The new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W380 is the latest in a long line of advanced but easy-to-use ultra compact digital cameras that combine all the latest features and technology with a well-thought-out user interface, superior build quality and class-leading performance. It follows in the footsteps of models such as the W7, W15, W70 and W80, and more recently the W200, W290 and the superb WX1 which I reviewed earlier this year.
The W380 has a good specification, typical of the latest generation of ultra-compacts. It has a 14/1-megapixel 7.76mm (1/2.3 inch) Super HAD CCD sensor, a high quality Sony G 5x zoom lens equivalent to 24-120mm, and a 6.7cm (2.7 inch) LCD monitor with a resolution of 230,400 dots. Features include 720p HD video recording, advanced nine-point autofocus, optical image stabilisation and Sony's new Sweep Panorama feature. The W380 is one of four very similar camera in the W-series. The W350, W360 and W390 share most of the same features, but with variations such as a 3.0-inch monitor or a 4x zoom lens.
Like nearly all of Sony’s compacts the W380 is a good looking camera, and is the build quality is excellent. It has a strong all-aluminium body, and is available in the matt black seen here, as well as red, gold or silver. It is exceptionally small and light even by ultra-compact standards, measuring 91.7 x 51.9 x 19.7mm, and weighing in at just 124g including battery and memory card. Like a few other recent Sony compacts it has a dual-format card slot, capable of accepting either SD/SDHC cards or Sony's own proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo cards.