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After having an SLR camera for the last few years in order to get great pictures when on holiday i was quite surprised when i got home from my holiday in south africa this january at the qaulity of the pictures for such a small camera i took identical pictures in some cases with my SLR camera just to see what the diffrence was and although you can do more with your SLR pics on the camera the Sony dsc wx1 on the auto mode sorts it all out for you ,one feature for buying the sony was the panoramic view and the pics i got from this are fantastic and will be getting printed onto canvas .
The DSC WX1 screen is big and easy to view and the smile detection is great fun ,the face detection feature is great when there is a lot of people in one shot as it can track and zoom all on its own i am now considering buying the docking station as this would make it fully automatic taking pics just another great feature on a great camera if your looking for something fully loaded and small this is a very good choice to make
Thanks Santa! - Probably the best present I have ever received, a Sony WX1, a great upgrade from my treasured Sony W80 I have had in my possession for nearly 3 years now.
Now the first thing that attracted me to this camera is it's beautiful body (steady...) and slim size, this camera looks expensive and it is - why should you pay around £300 for a camera, when you can pick one up from Tesco that is also 10 megapixel for nearly £250 less?
Well let's answer this question I'm sure a lot of people ask themselves when trying to decide which camera is right for them...It's important to understand before we begin the three main components of a camera that make up the price tag.
1. The sensor - "A device that converts an optical image to an electric signal" or in English, the device that determines how much light can be taken in before the camera has to reach for the flash button,
the better the sensor the better your pictures in low light conditions will look.
2. The processor - The device that takes the data sent to the camera from the sensor.
3. The lens - "an optical lens or assembly of lenses used in conjunction with a camera body to make images of objects" or in English, the part of the camera that determines the detail and clarity of what you are looking at.
The reason that camera in Tesco is £49.99, it has poor excuses of a lens, processor and sensor - thus, worse pictures!
Sony WX1 camera features
Optical zoom 5X - The amount of zoom the lens will do, not to be confused with digital zoom which is a higher number but basically stretches the image to give a zoomed effect.
24mm wide angle lens - The wider the lens, the more you can fit in the image.
EXMOR R CMOS sensor - One of the main features of this camera is its inclusion of the Exmor R sensor, this is currently exclusive with Sony until the middle of this year. The "R" in Exmor R stands for reverse, Sony have actually turned the sensor upside down so that maximum light hits the sensor, thus giving you excellent picture quality where light is limited (i.e. an evening party)
BIONZ processor - The same processor that Sony use on their current range of digital SLR cameras, BIONZ gives fantastic image clarity, colour depth and detail.
2.7" LCD screen - The screen actually has an anti-glare coating on it, this allows you to be able to take images where there is a lot of glare on the screen, an invaluable feature to have if you are taking this on a nice sunny holiday with you. The screen itself is a lovely quality and keeps up quickly when you move the camera around your subject. The only down point is maybe the inclusion of a 3" screen, like its sister camera the TX1.
720p HD movie recording - This records film in stunning HD quality (you can also select lower quality modes to fit more onto your memory card or for quicker transfer times to your PC) - it also does a good job with sound too which is rare for a camera.
10FPS shooting - The WX1 can take pictures 10 times every second, this mode is perfect for people who take shots of subjects that move fast (footballers, car racing, motorbikes etc)
ISO 3200 - This aids the sensor in giving fantastic low light pictures, the higher the ISO level, the lower the noise or pixilation within the image.
Smile shutter - Another Sony exclusive feature, this basically takes pictures for you! - Turn this mode on and aim at a person, the moment they smile, it will take a snap, resulting in fantastic pictures.
The final mode worth mention is the new Sweep Panorama mode; this mode was first introduced on the HX1 back in March with a price tag of £499, this mode has now been added to this camera. Sweep Panorama takes 30 separate pictures as you move the camera across a landscape (works around 180 degrees) the camera then instantly stitches together these 30 pictures and gives you one long panoramic shot. The end results are stunning and perfect for holidays or walks in the country.
Included in the box
TV cable to view images back on your big screen
Rechargeable battery, takes around 250 shots on a single charge
Quick reference guide
Power cable for charging battery
- Picture quality is stunning in all conditions, the inclusion of Exmor R now gives the user the ability to take shots without having to reach for the flash and giving people's faces the white out effect!
- Great build quality, all the buttons are well placed, easy to use and the camera has a good weight to it.
- HD movie recording is a very good standard, if you don't have a camcorder or yours is like mine and takes VHS videos! - this camera is a great all in one solution.
- The size is just right, not too small to make it fiddly but small enough to fit snuggly in your pocket.
- Features, this camera has plenty but more importantly, features that are useful and can be used daily, sweep panorama,
- Optical zoom is low for a camera of this price tag, if it was around 7 or 8 this would sell much better and set it apart from cameras that sit around £100 less.
