Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S2100 Review

by Allison Johnson Reads (1,322)

Video Quality
Video quality at the maximum 640×480 resolution is about average. Video files are recorded at a rate of 30 fps. If HD video is a must, then you won’t have to spend much more on a pocket camera to get that feature. If standard resolution will suffice to capture quick clips, then the S2100 will perform just fine.

Image Quality
Overall, image quality was good. The S2100 is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch Super HAD sensor, and suffers from the usual symptoms of a small sensor with 12 megapixels crowding each other for space. But in good light, I thought images showed a nice level of detail. Perusing a block of Milford, Ohio’s historic mill district and Gayle’s Vintage Clothing shop on a sunny day turned in some great images. Even in fading light, pictures from the S2100 should be usable for small prints and online sharing.

Sony S2100 Test Shot Sony S2100 Test Shot
Sony S2100 Test Shot Sony S2100 Test Shot

The camera’s default metering setting worked well in many instances, though highlight clipping seemed to be a recurring issue. Where good, even lighting was present the camera turned in a nice exposure. Throw in some shadows or a mix of light sources and the S2100 will sometimes struggle. Metering modes include the default multi as well as center-weighted and spot.

Using the camera’s flash unit will cover up to about 10 feet at wide angle when using the auto ISO setting and up to six feet telephoto. Flash modes include auto, force flash, slow synchro, and flash off.

Saturation and contrast appear to have been given a slight boost. The Belgian waffles below look a little more red than they appeared to my eye. That’s not exactly a bad thing in this situation – the waffles still look appetizing and the exposure is good. Overall, the colors out of the camera were pleasing.

Sony S2100 Test Shot

Auto White Balance was usually my best bet in any given shooting situation. The studio image shot with Auto White Balance is actually slightly cooler than the series of ISO shots using tungsten WB.

Sony S2100 Test Shot
Auto White Balance, 3200k incandescent light

Noise is a trouble spot for the Cyber-shot S2100. Images shot at ISO 400 or below looked nice at a reduced size, but when blown up to 100% they show plenty of color noise. Distortion levels increase through the range to ISO 3200.

Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 100
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 100, 100% crop
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 200
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 200, 100% crop
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 400
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 400, 100% crop
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 800
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 800, 100% crop
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 1600
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 3200
Sony S2100 Test Shot
ISO 3200, 100% crop

At around ISO 800 and beyond, colors begin to flatten out. As expected, ISO 3200 noisy even in the small thumbnail and should only be used when it’s the only option.

Additional Sample Images

Sony S2100 Test Shot Sony S2100 Test Shot
Sony S2100 Test Shot Sony S2100 Test Shot
Sony S2100 Test Shot Sony S2100 Test Shot


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