Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1
Clever compact with painless panoramas
Another thing we didn’t like was the fact that the camera doesn’t automatically display your most recent shot during playback; you have to hunt through sub-folders to find it. This is a pain if you simply want to delete your last shot or show someone a shot you’ve just taken.
Sweep Panorama is a boon, but overall performance could be stronger
Gripes over, the DSC-WX1 does have some good things going for it. Switch on is fast - the camera goes from power-on to first shot in about 1.5 seconds. Shutter lag is minimal, and the AF system, swift and responsive. The menu system is very friendly and includes text descriptions. The Sweep Panorama system is a delight to use. We also liked the fact that the tripod bush is mounted to the left of the camera bottom, so you can change the battery or card without having to remove the DSC-WX1 from a tripod.
We were a little underwhelmed with the DSC-WX1’s performance. The camera’s exposure system tends to overexpose, but even worse, we were disappointed with the creeping noise levels on images with ISO speeds as low as 200. Low light performance was pretty good using the Twilight scene mode, but high ISO settings produced lots of noise. The Hand Held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur modes can produce good results, but many shots in these modes were blurred as a result of slight camera shake as the DSC-WX1 fired off six successive frames.
Video performance suffered a little from judder and the AF system was sluggish at times. On a brighter note, the wide angle lens is really good to have, and the Sweep Panorama system worked a treat. It’s a bit flakey if your subjects are moving, and resolution is reduced, but otherwise, you’ll love the system. Likewise, the continuous shooting mode was superb, although you have to wait more than 15 seconds for the DSC-WX1 to clear its buffer.
All in all, the DSC-WX1 is a bit of a curate’s egg. You get a dinky camera and some nice features like, Sweep Panorama and high-speed, full resolution continuous mode, but at £300, its performance is a bit lacking. We also think Sony should swallow a bit of corporate pride and start offering compacts that use SD cards and standard AV interfaces. ®
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