital, movie mode quality at 30 fps! Sharp 5MP pictures.

Weakness: Memory Stick Costs and weak software package! Other than that, none so far.

Easy to use compact digital. I compared this to the Canon S410/S500 and ultimately decided on the Sony DSC-W1. The reasons were: sharp 2.5" LCD, 5MP price point $399, best VGA movie mode available on digital cameras with length only limited to memory size, very good picture quality, more manual controls and one of the fastest image captures in digital cameras. Sony leapfrogged the competition with price/feature performance on this camera. I am very happy with my purchase.

By tbielowicz - Jun 25, 2004

I got the W1 a few days ago and i...

Strengths: Sharp Clear Image Pocket Size with large 2.5 Inch LCD VGA size movies at 30 fps Manual Features

Weakness: Apeture in manual is limited No White balance control besides the presets Cant zoom in movie mode

I got the W1 a few days ago and i must say im extremely please with this camera. Dispite what others say, the camera produce very sharp and clear images most of the time. With the manual mode I can get great image results everytime. Though you cant change the white balance settings the auto mode works quite well. Picture's colors are great. The VGA mode is definitely a plus but they eat up the memory card quite fast. Startup time is really fast too, takes about a second before you can shoot pictures.

By chukaryoori - Oct 2, 2004

Bought this camera shortly before...

Strengths: Small size, picture quality, ability to connect easily to TV or computer to review pictures, ability to use AA batteries in an emergency if rechargeable ones fail.

Weakness: None that I am aware of at this time.

Bought this camera shortly before leaving for vacation. Used it for many pictures, both inside and out and they all came out great. Small size allows me to keep it in my pocket or purse and have it available in a moments notice. It turns on and is ready to shoot in a flash and the shutter lag is non-existent. I find it easier to use than my other digital camera, the Sony DSC-85.I would have given it 5 stars, but I haven't tried everything it is capable of doing so I might find something I am disappointed in later on.

By bobbis - Jul 21, 2004

Comparing the DSC-W1 to the...

Strengths: Quick on/off, minimum shutter lag, sharp pictures, good video, larger LCD, small size.

Weakness: Manual mode not flexible, only two aperture settings for each particular zoom setting.

Comparing the DSC-W1 to the couples of digital cameras I used before, my feeling is that this camera has quick on/off; fast auto focus even in the dark; quite sharp pictures and true color saturation in normal conditions, white balance did help in different lighting conditions to get natural colors tone. The video quality in 640X480 30F/s is excellent with tripod. The larger 2.5" LCD is a big plus for me because it make it much easier to see all the settings comparing to 1.5" or 1.8" LCDs unless you have very good eye sight. I also like the AA NiMH batteries and its life. The camera is small and easy to carry around, but a little bit heavy.
The down side: there is no fast action sport mode, to shoot fast action you need manual mode. However, the manual mode is limited. it allows you only two aperture settins in different zoom: Wide angle f2.8/5.6; Tele f5.2/f10; and there are some other settings between for example f3.8/f8.3 ... for zoom in between.

By s3303675 - Jul 6, 2004

I had planned to buy a more...

Strengths: Huge LCD screen makes taking photos and movies much easier, likewise viewing and editing is much easier, very easy to operate, great movies and pictures, good printed manual

Weakness: Software is good only for copying files to the PC and making a CD, really pathetic

I had planned to buy a more complicated camera, the Olympus 5060WZ. However when I saw this one I liked the features and after using the heck out of it for 2 days, so far it performs great. The Olympus is really intended for experienced photographers. If you're looking for something in between point & shoot and a camera like the 5060, get this one - you won't regret it. [I'll update this after I've used it for awhile longer.]

By melvinslane - Jun 20, 2004

I need to use the flash in many...

Strengths: Fast picture-to-picture speed. Large LCD. High quality construction. Some manual settings, and optional lenses. Extremely high quality video.

Weakness: Taking indoor pictures need some manual adjustments.

I need to use the flash in many indoor siutations, even though it seems fairly bright. Also, the flash may not turn on even though a fuzzy icon flashes. The fuzzy icon shows up to warn the user when the camera selects a low shutter speed, which may cause fuzziness in the picture if the camera is not set on a tripod.

By miuakl - Aug 24, 2004

Love love love!!! Given, I am not...

Strengths: Huge LCD, price for 5MP camera (pd $354 w/ shipping off, image quality, ergonomics, little if any lag after pressing shutter, compact, not forced to buy Mem Stick Duo Pro

Weakness: not quite as small as the T1 but going by reviews, this is the better choice due to flash capability and few other things; ONLY other weaknesses=MY knowledge..more controls than I know what 2 do with!

