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The Cybershot DSC-W690, announced in February 2012, is a slim and easy to use camera from Sony. It has a 10x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor and is available in black, blue, red and silver for around £134.00.
Other shooting modes include 360 Sweep Panorama and Artistic Picture Effect modes (Toy Camera, Partial Colour, Soft High-Key and Pop Colour). Also found on the W690 is Face Detection, Smile Shutter, Self Portrait Timer and in-camera retouching.
For shooting videos the camera records at 720p HD with optical zoom also available. To help keep videos shake free, even when recording handheld, there is Optical SteadyShot Active Mode.
- 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
- 10x optical zoom G lens (35mm equiv: 25-250mm)
- Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation
- 3 inch 230k dots LCD screen
- Intelligent Auto Mode
- 720p HD movie recording
- ISO 80-3200
- 5cm minimum focusing distance
- 360 Sweep Panorama
- Artistic Picture Effect modes
- Available in black, blue, red and silver
The majority of the camera settings are adjusted via the menu system, it can be a little time consuming but the menus are logical and easy to navigate. The 3 inch screen is easy to see in bright lighting conditions, but the colour reproduction is fairly poor, the images look much better when you view them back on your computer.
The battery has a CIPA rating of 220 shots, during testing we managed just short of 300 shots. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
|Shutter Response||0.125 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||1.3 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.9 secs|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||3.2 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||6.5 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||1.0 fps|
Continuous shooting records at full 16 megapixel resolution.
Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Landscape | 1/640 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Drive | 1/320 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Pet | 1/250 sec | f/5.6 | 24.8 mm | ISO 160
Sample Photos - The W690 takes images that are well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portrait shots have pleasing skin tones, with just a hint of red-eye when shooting with the flash.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/125 sec | f/8.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 44.5 mm | ISO 80
Digital Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 44.5 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/15 sec | f/3.3 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Lens Performance - Detail is good throughout the images when shooting wide or with the full optical zoom, with the camera doing well at keeping purple fringing to a minimum. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, this allows the camera to get close enough to take a decent macro shot.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 ISO test images
ISO80 | 1/6 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO100 | 1/8 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO200 | 1/15 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO400 | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO800 | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO3200 | 1/250 sec | f/5.0 | 14.2 mm
ISO Noise Performance - A sharp noise free image is taken at ISO 80, with only a very slight hint of noise coming in at ISO 100. Images are still sharp at ISO 200 and ISO 400, with noise increasing steadily, as you'd expect. At ISO 800 there is a significant increase in noise, with black and white dots appearing and a softer image produced. Images are very soft at ISO 1600, with an increase in the number of black and white dots causing detail to become lost. This is even more evident when switching to ISO 3200.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 7.9 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - The W690 struggled a little under our incandescent lights, with a magenta cast when using both the AWB (Auto White Balance) and incandescent presets. The AWB does really well under the fluorescent lights, producing a good image, with the three fluorescent settings giving a cast in the image.
Standard Panorama | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 250
Wide Panorama | 1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 250
360 Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/8.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 250
Panorama mode - Panoramas are taken using a sweep method and look good when they have been resized for web use. When you view the full size, they lack lots of detail and you can see areas where there is some ghosting.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 Digital filters
Picture Effect Partial Colour Blue | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Partial Colour Green | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Partial Colour Red | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Partial Colour Soft High Key | 1/8 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Partial Colour Yellow | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Pop Colour | 1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Toy Camera Cool Hue | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Toy Camera Green Hue | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Toy Camera Magenta Hue | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Toy Camera Normal | 1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Picture Effect Toy Camera Warm Hue | 1/30 sec | f/5.0 | 16.2 mm | ISO 400
Digital Filters - There are a range of picture effects available to help you take more creative pictures, with examples of each above.
Video - Below is a video shot at 720p HD. Optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.
Value For MoneyThe Sony Cybershot DSC-W690 is available for around £134.00. Other cameras with a similar specification (16 megapixel sensor and 10x optical zoom) include the Fujifilm FinePix T400 at £92.00, Olympus VR-340 at £99.00, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 at £124.00 and Nikon Coolpix S6300 at £129.95. The Samsung PL210 at £79.00 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 at £179.00 also have 10x optical zoom, but there sensors are 14 megapixels.
Other compact cameras with Wi-Fi are the Canon IXUS 510 HS at £275.00, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX90 at £204.95, Samsung ST200F at £128.00, Samsung WB150F and Canon IXUS 240 HS at £224.00. 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 Cybershot DSC-W690 ProsDecent zoom range in a compact body
Decent image quality
Good colour reproduction
Takes portraits with pleasant skin tones
Available in a range of colours
Sony Cybershot DSC-W690 ConsSome of the buttons are quite small
Slow continuous shooting
Quite slow between shots
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.3 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 250mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||2sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BN), Battery charger, Multi USB, Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual, AC Power Cord|