Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 5.1MP Camera Details and Review

This is a 2021 review of an old Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 5.1MP camera!

A photo of a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 Camera


I think this camera might’ve been released in 2004/5. I like using old cameras and I purchased the Sony camera as part of a job lot.

My fiancée and I went out for a walk and I decided to take this camera out with us. This review is based on that walk and an indoor photos. So it’s a limited review, but due to my experience, I hope you find this review and my insight helpful.

Please note: The only editing I’ve done to the sample photos taken using the camera was to resize and watermark them for this blog post.

Basic Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 specifications: *
• Requires 2xAA batteries
• ISO 100, 200 and 400
• 5.1 mega pixel
• 3x Optical zoom
• In-built flash
• LCD screen (live preview)
• JPEG 2592×1944 pixel size
• MPEG-1 640×480 pixel video
• Memory Stick Pro memory slot

* These are not all the specifications, but just some which I felt were important. This camera doesn’t have manual focus or RAW capabilities.


I was thankful that the camera takes a couple of double AA batteries. I have other old cameras which I don’t have batteries for or their chargers.

A photo showing the battery compartment on a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 camera.

Being able to use rechargeable AA batteries and my own charger that I use for other items, is very useful.

The memory card

Thankfully my second-hand camera came with a memory card, as I don’t believe I have seen the type of memory card the camera uses before.

A photo showing part of a camera, a memory card and adapter.

I don’t have a memory card reader suitable for the ‘Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo MagicGate 256MB’, but I’m able to download photos using a USB lead connected between the camera and my Windows 10 PC.

A photo showing a memory card inserted into a camera.

A photo showing a partial side view of a camera.A photo showing a port on a camera.

The build quality and quick overview

I think the camera is well built and solid, but it feels heavy. The button layout is good and if you’re used to point and click cameras, I would expect you to easily get going with taking photographs.

A rear photo of a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W12 Camera

There is a plastic tripod mount underneath and a timer. Plus there is an in-built flash and live preview on the LCD screen. I think the mount, flash, timer and preview are a must have these days and for me it makes taking photographs easier.

Taking photos!

I started by taking an indoor photograph of a model plane and I liked the result.

A sample photo of a model plane.

I think what I liked most during my quick use of the camera is the macro mode. With a press of a button to set the mode, I think it takes acceptable macro photos.

A sample flower photo.

I did have to take quite a few macro photos as some were blurred, but I don’t have a steady hand and I wasn’t using a tripod or timer.

I had the camera set the camera to auto mode for the outdoor photos and I’m quite impressed by the level of detail of the geese in the background of this photo as well as the swans in the foreground.

A sample photo of swans.

What I didn’t like was the beach photograph, which came out darker than I expected with a saturated sky. Though the detail of items on the ground seems reasonable.

A sample beach photo.

It’s at this stage, that I need to go out again and try another mode, such as landscape and see what occurs.

Recording video

I recorded a MPEG-1 640×480 pixel video with the camera and despite the low quality I thought the video sound was okay. However I wouldn’t use this camera for any video and audio recording.

Is there any need for this camera now?

It’s only a 5.1MP camera, so other than wanting to save battery life on a mobile phone, I would prefer to either use my mobile phone which I think takes a better photograph or use a better camera.

I’m probably going to give this camera to charity or use it in a circumstance where I’m okay with potentially damaging the camera. I think back in 2004/5 I would’ve enjoyed using the camera more, but it’s not a Canon camera and I can’t install CHDK, so for me in 2021, I prefer to use other cheap cameras.

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