on May 5, 2014
A year ago I purchased the predecessor to this camera, the WX300. I had mixed feelings about it since I loved the long optical zoom, size and Wifi capabilities; however due to the extreme over-processing of the JPEG images from the tiny 1/2.3" sensor I wasn't pleased with the overly smoothed "painted" look, over noise corrected images (particularly when viewed at 100% on my monitor), so I returned it to my local BB.
Now, when this current edition WX350 came out and I was able to see it and handle it a bit at the local store I was skeptical that it wouldn't be appreciably different than its predecessor. But, since the images tried in the store looked good I took a chance and bought it at a very good price (comparable to Amazon's). I've been taking some test shots over the course of the last week, and also decided to take it to a kids' soccer game this weekend and shot it alongside my Nikon D7000 DSLR with 18-200mm lens. Looking at the results, side-by-side in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4, I was highly impressed! Not only did this little P&S nail the focus in a fast moving sports activity at least 95% of the time, but the look of the JPEG files at 100% was much better than I had expected. At auto ISO captures between 80~800 there was minimal over sharpening and noise reduction, colors were bright and saturated (a tad bit more than my taste), and all were worthy of either larger size web presentation or printing up to 8x10 (maybe even 11x14) right out of the camera. The few videos I took also exhibited great focus tracking on the fly and the HD quality and sound were very nice. I'm still playing with settings and seem to prefer the regular auto over the "Intelligent Auto" feature. I don't use the scene setting much since the basic auto setting actually selects these "automagically."
In the end, I had more off-focus images from the Nikon DSLR (set at auto focus point select and auto tracking) than on this minuscule Sony P&S! I was shooting JPEGS (the only option) out of the WX350, and RAW images (later tweaked in Lightroom) out of the D7000. Needless to say, as a former professional photographer (now just having fun as a hobby), I feel that Sony has really delivered on this camera at an amazing price point with a quality build, to boot! I also don't really see the need for most users to go to Sony's flagship point and shoot cameras like the RX100 or RX100 MKII. Those do have the 1" class sensor for less high ISO noise, but the new BIONZ X image processing (same as used in Sony's new full frame a7 full frame series cameras) makes the significant improvement in the WX350 over the WX300. Since most of the other specs in this camera didn't change over the WX300 I'm guessing that the improved image processing has to be the result of the upgrade in image processing engine.
You will find this camera hard to beat at the mid-two hundred dollar price range, and it should drop even further over the next 6 months. For the casual shooter, amateur, or pro the WX350 is an excellent primary P&S or pocket back-up. Very quick into action with fast zoom, great video and fast focus it is now with me most of the time and is far faster to get into action than my cell phone camera. Speaking of that, having an Android phone with NFC, it's really cool to be able to pull up an image on the WX350 and tap it to my phone to copy the shot. Controlling the camera from my phone works great, too, although I don't know how often I would personally use this feature - perhaps for candids of kids or wildlife, or such. Oh yes, the battery life also is great, as well (good thing since you will need to charge the battery in the camera, tying it up (one downside, but you pay less for the absence of a dedicated charger).
Finally, I have to say that I would buy the Sony DSC-WX350 again with no hesitation for a "carry it everywhere, all the time" camera that you can have confidence will provide the shots you need when you need them for much enjoyment....
on March 23, 2014
I couldn't wait to get my hands on one of these, so I picked one up at the local BB, and I have to say, the wait was worth it. This is probably as close to a DSLR as you can get while still keeping the ease of a pocket sized point and shoot. It's laden with features, such as object tracking (think golf swing analysis!), lock in auto focus, which is great for movies...oh, and speaking of movies, it shoots full 1080p at 60p, and the image stabilization is incredibly efficient, even at the full 20x optical zoom. Smooth, smooth video on par with a GoPro without the fish eye effect.
The sensor is amazing. extremely low light with no noise, and super crisp pictures...ALMOST on par with the NEX 5T. I generally give a camera the "jeans" test, where I shoot a close up of denim fabric, then blow it up to fullest magnification and look at the detail level. The detail level looks like a microscope...exactly what I look for.
The LED display is fairly intuitive, is bright and crisp, so you get an excellent idea of how your pictures will look when printed. My only complaint is that I'm used to a touch screen, which this doesn't have. Some people like that, some people don't. I would have preferred one as it makes navigating so much easier, but again, the point is quality photos and video. I'll throw a couple shots up so you can see for yourself.
I won't say this is a steal at $299.00, but in this case, you DO get what you pay for.
Great, great camera!
on June 30, 2014
20X Optical zoom (40X Digital)
Excellent battery life
Good image quality
Very good image stabilizer
LED screen can be hard to see in bright sunlight.
This camera is easy to use. For those who want to shoot nice photos without fuss just choose the automated setting you prefer and forget about it. I find the automatic settings produce very good results over all. I think either the Intelligent Auto or Superior Auto (higher quality) setting will produce acceptable results in almost all situations. For movies just press the movie button on the top rear of the camera to begin recording and press it again to stop. It's as simple as that.
I have found the auto focus to be quick and accurate under varying conditions. The only exception to this may be long telephoto shots in minimal light. For non telephoto shots in low light the camera has an auto focus illuminator which lights for a second to establish focus. This works well. The camera controls are easy to use and have a nice feel to them..
