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Sony Cybershot DSC-WX1 8 to 10 Megapixel
Product DescriptionThe sleek DSC-WX1 incorporates the "Exmor R" CMOS sensor and boasts stunning low-light performance, reducing grain by more than 50%, even without a flash. High speed burst captures 10fps without distortion and expansive Sweep Panorama shots are easy to achieve with press and sweep motion. Control it all on its 2.7" Clear Photo LCD Plus screen. You don't always want to use the flash. The back-illuminated "Exmor R" CMOS sensor delivers stunning low-light performance and increases sensitivity by 2x to reduce noise. Perfect for capturing the low-light mood of the moment.
Submitted by drg a Professional
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2010
Strengths: - Low light images are excellent.
- Sweep Panorama is not just a gimmick!
- Face and Smile detection work well.
- Nice build with minor exception including access door.
- Good LCD.
- Good AF.
- Burst Mode.
Weaknesses: Size I'm putting in the weakness column as this is another almost too small camera. The controls border on being difficult as they are all very close together.
- For what should be optimum lighting for a camera, adjustments are needed to get optimum performance, and it seems to change.
- A couple of features can get in the way including the Dynamic Range Optimization and the Intelligent mode sometimes isn't.
- No viewfinder, but that's common.
- I am not a fan of the Sony Memory Stick Flash, but it works.
- a little slippery with sweaty fingers or probably gloves (but I haven't tried that).
- I don't like where the wrist strap connect in the middle of the camera, though for a neck strap being centered it would be better than many small cameras.
The 3 star rating is based on the full price of the camera, the less than overwhelming images in all modes and that this is a potential 'slip through my fingers' camera.
This camera was purchases by me for my mother to use at a reunion. The combination of low light capability, Sweep Panorama function, and video function were the primary 'specs' desired. I decided that it shouldn't just be any old camera as I'd use it myself eventually. I found a set of store demo models on sale and choose a 'new' one and at quite a bargain.
So far I have used it regularly but not extensively. The main reason for limited use is that I still was looking for that walking around camera for general use that slips into the pocket. In summer clothing that's even more limited unless it's in cargo shorts/pants. The Sony Cybershot DSC-WX1 is a small, well built, easily slipped in to a pocket or backpack/case camera. The controls are a little fiddly, but few important things are are hidden too deeply in menusl. The first thing to find and switch off is the Scene Recognition and Dynamic Range functions to see how well the basic excellent Exmor Sensor works alone. Then if you need one or both of these 'enhancements' fine, but I find the Dynamic Range enhancement can not always have a pleasing effect.
The modern important bells and whistles for a ultra compact Point and Shoot are available and include Face Detection, Smile Detection, and what Sony calls Motion Detection that appears to be 'tracking focus' with extras. There's a fairly successful Pet Mode that ups the ISO and turns off the flash. It is only average at getting a well focused shot.
Burst Mode and the Anti-Motion Blur are rather interesting uses of the in camera processing. The first lets you shoot up to 10 frames and get the 'best shot'. The later shoots a series of frames in burst mode and processes them together to get the best shot. Or something like that according to the manual.
As I stated at the beginning of this I wanted the Sweep Panorama function. It works tremendously well and quickly. Some of the results don't bear close scrutiny, but it is meant to capture a wide swath like a scenic vista from during a quick stop, and interior while on a tour (works very well for this) or a big group of people that you can't back up far enough to get in one shot! This sweep function is one that I believe each generation of software and camera will just improve on tremendously. Stitching software on a separate computer may soon be a thing of the past except for very specialized purposes.
Finally there's a great little lens with a 24mm(35mm equivalent) focal length that provides a nice wider angle capability. The lens does have a tendency to to do all those bad things that a lens can with optical and orientation based distortions (keystones very easily and some barrel distortion is noticeably in the other plane if the camera isn't held 'square').
As a regular daylight/outdoor camera the contrast and saturation need to be adjusted to not get 'flat' images. Low light shots including open shade or mixed lighting the camera performs much better
There are several functions including Video and Underwater modes that I have used minimally or not at all. I've taken less than 500 photos so far partially because of the listed reasons above but these casual pics have been very acceptable. Mom's reunion photos were great and the one video that someone else took seemed just fine.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $199.00
Purchased At: Dyscern(etailer)
Similar Products Used: Canon, Olympus, and Fuji P/S of various types.
Type of photography: Other