Love love love!!! Given, I am not what is called an "enthusiast", as I don't know how to do all the manual adjustments, such as aperture, focus, shutterspeed. However, I am an avid digital pic taker. I previously owned a Sony DSC-S75 which had gotten too bulky although I loved the pics it took as well. Have not been disappointed with this camera in the least!! offers great pricing an delivered it almost immediately...had the camera literally 3 days later w/ regular shipping! The huge LCD is such a selling point and makes it so much easier! In just using the automatic functions, you will get great crisp vivid pictures. I bought a Digipower charger and 4 NiMH batteries from for $27, incl shipping....cheapest around. I wouldn't buy any accessories off ebay (route I normally take) - were more expensive there actually.

In short, I did alot of research. This is an exceptional little camera. Although I wanted the 5MP Sony T1 at onset due to the "coolness factor", I am not disappointed in the least with my purchase. The only other camera I was considering was the Canon S500 - highly comparable, but things like the LCD screen difference and the W1 being $150 cheaper won out in the end.

By emily100 - Jul 31, 2004

This is my first digital camera....

Strengths: Large LCD viewfinder, uses AA batteries, compact, 5.1MP

Weakness: Stock Memory Stick is only 32MB. Flash is a little weak.

This is my first digital camera. The W1's 2.5" LCD is great for viewing shots on the go. You can pan around and zoom in on your shots looking at the LCD viewfinder to see even more detail.

The jury is still out on action and night shots which I find are the hardest to take with this camera. The weak flash and my inexperience have made it a challenge to getting a good shot. Daytime shots and stills look great.

By mrryan - Oct 26, 2004

I never thought that this point...

Strengths: Resolution is excellent for a point and shoot camera. Battery life is very good.

Weakness: i did not find any weakenesses for this point and shoot camera.

I never thought that this point and shoot camera will give you such an excellent resolution. I did not find any image distortion at high resolution. I love the battery life too. For over two hundred shots, i never had a problem with a single charge on the batteries. One thing i love this one too is you can use a AA batteries. The flash is good too using at low light should not be a problem.

By joas414 - Dec 26, 2004

I have been waiting to get this...

Strengths: The camera has a super fast on/off, camera is ready to take pictures in about 3 seconds. Button placement seems to be fine, nothing too out of place. 2.5" screen makes it really nice to review picture

Weakness: Only comes with a 32mb Memory stick which will get you 12 pictures at 5MP.

I have been waiting to get this camera for some time now, i was thinking about the V1 but decided to wait for this, i am not disappointed in the least. This camera is easy to use, uses rechargable AA batteries or standard AA batteries. The camera also has a very quick on and off power up/down, this camera is ready to take pictures in about 3 or 4 seconds. The only thing i have not like in this camera is that it only comes with a 32MB Memory Stick, which will get 12 pics @ 5MP, but i guess you can't expect them to give you a 256MB Memory Stick Pro card (which i highly recommend).

By yazeljr - Jun 29, 2004

I would recommend this camera to...

Strengths: over 5 megapixels, great picture quality, good zoom, you can make movies, its easy to use, nice and compact,2.5 LCD screen which is huge compared to the average 1 or 1.5, and great features!

Weakness: there are no weaknesses at all... everything about this camera you will love!

I would recommend this camera to anybody because it has everything you want in a point and shoot camera. I have been researching digital cameras for years now and I know a lot about them. This camera is top of the chart with its sleek and compact design and with 5 megapixels your pictures will always turn out great! It is fast and easy to use and it has a lot of settings to choose from. If you choose this camera you will not be sorry!! I hope that I have helped you and your decision and this camera!

By sonycybershothappy - Jul 11, 2004

I received the camera today and...

Strengths: The large LCD monitor is great. The battery life is very good. Uses two AA batteries and AA rechargeable batteries.

Weakness: none.

I received the camera today and was very impressed at the picture quality and how easy the camera is to figure out. I played around with the camera and figured out most of the features/functions without even reading the manual and this is my first camera. I am very satisfied with this product and would highly recommend it to friends and family.

By joejosh - Nov 1, 2004

This is an excellent camera, that...

Strengths: 2.5" LCD screen, ease of use, long battery life

Weakness: Need to purchase a larger memory stick (256 mb at least). The software is basic.

