The Cyber-shot camera user interface delivers on usability, offering an intuitive way to find your way around settings plus shortcuts for working the shooter.
Glowing blue function icons are illuminated on the top row of number buttons (3, 6, 9 an #) when the phone's held in landscape with the camera activated, guiding you to quick shortcuts for selecting shoot mode, scenes, focus and flash.
The camera provides a decent selection of custom shooting options for optimising results and adding effects. In addition to the usual white balance, exposure, and standard phone options, there are a variety of scene options for different types of shooting and lighting situations. Also included are a macro shooting mode, which works pleasingly for autofocus close ups.
Another focus aid is the Face Detection technology, which can pick out up to three faces in different parts of the viewfinder, allowing you to focus on the one you want.
With a further Smile Shutter option, after the shutter button's pressed the camera will only takes snaps when it detects a smile from the subject in focus. Both these extras are effective within a few feet of the camera. The camera also has a geo-tagging capability – recording the approximate position where the snap's taken, using cellsite triangulation rather than GPS.
Results from the camera are generally pretty good for a 3.2-megapixel camera, capturing images with a decent amount of detail and accurate colour reproduction in reasonable lighting conditions. Shots can be very presentable. Close up shots were impressive in macro mode too, and the camera appeared to handle contrast and exposure pretty well.
Low light shooting isn't so good, however, with the dual LED flash not performing as well as a more upmarket xenon flash would. It has limited effect over more than very close range, and shots in dark conditions look murky.
The C510 is set up to allow fast uploading of images. As well as Blogger accounts, MySpace and Picasa are supported out of the box, while additional online services can be easily added.
On top of some basic onboard editing software Sony Ericsson allows for some offboard tweakery by supplying Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition software for PCs on a CD.