Sony DSC WX100 Review

Mid Zoom Digital Cameras

18 Megapixels    10x Zoom

Dimensions: 92.3 x 52.4 x 21.6mm    Weight: 124g

Good Points: Small size for lens power, general features, shutter response times

Bad Points: Some picture quality issues


Sony DSC WX100 Shutter Lag Rating fast Ease of Use par Camera Name Rating

Overview

The Sony Cybershot DSC WX100 gives you a 10x zoom lens in a very compact body. It also has a number of the latest digital camera features such as Full High Definition Movies with stereo sound, 3D stills and panoramic shots.

Shutter response times are extremely impressive and with 18 megapixels you have the option to crop photos and still manage to produce smaller prints.

Compared with other pocket digital cameras at this price point the Cybershot DSC WX100 has the following:

Plus Points

  • 10x zoom
  • Full High Definition Movies
  • Stereo Sound
  • 10 Frames Per Second Burst Mode
  • Sweep Panoramas
  • 3D Still Images
  • Image Stabilisation for Movies and Still Shots
  • Defocused Backgrounds

Negative Points

  • 2.7 inch LCD screen

Why Buy the Sony DSC WX100

In addition to the long lens for a camera of this size Sony have equipped the Cybershot DSC WX100 with most of the latest buzz features.

Features

Megapixels and Zoom

The Cybershot DSC WX100 has 18 megapixels and a 10x zoom lens. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 25 - 250mm in 35mm format.

Memory Cards

You can store your photos and video clips on various Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Micro cards as well as the more standard SD, SDHC, SDXC and microSD cards.

Batteries

A lithium ion battery is used to provide the power. Sony estimates you should be able to take around 240 shots in between charges. Both a battery and charger are supplied with the camera.

Movie Mode

Full High Definition Movies can be recorded. These have a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and can be captured at 50p. Stereo sound can be recorded.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size. This is smaller than the more common 3 inch screens available on most cameras at this price point.

Shooting Modes

Sony have included a number of preset shooting modes. These help the camera to work out what the optimum settings are for the type of photo you are about to take. The shooting modes are: Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Anti Motion Blur, Backlight Correction HDR, Night Portrait, Night Scene, High Sensitivity, Handheld Twilight, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Gourmet, Pet Mode and Landscape.

Macro Mode

For close up shots the Cybershot DSC WX100 is capable of focusing from 5cm away from your subject.

Sweep Panorama

When you place the camera in sweep panorama mode all you need to do is press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in an arc. The camera does the rest for you. The angle captured is a little less than 180 degrees.

3D Photography

In addition to being able to produce standard 3D shots you can also create 3D panoramic shots.

Image Stabilisation

Image Stabilisation is available for both still photos and movies. The special Active Mode helps to make your movie clips look smoother and less jerky.

High Speed Shooting

When you are trying to capture fast moving action you have the option to switch the camera into burst mode. Once the camera is in burst mode it is able to capture photos at a rate of up to 10 frames per second.

Defocusing Backgrounds

Professional photographers often produce photographs where they throw the background out of focus. This technique helps to accentuate the subject and is often used for portrait shots. The Cybershot DSC WX100 has a special mode that does this automatically for you.

Self Portraits

For when you would like to appear in the picture Sony have included a special self timer mode. The portrait self timer will wait until you are in the right position before taking a picture.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

Picture quality is good enough for prints a little larger than snapshot size and for sharing on the Internet. There are one or two areas where the camera could do better and if the best possible picture quality is very important to you then there are better cameras available. If on the other hand you are not looking to make larger sized prints and decent snapshot quality is what you are looking for then this camera should meet your requirements.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

Compared with other digital cameras in this price bracket the quality of this shot is average. Although the brickwork on the building in the centre of the shot is in sharp focus there is a loss of detail in the lightest areas of the shot on the surfaces of the boats. Colours are vivid, but I would like to have seen some extra clarity in the more shady parts of the scene.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

For a camera with such a wide angle of view the overall quality of this shot is good. The level of detail that the Cybershot DSC WX100 manages to show is better than a lot of cameras manage.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

This photo takes on a hazy look if you increase the image size on a computer screen. Although you are unlikely to really notice this with smaller prints it may become an issue for you if you plan to make large prints. In this shot the problem occurs mainly around the boats and it creates a question mark over how well the Cybershot DSC WX100 copes with very light coloured objects.

Outdoor Building

On the whole this is a better effort than the previous picture, but in shady areas the definition of the shot is not as good as you might expect to see. The picture is sharp at the centre with a slight fall off in detail as you reach the edges of the shot.