This is an excellent camera, that all my family has enjoyed, from age 6 up. It is easy to use. You will need to experiment with the mode settings some. I have mostly used the standard auto-focus setting, but have used the moonlight modes, also, very successfully in low light, night time situations. We are all novice photographers, so we have not even tried the manual settings, but I believe they are a little basic for advanced users. The large LCD is a pleasure to use in taking and reviewing photos. We have not had problems seeing in sunlight, and have used at the beach. Night settings worked good on fireworks, also. It is quick to open and shoot, but be sure to hold the button halfway down to focus before trying to take a picture, to speed up the picture. You need to be especially still using the night settings, and might find a small tripod useful in these situations. Reviewing the photos on your TV is fun. I purchased a 256 mb memory stick, since it only comes with a 32 mb. The 32 holds about 15 full quality pictures, and the 256 holds 100 - 115 full quality pictures. The battery life is excellent. I took the camera on vacation and used it for almost 2 weeks and 114 shots, and still had some battery life left. The movie mode gives an excellent picture, but you will need a large memory stick to take many movies. We love this camera. This is our first quality digital camera and the photos are excellent in color and resolution.

By rlrarrcpa - Aug 4, 2004

This is my 3rd Sony digital camera...

Strengths: Slim and EZ to carry around.

Weakness: Not sure flash is stong enough

This is my 3rd Sony digital camera and so far so good. The ease of using the memory stick is second to none and I can only hope that Sony keeps making better cameras.

By rbenson - Sep 27, 2004

This is my first digital camera....

Strengths: Size, 2.5" LCD, You can view the images on your TV, Video Playback with Sound, great picture quality.

Weakness: 32mb memory card supplied with camera.

This is my first digital camera.

So far this camera is great. I have used it a couple of times. I filled my 32mb memory card up right away. It only held around 14 pics at the high resolution (5MP). I am buying a 256mb memory card today. The pictures I have taken so far, (inside & out) came out great. The LCD screen was a little hard to see in direct sun light,( but I hear this is the case with all digital cameras). The pictures outside still came out great.
I went to and found the lowest price at the time (384.00 + 8.95 shipping). I bought this as soon as it came out in the beginning of June.

I love the big 2.5" LCD Screen.

I will update you more on this camera once I return from my vacation. But so far so good.

By slamonica - Jun 18, 2004

After searching for a replacement...

Strengths: large lcd, fast start up, pretty fast multiple shots

Weakness: slow shutter speed, not very natural colors

After searching for a replacement camera for my Pentax 3.2 meg camera I decided on this one.
I shopped around and found a great deal at Fry's, and with a $50 rebate to boot, But...the very first shots I took came out blurred and these were stills of my grandkids...well almost stills !
I rechecked the auto mode controls, same thing.
Also, the colors very not as natural looking as my
original camera.
By the way I took identical pictures with both cameras to compare, the older Pentax came out clear, no movement in the picture detected.
I was very disapointted and am returning the camera.

By RE - Dec 13, 2004

After using for a year a PC world...

Strengths: size, LCD, ease use features

Weakness: nothing but the picture

After using for a year a PC world top rated Nikon Coolpix 4300, I decided to upgrade to 5 megapixel. I decide to buy another top rated camera, the W1. Here in Brazil, we don’t have the customer service regularly offered in USA, so I had to take all the risks on trying a new W1 with no capability to return it.
It looked very modern and full of features, with a histogram to do previous analyze of the image, for instance. The problem is the image quality. It has blurry image, I don’t know if it is focusing problem or if it is an defect, but the image its not as sharp as my old Nikon.
Result: I will try to return but probably I will have to sell the camera and look for another camera that can be a nicer replacement for my Nikon 4300.

By schwanw - Oct 23, 2004

i have had a nikon swivel, canon...

Strengths: takes great pictures; hard to mess up; camera makes sense; lightweight and pretty loaded with stuff. plus the gigantic lcd screen is the GREATEST!

Weakness: while supposedly easy to understand, i found the screen with the various settings, etc. very confusing at first.

i have had a nikon swivel, canon powershot (a80 and g5), a fujifilm s3100 and even a mavica -- this camera by far and away if the best digital i have ever used. i use digital photography in my art, so i am a bit picky about the quality of the shot after i download it from the camera to my PC. seriously, once you master the settings (it isn't as hard as i make it sound) this camera becomes like a second skin.

and i kid you not, the gigantic lcd screen is a godsend. it really does make a differnce both in setting up a shot and in reviewing it. i also really dig the zoom options (safe, none, precision). it takes good night shots -- not panoramas at night or anything like that but nice moonlight shots in the park kind of photos.

this is a great digital.

By dadanation - Apr 11, 2005

My first purchase and use of a...

Strengths: "BIG" LCD screen, ease of use, endless feature options, close-up photos, and of course PRICE

Weakness: small memory card, difficult battery release door

My first purchase and use of a digital camera. This is one great camera for the price and what it has to offer. I was up and using it in no time at all. The movie option is great as long as you have a large memory card and record in standard mode otherwise the download to a device to play is quite large. Only thing I noticed when the batteries are low is that the lense motor slows down to a crawl and acts differently than with fully charged batteries. Sony has made a great little camera in the DSC-W1.

