7.2 mp vs. 8.1 mp Sony Cyber Shot? Where to find the best deal?
January 29, 2008 6:34 AM   Subscribe

7.2 mp vs. 8.1 mp Sony Cyber Shot? Where to find the best deal?

I want to buy a new point and shoot digital camera, and my trusty old Cyber Shot (and I mean old!) has been an ultra reliable workhorse, so I plan on sticking with this line.

I am a basic use type of person - I take shots to archive life, so to say. I rarely blow them up farther than 5x7, and take videos infrequently.

I do want to get a model with a Li battery, and I want to find the best deal I can (plan on buying online).

There is about $50 difference on average between the 7.2mp and 8.1mp Cyber Shots.

Any thoughts on if the 8.1 has enough pros that I should spend the extra money? Any thoughts on the other brands out there?

Also: I planned on buying through Dell, does anyone know of a better deal out there and/or coupons?

posted by caveat empress to Shopping (10 answers total)
The most reliable and cheapest places to buy cameras are B&H, Amazon, and TigerDirect. These are the best online electronics wholesalers and I'd bet they've got a bit lesser markup than Dell.

I'm not familiar with the Cybershot series, but a 1mp difference isn't a big deal. The big deal between cameras of the same series is often screen size, higher max ISO settings, and UI improvements. DPReview should give you a better idea.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:52 AM on January 29, 2008

I have and love the 7.2, and was given the 8.1 as a gift on my last birthday. I honestly couldn't see one whit of difference in clarity between the two, and the upgraded features just weren't interesting enough to me to warrant having two cameras that were so much alike, so I returned the 8.1. The 7.2 is a great little camera for the money. A few months ago the 8.1 was super cheap at Circuit City, although I have no idea how much it's going for there now.
posted by iconomy at 7:18 AM on January 29, 2008

Also, Adorama and newegg are great to find deals.
posted by ijoyner at 7:41 AM on January 29, 2008

Don't use megapixels as an indicator of quality... All cameras today (except cell phones) have plenty of pixels. The case could even be made that a 2mp phone has more pixels than its crappy lens can effectively resolve. In consumer cameras, image quality is not correlated to the pixel count. (Compare a 6mp Nikon D40 to any 10mp compact camera.)

Look for the features you find useful in a camera. For example, a big LCD, a wide angle lens, good noise performance indoors, would be a few things I'd look for. Perhaps you want some manual controls over shutter speed and aperture. Also, look at sample photos and see if they meet your idea of quality.
posted by knave at 8:03 AM on January 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have the 7.2 megapixel Cyber-shot, and I like it. It's a basic digicam that's great for the sort of photography you describe. I don't think the extra megapixel will be a big deal, but if you have an extra 50 dollars lying around, go for it.
I like buying from Newegg, but go for the cheapest price from a place that isn't shady.
posted by kidbritish at 8:23 AM on January 29, 2008

I'd suggest 7.2 and B&H
posted by matteo at 9:01 AM on January 29, 2008

These guys seem to think that more pixels just increases the noise level of the camera, and that 6 MP is the sweet spot. If you believe them, then the 7.1 is the way to go, assuming the feature set that you'll use is comparable.
posted by chrisamiller at 10:57 AM on January 29, 2008

chrisamiller probably meant to link here.
posted by knave at 11:15 AM on January 29, 2008

In my view specific features such as image stabilization, increased ISO and LCD screen size are far more significant to the user than the slight increase in mega-pixels. In that regard the 7.1 and the 8.2 are essentially the same except for the mega-pixel difference and that isn't worth the price difference.

I shoot professionally with a Canon 20D and have no desire for more resolution. In fact I don't really need/use the 8.2 mp of the 20 D when shooting for the newspaper. Faster focus, not more pixels, is what I favor.

I am a big fan of B&H. They have the 7.1 (DSCW80) for $174.

My vote is save the $50 and use it to buy a second Li battery or another memory card.
posted by coachjerry at 10:33 AM on January 30, 2008

Yeah, that's the site. Thanks, knave.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:14 PM on January 30, 2008

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