See how the Olympus FE-190 fares against the Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 in this
battle of 6-megapixel, 3x digicams.
We'll start with one category where the Olympus FE-190 is far and away superior: Overall camera construction. The buttons on the FE-190 feel solid, without being either too stiff or too loose. The lens retracts and zooms smoothly, and it feels very good in the hand.
The Sony Cybershot DSC-W50 feels cheaply made, as if quality control is not important in an entry-level camera. There is a lot of play in the cheap-feeling zoom toggle which is wrapped around the shutter button, and the rear multi-controller is ridiculously stiff. The lens retracts and zooms OK, but the retractable lens cover did stick halfway open on a couple of occasions. Sony has a slight edge on the Olympus in the battery/memory card cover, but not by much. Both feel like they might snap off if you sneeze at them. And both cameras have cheap plastic tripod mounts. Be careful about over-tightening!
Overall, the Olympus feels better built than the Sony, except for the 2.5 inch LCD. Sony rules here. There's a hard protective layer above the Sony's LCD, while the Olympus LCD can be pushed and smushed with a slight touch.
Both are slower than more pricey cameras with image processing, with the Sony having a little bit faster shot-to-shot time in shooting mode. In Playback mode, the Olympus is brutally slow, taking over a second between images, while the Sony zips along with almost no redrawing lag.
Burst mode? Sony's barely got one, firing off three shots without flash in just under 2 seconds, while there is no burst mode of any sort on the Olympus.
Ease of use? Olympus gets the nod here. The FE-190 truly is point-and-shoot easy. Turn it on, and it's ready to take your snapshots.