By pls5263 - Feb 26, 2005

I tried to make a decision between...

Strengths: Very, Very Good Picture Quality, Well calibrated colors and well balanced and bright pictures; Large 2.5" Display; 30 Fps VX video

Weakness: Software is a garbage; Mem Stick door is a weakest link:

I tried to make a decision between Sony W1 and Canon Powershot S500. They both inherited excellent CCD's from Sony V1 and Canon G5, so they are comparable for the most of the features. After comparing reviews and spec of these 2 cameras I decided to go with Sony W1. Larger LCD - MATTERS!!! Plus, I think, Sony W1 has better optics and pictures are more uniformed, brighter. Canon S500 images are noticeably losing sharpness in the corners (judging by test images at, and smallish 1.5 LCD doesn't help either.

Geezz...! How to make right decision..? :) Well, everyone who is selecting digital camera should realize first what this camera will be used for and what do you want to do with hundreds of images.
I needed camera for taking a lots of images from travel and other nice occasions to create a slideshows and view/display them on the computer monitor ( maybe in future - large screen HDTV ). For this use - camera provides Very Good image quality. I'm not using term "Excellent", because only SLR's Nikon D-70 or Canon Digital Rebel can get you Excellent images (but thy will set you back ~$1300). To me, Sony's W1 5 MPix, simplified features and large LCD, is just right. Of course, it is impossible to build a perfect camera in all aspects, so some things are not perfectly implemented here as well.
I don't like flimsy door for Memstick compartment. User should be careful when inserting or removing memory and remember ALWAYS to close this door right away! If you leave this door open and put it down carelessly on the table, or not so even surfaces - there is great chance that you will break it off. Even though this door serves just as a dust cover for Video out plug, DC-in and Memory Stick slot, and camera will not be broken beyond repair, it is better to be careful and have it in one piece.

W1 optics are Carl Zeiss, but they are a bit inferior to it's older brother V1. Anyway, they doing very good job.

Camera feels a little heavy for it's size. It was strange at first, but I like it now. This actually helps to hold it steady while taking shots.

All Auto presets doing pretty good job. But "Manual" mode allows some freedom to experiment and if you know what you are doing - to get very nice results. Anyone can use this camera.

Of course, like with any digital camera, you will need extra batteries and larger memory card. I wonder, why most of the manufacturers still selling digital cameras with small Mem cards (32 MB) - they are not practical at all. Why not lower price a little and let buyers decide themselves size of the card? (I know that Nikon "got it" and is selling Nikon D-70 without any CF cards). I will get 1 GB MemStick Pro II - to have plenty of room for pictures and chance to take 30 Fps VX movie (1 GB will fit 10+ min video!). VX video quality on regular Memory Stick is just average, but VX should be good.

I use only a 3x optical zoom, because Digital Zoom is not good - distorts image significantly. It makes your 5 Mpix camera image at max resolution look like 1Mp camera or worse... I guess, it is true for digital zoom systems of all manufacturers.

Software on the provided CD is a garbage (literally!). Only useful thing on this disk is an USB driver. But if you have Windows XP (and most people already do) you will not need it. USB driver is needed only for computers with Win98/ME/2000. To editing and resizing images I'm using Ulead PhotoImpact and/or Adobe PhotoshopElements.

It is great to have a regular (not electronic) viewfinder. You can take pictures with LCD off.

I use rechargeable batteries (they last much longer) but even if I run out of them, I think it will be no problem to find regular batteries (unless you are taking pictures far from civilization). Flash of any digital camera "eats" any batteries mercilessly! W1 is no exception.

Build quality is very good. This camera is definitely was designed to last long! Again, image quality is Very Good and I highly recommend it! Among the compact 5 MPix cameras, Sony W1 and Canon Powershot S500 are the best values for the money. Just pick the one you like most.
PS: it was interesting to find that author of the previous review also was comparing W1 and S500...

By Georges - Jun 12, 2004

This is an ultra-compact 5 Mega...

Strengths: High quality pictures, compact and stylish, 2.5" LCD

Weakness: Poor bundled software

This is an ultra-compact 5 Mega pixels camera.
In the bottom line, I am very satisfied from this camera. It looks great, produces decent results, focuses easily even in low light and has an excellent huge LCD screen. Boot-up time is also impressive, about 1 second.

If you want to buy an ultra-compact 5MP camera there 3 options today that clearly stand out for their good image quality: 1) Canon Powershot S500 2) Nikon Coolpix 5200 and 3) Sony DSC-W1.

