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Home arrow Digital Camera Reviews arrow Sony > arrow Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX1 Digital Camera Review
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX1 Digital Camera Review
sony091223.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 

 

There’s almost nothing bad to say about Sony’s Cyber-Shot DSC-WX1.

This stylish and affordable unit is as easy to use as it is extremely compact and its tiny size denies the powerful internal back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor that helps the WX1 produce a grade of image quality rarely seen in cameras of its class.

Particularly under low lighting conditions, the WX1 is likely to far outperform its immediate competition and quite possibly a number of cameras that plead to be more advanced while proving even more demanding on the hip pocket.

Certainly up to, if not beyond, ISO 800 images fair very well in the noise department with the full ISO range stretching from 160-3200.

Along with being decked out with all of the expected features of a modern compact camera e.g. face detection, scene modes, intelligent auto mode, musical slideshow playback, auto scene selector and movie mode etc. the WX1 offers hand-held twilight mode for steady shooting outdoors in low light, anti-motion blur mode for steady shooting indoors in low light, and sweep panorama mode for the easiest panorama shooting Buy-n-Shoot has ever seen!

Simply switch the mode dial to sweep panorama mode, select whether you want to pan left-to-right, up-to-down and vice versa, and fire away.

A tripod is completely unnecessary. Simply rotate your body once you’ve fired the shutter and wait only a second or two for the camera to produce a stitched and up to 256-degree 5mp panorama – either horizontally or vertically - as quickly and as easily as that.

The results truly are very impressive and probably up to 95% of the time, seam-free! While the WX1 is certainly not the first compact to offer a version of assisted panorama shooting, it is by far the easiest and most successful we’ve seen.

Smile shutter is an additional feature that, when selected, automatically determines whether the subject/s is smiling and takes the photo only when that is determined to be the case. Particularly for self-portraits, this feature is extremely handy and a bit of a novelty to share with friends as well.

The WX1 is fitted with a bright F2.4 high-grade Sony G lens that offers a wide-reaching 24mm angle of view, allowing for fully captured landscapes, group photos and interior shots even from close proximity.

5x optical zoom is available and remains fully operational whilst recording High Definition video (with sound) at 720p and 30fps.

In terms of speed, it’s fair to say this unit is a little sprinter. Start-up time is just over 1.5 seconds including lens extension, autofocus is near on instant, the WX1 can shoot some 350 shots on a single battery life and is also capable of capturing up to 10fps of continuous shooting and all at full 10.2megapixel resolution.

If you’re an avid sports fan, have young children or fast-moving pets that are difficult to take focused photos of, or you generally just find it tricky to capture the peak of any action, this feature will help ensure better results and capture of the precise moment of action time after time.

While the speed of the burst mode itself cannot be denied, it does take a couple of seconds for each of the frames to be stored on either the internal memory or the provided memory card before either further shooting or playback can commence.

Borrowing from the technology behind said burst mode, hand-held twilight and anti-motion blur modes fire six shots each at the time of shooting and then combine them in-camera to create the best possible results, which generally means good preservation of detail and the minimisation of noise.

The best part is that all of this happens almost unbeknownst to the user due to the fact that it’s a completely automatic process that once again, happens at what seems a lightning pace.

As discreet in sound as it is in size and weight, the metal-bodied WX1 operates with minimal beeps, shutter sounds, and selection tones and rests comfortably in hand at just 149g (battery, memory card and strap included.)

With the lens fully retracted, the unit is only some 19.8mm wide and with minimal fuss could be carried around in a shirt or pant pocket or handbag at all times.

Given its small proportions one could be forgiven for presuming the size and perhaps even quality of the LCD screen had been sacrificed as a result but indeed, that is not the case. The WX1’s back is flooded with a 2.7-inch 230,00-dot screen that offers a clear, bright picture.

Given its susceptibility to fingerprints and reflections however, viewing the LCD under bright sunlight can occasionally be difficult although this isn’t uncommon amongst compact cameras generally.

The button-driven user interface on the WX1 (as opposed to the touchscreen operation of its Cyber-Shot cousin, the TX1) is very traditional, logical and therefore easy to operate.

There are no rubber pads or grip sections on the unit’s body but in saying that, the WX1 is comfortable to hold and operate with the controlling thumb generally resting on the two-way zoom toggle.medal-gold-r.jpg

The couple of minor downfalls to the WX1 include the limiting maximum shutter speed of just two seconds, which for after-dark photography is fairly limiting, along with the fairly standard performance of the intelligent auto and easy modes in terms of image quality.

Yes, for happy snaps they absolutely more than suffice but this camera is capable of a lot more at heart and as a result, will provide optimum images with a little manual and specific mode and feature control.

As a complete package, there isn’t much that the Cyber-Shot DSC-WX1 doesn’t offer: it’s sleek and stylish, affordably priced, produced quality images, is packed full of an array of expected features s well as being topped with numerous little cherries to really help this camera assert itself amongst the pack.

 

Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3.5 stars
Value for money 4.5 stars
RRP (AUD) $499
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 10.2 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 11 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 24mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 120mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 5x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 3,648 x 2,736
Shooting Modes 11 Scene options
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm]  
Aperture Range Auto (F2.4 - F5.9) / Program Auto (F2.4 - F5.9)
Aperture Priority No
Macro No
Macro Range [cm] Wide: Approx. 5-Infinity, Tele: Approx. 50-Infinity (in Auto Mode)
Shutter Speeds Auto (2" - 1/1,600) / Program Auto (1" - 1/1,600)
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto / 160 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.7" (230K pixels), Clear Photo LCD Plus
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Synchro
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Fluorescent / Incandescent / Flash / One Push, One Push Set
Self Timer Yes (10sec / 2sec / off)
HD Movie Option Yes (HD / SD)
Movie Sizes 640 x 480, 30fps, Approx.3Mbps, 1280 x 720, 30fps, Approx.6Mbps, 1280 x 720, 30fps, Approx.9Mbps
Video Out Yes
Audio Out Yes
Other Out  
Storage Type Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo. Memory Stick PRO Duo High Speed (No Speed Advantage), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™(No Speed Advantage)
Storage Included [Mb] 11mb internal
Still Image Formats JPEG
Audio Formats No stand alone feature
Movie Formats MPEG4
Connectivity USB, Auto / Mass Storage / PTP, MTP / PictBridge
Power Source BC-CSG  Battery charger
Battery Options Lithium ION Battery NP-BG
Dimensions (W) 90.5 x (H) 51.8 x (D) 19.8 mm
Weight 120g

 


 

 
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