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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 review
|DATE REVIEWED: 29th Mar 2011||Add Camera To Comparison Chart|
|Camera Type||Compact||Shutter Speeds||1 - 1/1600 sec|
|RRP||£299||ISO Range||125 - 3200|
|Megapixels||12||Focal Length||24 - 120mm|
|Weight||130g||Aperture||f2.4 - 5.9|
|Dimensions||92 x 52 x 22mm (WxHxD)||Focus Distance||5cm - inf|
|LCD Size||2.8 inches||Zoom (Opt)||5x|
|Zoom (Dig)||10x||Storage||SDHC,SDXC, SD, MS Pro Duo, MS Duo|
|Max Resolution||4000 x 3000||Battery Type||Li-Ion|
Sony has gone for substance over style with its DSC-WX5. Breaking the £300 barrier, this smart-looking compact does more than just high-res stills and HD movie recording. It’s made for getting creative with, but also with point-and-shoot close to its heart.
For starters, you have the option to shoot in 3D. This captures your scene in a panoramic fashion, requiring you to slowly pivot on the spot with a steady hand. The camera then renders a 3D panoramic still that can then be viewed on a compatible TV. However, attempting this is a true test of your patience, as moving too quickly (ie faster than a snail) will force the camera to stall and you have to start over. There is, thankfully, a normal iSweep Panorama mode for quickly glancing over a vista.
If 3D isn’t your cup of tea then you’ll be relieved to know that the compact has two additional 2D Auto Adjustment modes: Intelligent and Superior. The difference is that in Superior Adjustment mode the camera reduces blur and noise to produce sharper, better images. The side effect here is you’re kept waiting from shot to shot as the image is rendered. Fortunately, the Intelligent Auto Adjustment mode works much faster with little to no lag between shots, while making the necessary exposure for you. The mode dial also holds a Background Defocus mode, which imitates the effect of a high-end lens by producing an extremely narrow line of focus, similar to that in macro images.
In Program mode, the camera’s manual options lie within the menu. Adjustments include various white balance settings, ISO options, Face and Smile detection modes, and Burst settings too. Outside of the menu there are some handy, one-button adjustments that enable you to change the screen brightness, as well as shortcuts for Smile detection, flash options, and also flicking between tracking and subject focusing for moving or static subjects.
Sony has avoided giving the WX5’s exterior any flair. The compact has a sleek front panel, rounded edges to offset its plainness, and its mode dial and other important buttons dotted on the top and back. The 2.8-inch LCD screen is the main attraction, with the mode dial coming a close second. On the front, the 5x optical zoom G lens sits next to the camera’s small but powerful flash. There’s no grip support for your fingers, so it’s a case of having a delicate touch to navigate around its shell.
Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor boasts excellent low-light performance – and it delivers. By using a different setup, it’s capable of increasing its sensitivity to light for stronger results. This contributes to superior video quality, vibrant panoramas and decent everyday shots. ISO settings start at 125 and rise to a maximum of 3200, with a high sensitivity scene mode just in case. Noise is especially low, and when increasing to ISO 400 the compact handles distortion by softening the picture without creating ugly blotches of colour and noise. Its dynamic range from highlights to shadows also gave a good performance from indoors to outside – we found it difficult to find flaws in the WX5’s performance.
The image quality coupled with its features made the WX5 a joy to use; however, its 3D mode needs developing before it can successfully find its way onto our TV screens.
Put aside the camera’s tedious 3D feature and you have a superb compact that’s fun and easy, and will no doubt help you push your compact skills further
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|Put aside the camera’s tedious 3D feature and you have a superb compact that’s fun and easy, and will no doubt help you push your compact skills further|
Simon’s spent many experimental hours in a homemade, traditional darkroom, and has now transferred that knowledge into the realms of digital with a critical eye.
|Total Camera Reviews||17|
|Average Camera Rating||3.6|
|Simon's Last 5 Reviews|
|Canon IXUS 115 HS||4 / 5|
|Nikon COOLPIX S3100||3 / 5|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5||4 / 5|
|Olympus µ TOUGH 8010||3 / 5|
|Nikon COOLPIX L110||3 / 5|
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