While the S500 is the a little bit smaller than the other two, it comes with less options (less manual controls, less scene modes). Therefore, my conflict was mainly between the 5200 and the W1.

If you are really concerned about red eyes, go with the 5200 that can fix them automatically (but you can do it with software anyway). The 5200 also seems to have the best ergonomics.
However I preferred the DSC-W1 mainly thanks to its huge 2.5" LCD screen which is larger (in area) by about 270% than the 1.5" screens of the other 2 cameras. It makes it much easier to take photos and to show them (I know the resolution isn't that high, but for previewing pictures or showing them, it's fine). Other advantages of the DSC-W1: shorter boot-up time, use of standard AA batteries, long battery life, expandability (you can add lenses, filters or external flash) and the better price, which makes it one of the best values in digital photography.

The only criticism against this camera is the software supplied by Sony. It is really basic. Other than that, I highly recommend this camera.

By yehudako - Jun 11, 2004

I did much research on cameras...

Strengths: 5.1 megapixel, 2.5" lcd

Weakness: only 32mb card.

I did much research on cameras before going with the Sony. Decision was between Canon Powershot s500 and Sony DSCW1. Sony has more features(too many to list), a bigger LCD ( everybody comments on the great size), and around $100 cheaper. Pictures turn out great..highly recommended.

By ronsal - Jul 17, 2004

This is a great little camera . I...

Strengths: All of it. Size, 2.5 LCD, Quality, features, battery life,on and on.

Weakness: None for the Camera. Get a larger memory Stick.

This is a great little camera . I was a little leary about it at first because I had a casio Qv700 which I was very unhappy with, being that it was my first digital camera. This camera is the best. I love every thing about it. The pictures are outstanding. I love the fact that you can do movies with it. Theres not much that this little hony won't do for the price and quality.If you want a complete system get the sony DDP-F30 priter with it. which is also outstanding just like the camera. You will be very pleased.

By whwhitehead - Dec 6, 2004

I truly love this camera. I...

Strengths: Love the 2.5" LCD display and the AA batteries. High quality construction and design. I replaced a Sony 1.6 MP Mavica with this camera and what a difference!

Weakness: The software lacks and a memory stick greater than 32 MB should be included.

I truly love this camera. I enjoyed my Sony Mavica, but this camera is light years ahead of it. I have yet to purchase a Memory Stick Pro for movies, but so far the still picture quality is excellent with the standard Memory Sticks.

By sphomer - Jun 22, 2004

This is a great camera! I bought...

Strengths: Very versatile camera, includes both automatic and manual functions, large LCD screen, very fast power-up and picture-saving

Weakness: A bit larger than the ultra-slim DSC-T1 and the compact Canon PowerShot S500 (Digital Elph), memory sticks are expensive

This is a great camera! I bought this camera because of the 5.0 megapixels, the Carl Zeiss lens and the large 2.5-inch LCD screen.

Finally, the price of 5-megapixel cameras has gone down enough for the middle-class man to purchase. I've been waiting to upgrade my 3.0 megapixel Sony, and this was the right choice.

For those who think that Sony can only make TVs and stereos, it's time to reconsider. Sony has invested alot of money into their lenses to use the Carl Zeiss name (famous in the hunting world for top-quality rifle scopes). Anyone who understands photography will tell you that the most expensive part of any camera is the lens -- and that the best camera in the world would be useless without a good lens.

The DSC-W1 has a 2.5-inch LCD screen in the back for you to view pictures and scroll through the menus. This is much bigger than other cameras in its class. I also considered the Canon PowerShot S500, the new 5-megapixel Digital Elph, but chose the W1 because of the price and the LCD screen. The S500 is a bit more compact and easier to carry, but the W1 costs about $100 less, and the S500 LCD screen (1.5 inches) was puny by comparison.

I am a novice photographer with some education on how manual cameras can increase picture quality. The W1 offers an automatic, point-and-shoot option that I use on the days that I get lazy and don't feel like messing with the aperture and shutter speed. But it also offers the option for you to manual adjust all of that IF YOU WANT. Plus you have the option of buying a lens adjustor to add on additional telephoto or wide-angle lenses or filters. Pretty good for a camera that's competing in the point-and-shoot market.

Overall, I thought that this camera was the best value because of all of the features that it comes with. The only problem with the price is that the memory sticks cost more than Canon's Compact Flash cards. The alternative is to buy SanDisk memory sticks, which are cheaper than Sony.

By crossmax - Jul 7, 2004

I have a great camera here....

Strengths: awsome camera better than a pentax optio s50

Weakness: none i love this camera

I have a great camera here. Compare when i had to Pentax Optio s50 take it was not focusing correctly it was a disapointment entirey. for the price this is a great camera it has a lenses good value. i dont like the mem stick price but what can you say.