Outdoor Portrait

Working with the camera much closer to your subject produces a pleasing portrait shot. As with other shots the Cybershot DSC WX100 manages to pull plenty of light into the picture to give you a bright shot. Any signs of haze or noise have completely disappeared.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

Plenty of light is produced by the flash unit. If anything the amount of light it kicks out is a little overdone. The plus side is that the picture is bright with light spreading out to reach all areas. The downside is that with a lot of light centred on the face some skin colouring is lost.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

Despite the flash unit being turned off the Cybershot DSC WX100 still manages to pack a lot of brightness into the portrait. This helps to lighten tricky areas such as the hair. As long as there is good indoor lighting available you should have the option to use the camera indoors without always needing to use flash.

Macro

The macro shot is impressive for a small compact digital camera. In terms of sharpness the picture compares very well against similar cameras. The colours are vivid and the lighting is good too.

Colours

Colours look accurate and are a fair reflection of the scenes when each picture was taken. If you are planning to photograph lots of landscapes with sky showing then you should see plenty of deep blues and greens.

Noise

There was more noise showing in some of the shady areas than I expected to see. There was also an issue with a general haziness when the lens was fully zoomed in and there were a lot of light areas in the shot.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100

For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review

Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100

The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.

Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review

Panasonic DMC SZ1 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a simple, pocket camera that gives you some extra zoom and takes high quality snapshots the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ1 is a very good choice. Compared to other cameras with similar features available at around the same price this camera has the edge when it comes to picture quality. It takes sharp, colourful photos and offers excellent value for money. Recommended.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC SZ1 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC WX100 Specification

Sony DSC WX100 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: June 2012

Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC WX100 certainly gives you a great deal of lens power for a pocket sized camera. On top of this it also includes a lot of the latest features such as sweep panoramas and 3D shooting. It also has an advanced movie mode. For a camera with this price tag picture quality could be that bit better, but you are unlikely to be troubled by this unless you are planning to make seriously large prints. The Cybershot DSC WX100 faces a fair amount of competition. What it has on its side is its combination of up to date features and its speedy responses. These make it well worth considering if you are looking for a pocket camera with plenty of zoom.

Ratings

Ease of Use:
Features:
Movie Mode:
Build Quality:
Colours:

8
8
9
8
8

Photo Quality:
Style:
Indoors:
Macro:
Value for Money:

Total:

8
8
8
8
8

81

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:
Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

18
10x
2.7 inches
92.3 x 52.4 x 21.6mm
124g
5cm
Yes
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Memory Stickā„¢ Duo SD / SDHC / SDXC plus some micro formats

Shutter Lag Times

Single Shot:
Five Shots:
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:

0.19 seconds
8.11 seconds
0.51 seconds
15.25 seconds
2.48 seconds

Shutter Lag Table

Handling

General Handling

This may be a small camera, but there is still just about enough room to get a good hold. The back of the camera is a bit cramped when it comes to finding a place to rest your thumb.

Flash Positioning

If you look at the camera face on you will notice Sony have placed the flash unit to the left of centre. Situating the flash in this position makes it easy to keep any stray fingers clear of the flash unit. This means you are unlikely to accidently block out light.

LCD Screen Quality

The LCD screen has around 460,000 dots. This is twice as many as more basic cameras have and helps to give the screen extra clarity.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

Shutter response is a big plus point with the Cybershot DSC WX100 being one of the fastest cameras around when it comes to taking a single shot. Short bursts are rapid too, with even faster times being available if you place the camera in burst mode. The time taken to turn the camera on and take the first shot is faster than standard.

Design and Build Quality

As mentioned above this is a very small camera to have such a long lens. Although the lens unit is fairly flush to the camera body it still dominates the front of the camera. The camera feels like it has been well made.

Camera Controls

On the top of the camera are the on / off button, shutter button and zoom control ring.

The back of the camera looks different to a lot of digital cameras with a mixture of button types. There are two standard round buttons. One button is near the top for shooting movies and one near the bottom for reviewing images. Also near the top is a slider for selecting the shooting mode. The options are still photos, panoramas and movies. Lower down are vertical buttons for accessing the menu, deleting images and displaying help text.

Half way up is a circular control section. This gives you access to changing the LCD display, setting the self timer, choosing the flash mode, placing the camera in burst mode and confirming a setting. It also includes a wheel that speeds up selecting options in the menu system.

Product Shots

Front View

Sony DSC WX100 Front View

Back View

Sony DSC WX100 Back View

Top View

Sony DSC WX100 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Buy the Sony DSC WX100

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GBP 194.99
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