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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M2 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M2

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

4

Another questionable design decision is the relatively puny battery, providing just 210 shots on a full charge. It is the first camera that I have used in over a year that actually ran out of power within a normal day’s testing. At least Sony’s InfoLithium battery does tell you exactly how many minutes of shooting you have left, but I’d rather have a battery that can last a bit longer.

The great pity is that concealed beneath this needlessly quirky design is actually a pretty nice camera. Its performance is excellent, with a 1.5sec start-up time, fast and accurate focusing and exposure, and very good low light performance. The excellent lens, 5.1 megapixel sensor and Sony’s acclaimed Real Imaging processor provide superb picture quality, and image noise control is excellent at all but the highest ISO setting. The movie mode is also satisfactory, producing good artefact-free shots with good colour reproduction and a nice smooth frame rate, although the sound quality isn’t as good as I’d hoped. The M2 has two microphones for stereo sound, but they are both located on the back of the LCD screen, less than an inch apart and both to the left of the lens, so there is no noticeable stereo effect.

If all the components of the M2 could be put into a better designed body with a more accessible control system, it really could be one of the best hybrid cameras on the market, but as it stands it is a frustrating and over-priced gimmick that ultimately fails at its stated purpose.

Verdict

For half the price you can get a camera that takes pictures and shoots video just as well, but is far easier to handle. The M2 may look cool and funky, and there’s no denying that it can take good pictures, but its shockingly poor handling, badly designed and over-complicated controls and limited battery life, combined with an inflated price tag, make this a big white elephant.

Simon Baddeley

December 16, 2012, 12:05 am

How odd that this reviewer dislikes this little Sony. I've had three DSC-M2s now and use them to take stills and videos including self-portraits to illustrate my blog. The simple arrangement of three large buttons is the most convenient combination of still, review and movie I've come across in an inexpensive camera. I delight in the one-handed user-friendliness of this little gadget - which incidentally I treat in a cavalier way, carrying it my pocket on walks and when cycling, having it easily to hand. For me, and I don't think I'm physiologically out of the ordinary, its ergonomics are superlative. I just wish I could get a replacement soon as I'm forever wear this little hybrid into the ground, using successive models like a diary and a pen!

Mark Jones

October 4, 2013, 2:02 pm

I bought one of these a week or so back on Ebay UK and paid just GBP27 (USD43) for an "as new" camera still in it's box! Maybe 5MP doesn't ring anyone's bell these days but it's plenty enough for me. I just needed something cheap and cheerful, but high quality,for those occasions I don't want to lug around a Nikon D90 and an equally heavy lens. This is absolutely pocketable, takes well saturated, tack sharp pics with very acceptable video results. Yes, it looks very different from it's peers but the ergonomics cause me no problems at all and I quite enjoy shooting one handed and with that 360 degree flip screen it's perfect for selfies when required! I'm still exploring it and up until now have found/seen nothing to complain about a very well made and easy to use Sony.

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