By antao32 - Nov 29, 2004

best camera on the market so far.....

Strengths: Huge LCD works every well under the start up, long battery life, and it is cheap

Weakness: stupid memory stick... i got a 256MB pro costed me 50 dollars..

best camera on the market so far..

i compared my camera with my cousin's P10, it is way better than p10, W1 is faster,cheaper, longer battery life and pictures are sharper than p10...

if u shake ur hand while u taking the picture, most likely u will get a blurry pictures... but u can adjust the exposure to fix that problem..

By hanwong - Nov 7, 2004

I purchased the DSC W1 to replace...

Strengths: Phenomenal Picture Quality Durable metal construction 2.5 LCD viewing screen extensive features AA battery use Availability of wide angle,telephoto, and filter lenses

Weakness: Resolution of the 2.5 viewing screen (though not critical) poor included software set lack of available underwater housing (compared with Canon)

I purchased the DSC W1 to replace a Canon Powershot 330 (2megapixel) digital camera. I loved the Canon for it's great styling, durable metal body, many features, and quality of pictures. My son needed a camera and I felt the time was right to move up to a 5 megapixel. After studying my options, I realized that my choices were relatively few. As others have found, I waivered between staying with the Canon 550 or moving to the Sony. As you might imagine, I was leaning heavily towards the Canon.

My ultimate decision favoring the DSC W1 was based on the quality of sample photos I viewed online (Steve's Digicam site), reviews of others who had the camera, and similarity in body style. The large 2.5 LCD screen tipped the scale in Sony's favor.

Having received the unit, I can say the research paid off. The camera has a nice solid feel not unlike the Canon with sturdy metal construction. The LCD, while lacking some of the clarity of resolution of the Canon 330 (and 550), is still more than compensated for by the size and ease of viewing,editing, and reviewing pictures. The feature set is outstanding and, most importantly, photo quality terrific. Whether cropping images, or just taking colorful macro shots, the clarity and detail has to be seen to be appreciated. The use of AA batteries when coupled with the new Rayovac 15minute charger makes power a non issue. I would have liked better software (like the Canon's Zoom Browser), however, since I can use my previous software collection to handle the transfer and editing of photos on my computer, it was not critical (for me).

Considering the GREAT price I found using Pricegrabber and my above experience with the Sony DSC W1, you will not be disappointed if you choose to make this your next digital camera.

By robweissmd - Jun 24, 2004

The Sony DSC-W1 has great...

Strengths: Great, have yet to encounter a problem or a decent complaint.

Weakness: Wish the lenses could come off easier.

The Sony DSC-W1 has great attriburtes that is perfect for the basic conisour of digital photos. The price is just right for the budget consumer. and the Tech is just right for those who want to have the basics of quality digital photos, the starter for the technophelia of digital photos.

By lemmon - Aug 9, 2004

seems like this camera limits its...

Strengths: big lcd, small size, carl zeiss lens (well sony got the patent?)

Weakness: what's up with the soft focus?

seems like this camera limits its merits by not having a sharp focus. the thrill of the 717 was the amazing detail and ability to see minute chance with the stock setting with this camera. is this so i buy an 828?
cool camera but it's getting returned....i'm spoiled by the abilities of their 717 and 828. bigger but better.

By saxophonist56 - Jun 23, 2004

I moving from a SLR to a digital...

Strengths: Very easy to use. Fast response time. 2.5 in image viewer is very nice.

Weakness: None

I moving from a SLR to a digital camera. I also bought a 1GB memory pro. I have been impressed with the quality of the pictures. I have in the past used my friends Cannon. I found that the response time was much superior. I am really thrilled.

By rramkuma - Dec 17, 2004


Strengths: 2.5LCD, VIDEO




By ChristopherK - Jun 18, 2004

This is a great camera, the huge...

Strengths: Huge LCD, AA bateries

Weakness: AC Power adaptor not included

This is a great camera, the huge LCD and the smaller size made my choice for this one, and I am really enjoying it! I was comparing between this one and the Sony DSC-P100, they seem to have pretty much the same specifications, I decided for this one, because of the huge LCD and because it takes AA batteries that are easy to buy anywhere if I need. It takes really good quality pictures even in the dark.

For the weakness, I wish the AC power adapter was included, but when I bought I already knew it wasn't...

I definetely recommended it!

By lcr26 - Jun 25, 2004

Take some time and play with the...

Strengths: Just great all around shot quality. Awesome rear display, viewable in almost any light. Tons of manual settings for when you really want to fine tune your photos.

