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Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Review

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Review - Joshua Waller tests the new compact 18.2 megapixel Sony Cyber-shot WX100 camera with 10x optical zoom lens.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100
Price : £175
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Sony Cyber Shot DSC WX100 Front On

The Sony Cyber-shot WX100 is a compact 18.2 megapixel digital camera, with a 10x optical zoom lens and a 2.7inch screen on the back. It's shoots full HD video with stereo sound and optical zoom, and is surprisingly compact fitting in even the smallest pockets.

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Features

Sony Cyber Shot DSC WX100 Front Zoom

The Sony Cybershot WX100 offers an 18.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, a sensor that is currently unique to Sony's cameras, with other manufacturers offering a more modest 16 megapixels. Available in three colours the camera features a high resolution 2.7 inch screen with 460k dots, as well as high speed continuous shooting, full HD video with stereo sound and quick AF.

The camera has a number of additional creative effects, as well as a background defocus mode designed to give the same appearance as photos taken on a Digital SLR. 3D and high resolution sweep panorama shooting are additional features.

Key Features

  • 18.2 megapixel Exmor R (Backlit) CMOS sensor
  • 10x optical zoom, 35mm equivalent: 25-250mm
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilisation
  • 2.7inch screen, 460k dots
  • Full HD video with stereo sound and optical zoom
  • ISO100 to ISO12800
  • 5cm macro
  • Sweep panoramic mode
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black, silver or white

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Handling

Sony Cyber Shot DSC WX100 Top

Handling - The camera has a solid metal body with a sliding switch on the back to select photo, panoramic or video shooting modes. There is little to grip onto, either at the front or the back of the camera, so the provided wrist strap is highly recommended. The buttons are a little small, but this is generally expected with a compact digital camera, and they provide quick access to a number of useful features.
Sony Cyber Shot Wx100 Rear

Menus – The Sony menus differ slightly from other cameras, instead of giving you quick access to a limited number of options, the menu button on the back of the camera gives you quick access to all of the photo options. To go deeper into the menu system, you need to access the setup menu. The setup menu options have all the usual menus, such as shooting, main settings, memory card, and clock, however the idea is that you shouldn't need to enter these settings while taking photos.

Sony Cyber Shot Wx100 Battery

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 240 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take just over 230 photos before the battery went flat.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC WX100 Front Off

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Sony WX100 Sony Alpha A37
Shutter Response 0.00 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15 0.15
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2 0.15
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.4 0.9
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.1 0.5
Shot to Shot with Flash 5.0 0.8
Continuous Shooting
(shots before slow down)
10fps (10 shots) 6fps (11 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A 0.7s
Continuous Shooting - RAW N/A 6fps (7 shots)

Shutter response is excellent, as is focus speed. Shot-to-shot times are reasonable although much slower when using flash. Continuous shooting is very fast at 10fps for 10 shots.

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Detail can be good when the ISO settings are kept low, although the portrait shot above shows quite strong smoothing of detail, although red-eye is low. The camera produces well exposed images with very good colour and the lens provides a versatile zoom range for such a compact camera.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 Lens test images


Lens Performance - The camera produces well exposed images with bright pleasing colour reproduction. Very little barrel or pincushion distortion was noticed and the lens performs well at both wide or telephoto zoom. Dynamic range is reasonable. Purple fringing is noticeable in areas of high contrast particularly in the shot of the trees above. Macro performance is good allowing you to take a photo with the subject just 5cm from the front of the lens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - The camera has ISO settings from 100 to 12800. At ISO6400 and above the camera takes 4 shots and combines them for a lower noise image. ISO100 images show the lowest amount of noise, with good colour. ISO200 shows a slight increase in noise. At ISO400 grain starts to appear in some of the darker colours. This grain increases at ISO800 and detail suffers. At ISO1600 detail suffers again but results should still be usable when resized or on the web. At ISO3200 detail is siginificantly reduced with the image appearing blurred. At ISO6400 and ISO12800 noise is controlled well, with good colour, but low detail, particularly at the highest setting. These settings could be used resized.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) under tungsten lighting performed well, with the Tungsten preset also performing well. AWB under fluorescent lighting produces very good results. Fluorescent presets give a colour cast and we found it best to leave the camera on auto white balance.

Panoramic Standard | 1/800 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Panoramic Standard | 1/800 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100

Sony Cyber Shot WX100 High Res Panoramic DSC00012 | 1/400 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
High Res Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100

Panorama mode - The camera has three panoramic shooting modes, standard, wide and high-res panoramic. To take the photos you simply press the button and pan the camera around while the camera stitches it together instantly - stitching works well for landscapes, although struggles with moving subjects. To take high resolution panoramic images you hold the camera vertically and pan around to take a 10480 x 4096 image - this creates a large 42.9mp image, although completing the panoramic is more tricky than the normal panoramic modes, taking a few tries before getting a complete photo.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of picture effects: HDR Painting, Rich monochrome, Miniature, Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Part colour (Red/Green/Blue/Yellow), Soft High-Key, Watercolour, Illustration. Playback options / effects: Red-eye reduction, unsharp mask, watercolour, and illustration.

Video - The camera features full HD video with stereo sound and optical zoom. The video quality is good with the camera featuring good optical image stabilisation and good focusing performance when using the zoom.


Value For Money

The Sony Cyber-shot WX100 is available for £175, which makes it reasonably good value for money for a high resolution, 10x optical zoom premium compact camera.

Other compact 10x optical zoom cameras:
Nikon Coolpix S800c, Android, Wi-Fi, GPS, £379
Panasonic Lumix SZ5, Wi-Fi, £175
Sony Cyber-shot W690, £115
Nikon Coolpix S6300, £115
Olympus VR-340, £83
Panasonic Lumix SZ7, £145
Panasonic Lumix SZ1, £115
Samsung ST200F, Wi-Fi, £105
Fujifilm FinePix T400, £89

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot WX100 is a very compact 18 megapixel camera with full HD video, and stereo sound. If you don't mind that the camera has a 2.7 inch screen, rather than the more common 3 inch screen in this category, then this is a great camera, with an abundance of features (and the 2.7 inch screen helps make this camera smaller). Image quality is good, with good colour and exposure. Handling is good with a solid metal body that will easily fit into pockets. The camera offers reasonable value for money with high speed shooting and quick focus speeds, with good video performance as well.

 
  The Sony Cyber-shot WX100 is a stylish, and surprisingly powerful compact camera that should be with you at all times.

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Pros

Good build quality
Extremely compact 10x zoom camera
Reasonable noise performance 
10fps continuous shooting
Excellent panoramic modes, including high-res panoramic
Good macro mode
Very good video performance

Sony Cyber-shot WX100 Cons

18 megapixels may be overkill for little actual increased detail
Detail suffers as ISO increases
Not much to hold on to

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 Specifications

ManufacturerSony
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 250mm
Optical Zoom10x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels18.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeExmor CMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution460,800 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Spot
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS25
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • Memory Stick
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium NP-BG1
CIPA Rating240
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BN), AC Adaptor (AC-UB10/UB10B), Micro USB, Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual, AC Power Cord
Dimensions
Weight124g
Width92.3mm
Height52.4mm
Depth21.6mm

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Photographs taken using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100

A Different Perspectivebeliefburning flowerlife in a flowerlife in a flowermark of lovevillage saviorlight paintingdigital painting brushthe verticalgolden rays on shellmark of lovesmiling eyesthe taaj pillarpainted nature
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