- No HD cable in the box, if you want to view HD video back on your TV, you have to pay extra for a cable to do this!
- Uses the Sony memory stick pro duo memory card - Most people are now used to SD cards so be prepared to spend up to £20 for a 2GB card that only fits Sony products (laptops, PS3, PSP etc).
- Price, there's no getting away from it, this is expensive - although I hope after reading this review you can appreciate why the price tag sits a lot higher than the Currys bank holiday special!
All things taken into consideration, this camera would be perfect for anybody - the inclusion of HD movie recording potentially saves you £500 you would of spent on an average HD camcorder. Yes this is expensive, yes there may be models available without Sweep Panorama and an EXMOR R sensor, but if you want the ultimate camera in a lovely style and pocket size, then get one of these!
If you can pick this up for £250 or less and this is a 9/10
The DSC-WX1 features a 10.2-megapixel "Exmor R" CMOS image sensor, G lens for fast speed, high resolution, and Fantastic low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain--2x better than traditional sensors of equivalent size and pixel count. 5 x Optical Zoom, 24mm wide angle lens, BIONZ image processor delivers extremely fast 10fps. Anti Motion Blur, Hand-held Twilight and 720p movie modes, battery: Li-ion rechargeable gives Approx 350 shots 150 min video shooting time, ISO 160-3200, In-Camera Editing : Trimming / Red Eye Correction
Program Auto, Scene Recognition Auto, Easy, Sweep Panorama, Anti Motion Blur, Handheld Twilight, SCN, Movie. Optical Steady Shot image stabilization, Smile and Face Detection, 10 frames burst mode, Movie, Auto Adjustment, Water Scenes, High Sensitivity, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Hi-speed Shutter, Underwater, Food, Pets.
Camera is very easy to use and set up, the large 2.7" LCD screen on the back looks very nice and makes reading and selecting menu text and items easy.
The low light photos this WX1 takes are fantastic, although i have not used it extensively all photos taken have been good with very little noise.
You can just put the WX1 in auto mode (easy) and it detects the scene automatically, again it does a fantastic job at this even as to use fill in flash.
Smile and Face Detection work really well and you can select who's face it uses (Up to 8), and how big the smile needs to be before it automatically takes the shot, keep a glum face and it will wait till you smile. It also has Blink and face motion detection.
Really love the sweep panoramic mode, Just select the Sweep Panoramic mode on the back, push the shoot button and move the WX1 slowly round and it automatically stitches the photo together for a great panoramic photo.
Video function is good Using the MPEG-4 (.MP4) format, Record up to 29 minutes (or up to 2 GB) per movie in 720p format, Camera mic is mono. You can also use the Zoom during recording. 1280 x 720 (Fine) (Approx.30fps, Progressive); 1280 x 720 (Standard) (Approx.30fps, Progressive); 640 x 480 VGA (Approx.30fps, Progressive)
Bracketed exposure, set it to automatically take 3 photos with the exposure set 0.3/0.7/1.0 apart. this it great for HDR photography or just to get the right exposure.
Has some in camera memory but uses the Memory Stick PROTM upto 16Gb sticks, i'm using the Sandisk 4Gb rather than the Sony Branded type and they work fine.
I'm using the camera with Windows 7 and it works fine.
This WX1 packs a lot of great features(which for the money it should).
This is a great looking camera... and I anticipated good things. You see Sony had been bragging about their new Exmor R sensor and how it performed so well in low light. It also was going to deliver some cool party features and HD video.
Well, they were right about the Exmor R. It does perform well. The camera has lots of scene modes. One of them is called Twilight mode, where it takes six photos without flash and combines them into one. In my test it worked very well. There is also a neat thing called Sweep Panorama. Normally when you want to take a panoramic photo (you know, the long thin photo of a landscape) you have to take plenty of photos, then put them on your computer, join together and spend time erasing the joins. Well the WX1 you just point at your start point, click, then smoothly pan the camera around. It then joins everything up into a 5 megapixel panorama photo. It worked flawlessly for me and I couldn't see the joins.
Normal photos are equally as good, with a nice 10.2 megapixel resolution. Nice colours and detail. The controls are nice and easy to master too. The battery life is also pretty nice, I got around 320 photos and a couple of videos on one charge... now onto the videos.
Well, this is what lets the side down. The video quality is good, but the 5x optical zoom is not. When recording, you zoom in, but the sound of the lens moving records a buzzing whirring noise on the video footage. This is not acceptable. It is either picking up internal noise or it is down to the position of the microphone (right next to the lens).
This is a shame, as the camera is very cool. It even has face and smile detection that works. Plus an add-on that rotates and pans the camera and automatically takes photos at parties.
My advice, is to only buy if you can put up with flawed video recording.