Weakness: Unlike the smaller DSC-P100 from sony or the DSC-T1 there is no underwater enclosure for this one. Weak flash located right over lens, but thats pretty much standard for tiny camras.

Take some time and play with the manual settings and learn what each one does. They can really help you capture those difficult shots that the standard automatic settings can't or do poorly.

By yokozmima - Aug 1, 2004

this is a great camera! i take...

Strengths: Large 2.5" LCD,compact size,loaded with features,easy to use,fast on/off.

Weakness: none except that it only comes with the 32MB memory card, and the 256MB is about 60 dollars.

this is a great camera! i take photos with it all the time.
it is very compact and looks shiny and stylish. it is loaded with features like a large 2.5" LCD. it is very fast at turning on and off. it takes photos pretty fast.the only thing that i dont like is the 32MB memory card that comes with it. the 256MB is about 60 dollars and the 1 gig is 300 plus! i was surprised at the amount of money memory sticks are. other than that, i would recomend this camera to anybody.

By jojowee - Jan 4, 2005

my first digital camera, Haven't...

Strengths: 2.5 LCD, Battery Life, rechargeable batterys, fast on & off, fast recovery between shots, 5.1 mega pixels, super sharp pictures, sturdy body, can carry in pocket, can add telephoto & wide angle lens,

Weakness: Weak flash for night time in room pictures, need to leave lots of lights on for bright pictures or people in background are orange, should come with a soft tote bag, you only get 12 5.1 pictures

my first digital camera, Haven't used the manual settings much still learning, camera should come without a memory card so you can pick your own. I'm just an average camera user and 12 5.1 pixel pictures for a 345 dollar camera isn't worth having. I bought a 256 meg pro memory card with 92 pictures at 5.1. i recomend this size for this price of camera. with lack of exp. buying on line i bought the pro memory card the same place i bought the camera. i got stung by 20 dollars. it was cheaper in other stores. so shop around for your accessories.

By Lar2hike - Jul 24, 2004

After looking into many reviews I...

Strengths: Large LCD , Clear Images , Good Shape

Weakness: Nothing so far! Still see my comments..

After looking into many reviews I was in dilemma whether to go for canon S50 (big size , rating 8.2) or sony W1
(compact, rating 7.2). I tested S50 earlier which is also providing good images. Since we needed compact, less wt and enough options i bought Sony W1 few days ago.

I observed some blurr images when pointed object ie., my daughter moved suddenly while taking picture. Is it common or defect I don't know?

Also I took picture in dark and it came very well.

I have selected Flash Sync option always.

Photo of a person wearing a glasses, didn't come well. Wondering whether it is due to Flash or defect?

I even tested Movie mode and W1 recorded very well.

Overall I liked it.

I returned Camera, because of blurr images , going for canon s60

By yelanji - Sep 9, 2004

This is my 2nd digital camera. It...

Strengths: Size, controls, ease of use, features

Weakness: Only 3x optical zoom; placement of speaker (extremely minor)

This is my 2nd digital camera. It is one of the best purchasing decisions I have ever made. I call it a hidden gem. The quality of the pictures is excellent & features, including manual control, is great. What really sets it apart, though, is that there are additional lenses available.

The menu structure is easy to follow & even when I haven't used the camera for a few days, the camera remains easy to use.

I am only a "middling" photographer, but, because of its tremendous versatility, I have captured far better pictures than I could with my previous camera. I have already recommended this to several other people and one of my clients went right out and bought the DSC-W1 and is equally ecstatic with her purchase.

By j2c2 - Jan 13, 2005

I've waited 3 months for this...

Strengths: Excellent photo quality, 2.5 inch LCD screen, long lasting battery life (2 AA Nickel Metal Hydride), very compact, very competitive price.

Weakness: Mediocre flash range, camera bag not included.

I've waited 3 months for this camera to be released from Sony. I've read numerous reviews on this, which all gave it "Highly Recommended". I finally got my hands on this baby and I did not regret waiting one bit. The LCD screen is the biggest I've seen in a digital camera (same size as the DSC-T1). The picture quality is excellent and the shutter lag is very very minimal. This camera has lots of manual settings. I like the fact that it offers so much in such a small package. Taking pictures with the zoom is a breeze. The only thing I didn't like about it, as expected, is the mediocre flash range. It's acceptable but produces red-eye at times. But come to think of it, mostly all digital cameras produce red-eye with flashed pictures. I highly recommend this camera. You won't regret it.

By ayee1 - Jun 12, 2004

I am not a professional...

Strengths: Large LCD, fast shot-to-shot, quality pictures

Weakness: Bundled accessories not good enough for price paid (memory stick supplied not big enough, no AC adapter, no camera case). Software not that good.

I am not a professional photographer and I mainly use the camera to take shots of my babies. The quick response time is a big factor when you have babies constantly moving around. I am satisfied with the performance of the camera. I would have given it 5 stars if the bundled accessories were great.

By msimelda - Jun 25, 2004

Fantastic point and shoot camera!...

Strengths: Small Size, Photo Quality, Pre-Set Modes & Manual Adjustments. Standard Memory Stick and AA Batteries.

Weakness: Shipped with only a 32 mb memory Stick, for taking 5mp photos and video you need more memory

Fantastic point and shoot camera! The 32 mb memory Stick is not adequate for this camera, so I added a 1gb Memory Stick Pro and it worked as advertised. Would recommend this camera for anyone looking for a small point and shoot digital camera.

By Doug Thrush - Jun 19, 2004

I was very excited to find out...

Strengths: Size, battery life and features

Weakness: Picture Quality is poor for such an advanced Camera

I was very excited to find out about this camera. It had everything I needed plus more. The excitement ended very quickly after taking picture after picture and about 85% turned out dull and lifeless. I returned the camera and purchased another one as the sales person said they have had some trouble with the W1 model. The second was no different. I did everything to try and get good consistance pictures from a W1 and had little luck. My old Kodak DX 4900 beat the W1 handsdown....It was amazing to me. I returned the second W1 and I'm now waiting for the W5. I hope Sony has fixed the picture quality as I truly think the W1 or W5 has eveything a photograher needs in a digital camera except the most important part...THE PICTURE!!! Here's to hoping Sony hits a home run with the W5.

By kz9qr0 - Feb 26, 2005

Sony DSC-W1 - Poorly Designed Battery Cover

Strengths: Great all-around features, purchsed this for the large viewing screen.

Weakness: After 2 years....the battery cover is broken and will not stay closed. Sony's suggest repair fee: $180.00!!!!!! You decide.........

If you plan on purchasing this little beauty, be careful. The battery cover wears out fairly quickly.....and in less that 2 years, you will find yourself struggling with a battery cover that won't stay closed.
Sony agreed to repair the the mere cost of only $180.00!!!!!!!!!!
Trying to locate a replacement part on the internet is even tougher. I have two friends who have the same camera........and BOTH have the same exact problem. A word to the wise..............

By anonymous; - Jun 25, 2006

George P from WA, Seattle

Strengths: Looks like it has good features, good battery life, and nice 2" LCD, but other than that it is totaly garbage!

Weakness: Horable Soft Pinklish Yeallowish Picture !!!

For a Sony Brand which I really like the most on electronics, I am very dissapointed about this garbage that they make. Everithing looks good on the camera but the pictures. I want to replace my kodak cx7430 which has an excellent picture quality right out the box, for the only reasona that Sony has a very good movie quality features. But the pictures are all krappy, garbeage. From scale of 1 to 10 I give my Kodak cx7430 an 11 on pictures quality. On Sony I give -1, and I am not exagerated. I don't understand all these people given good quality pictures so called, and I advice them to try to take their pictures on low incandescent light in either Auto, P or M mode it really don't matter, becouse the pictures it will still come very soft, yeallowish some pinklish. No matter what or how are you going to set the camera it is still garbage.

By anonymous; - Nov 20, 2005

Was OK for some things. R.I.P.

Strengths: see comment

Weakness: see comment

Sony DSC-W1

Oh Well!!!!!!

Bought it 54 weeks ago.
The Camera was good for what I used it for.
I liked the 5 megapixels.
I liked the movies with sound option. 44 minutes with a 1 GB memory stick.
It was small; I could slip it into my pocket.
A Sturdy metal case. It seemed like a little Titanic.
Operated on AA batteries, that was a plus.

There is sits in all its glory.
Looking like a million dollars. All shiney.
With its lens frozen in the out position.
A Sony DSC-W1 Cyber-Crap.
2 weeks out of warranty.
Of course Sony now wants the flat rate of $171 for repair.

Just as a year of ownership slipped over the horizon, the camera
began having a problem trying to return the lens into the camera body.
It would make 4 quick zip, zip, zip, zip sounds as the lens would try to
return. It doe’s this when I try to start it and when I try to turn it off.
But, that is all that it does now.
The screen remains black and displays:
“Turn the Camera off then turn it back on again”
Reset is of no avail.

A couple of times in the begining there was the error message. E:61.
(That means it needs service.)

I expected more than one year from a Sony product.
I guess that I’m back in the digital camera market.

So what is my advice for anyone buying a digital camera with a lens that telescopes out from the body upon turning the camera on?

Should I pay the extra and get the extended 3 year warranty?

I guess I’ll have to think about it if I want that small size!

By anonymous; - Aug 22, 2005

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