It took a little while for me to get acquainted with Sony's menu system, but once you get the hang of where they put things, it's ok. Frequently adjusted settings such as flash on / off, single shot / burst mode and what info is displayed on the screen and can be selected quickly with one tap on the control wheel on the back of the camera with no need to go into the menus.
Shooting still photos couldn't be easier. Aim and press the button, the camera does the rest. The camera produces good images.
About Movies. A couple of things I noticed. The sound of the zoom motor that is picked up by the camera is minimal in my opinion. More noticeable was noise in the form of little clicks and squeaks introduced by my fingers physically handling the camera and operating the telephoto zoom switch. Considering the small size of the camera and the close proximity of your hands, controls and the microphones I think that most cameras of this type are going to pick up some sounds. With careful attention to your hands on the camera while shooting movies you should be able to minimize the amount of noise you introduce by physically handling the camera controls. The camera also has a wind noise reduction setting for shooting movies. It seems to be effective.
I expected that the image quality of the camera at 20X zoom and especially at 40X (20X optical, 20X digital zoom) would be marginal at best. To my surprise I found that the image stabilization works exceptionally well and that hand held shots at 20X are quite acceptable, even at 40X you can anticipate acceptable results. I shot hand held videos of a hummingbird at a feeder at 30X and the video came out clear and in focus. Amazing.
The manual states the camera can use SDHC or SDXC memory cards. When researching which camera to buy, I found conflicting information on various sites whether the SDXC cards were supported. I am happy to report that they are. I am using an SDXC Class 10, 80MB read/write speed, 64GB capacity card with no problems. I would recommend a fast card that can keep up with writing to the card while recording HD movies or taking burst shots. I have not experienced any problems using this card. The manual states that the camera has been tested to accept up to 64GB SDHC or SDXC cards. Implying that it may or may not support larger capacity cards. If you think 64GB may not be enough capacity for you, I might suggest buying extra 64GB cards rather than chancing a larger (and more expensive) card.
The camera has a solid feel to it. Some reviews felt that the camera was so small that it was difficult to hold. I do not find this to be the case. I have large hands and have had no problems in that area.
I purchased a separate Sony battery charger (Model No. BC-TRX) so I could be charging a battery while using the other battery in the camera. As for charge times. The initial charge using the camera to charge the battery took about 2 ½ hours. Using the Sony battery charger took about 2 hours to fully charge the battery. The difference in charge times may or may not be due to the amount of charge, if any, in the new battery to begin with.
I don't have a need for WiFi, so I can't comment on that feature.
For those who don't want to deal with a lot of manual settings to take good pictures, this camera should serve you well. If you want or need more manual control over your picture taking this likely isn't the camera for you.
AN ADDITIONAL NOTE ON FLASH PHOTOS. Taking a flash photo that is very close to the subject, in my instance about 6", the cameras extended lens casts a small arched shadow in the lower left corner of the picture as it blocks the output of the flash in that direction. Otherwise, the picture taken this close with flash had a good exposure, not too bright or washed out as might be suspected. It looked good.
on May 6, 2014
We want to preface this review by stating that we are big fans of Sony, having purchased a significant number of electronic devices from this company since the late 1970's (With the first Walkman). We have rarely been disappointed. The Sony DSC-WX350 is a very small camera which is capable of producing excellent image quality in both still and video modes.
It is capable of recording video in true 1080 60 P quality.
The camera appears to have a very high build quality.
The supplied documentation is very poor, and it is very easy to confuse the input areas for USB and Power. There is a very detailed manual available online, but we think a camera of this cost should have some kind of users manual included in the box.
We found the image quality (especially when set to the highest settings) to be generally excellent, and the same can be said of the video. If you want to record/transfer in the highest video quality settings (1080 60 P) you need a very high quality SDHC card, as the video transfer rate is 28 MBPS.
The following criticism is partially due to our age and declining vision. If you have excellent vision, you can probably ignore this portion of the review.
We found the camera controls and buttons to be very small, hard to differentiate/discern, and the controlling actions themselves to be somewhat confusing. There is no touch screen control at all, and selections are made by various controlling buttons. This made the camera difficult to set up, use and control. You will find yourself frequently double checking which control your fingers are accessing.
One interesting feature is the ability to change the aspect ratio of the still images.
All in all, this is a very small camera with a big performance capability.
Touch screen control would make this camera rate 5+!
on November 13, 2014
Well, I decided to get another Sony Cybershot since my other one got stolen. I am not sure of the model, I just know I bought it a couple years ago. It's pretty much the same quality as my other. This camera does best with animals and outdoors, which is fine because I mostly take pictures of my dogs, parks, and then pictures of family&I. The low light pictures are good however they do come out blurry. The camera takes excellent pictures on flash, no red eye, and actually really makes your eyes pop if you have blue or green eyes. The one thing I don't like is on the top, the wheel to change the settings, it's super tight and chips my nail just to turn it. I feel for the price, I could have gotten an older Cybershot and got the same quality pictures, it DOES have some lens flare... but overall it is a good camera and does exceedingly well on automatic. I have attached pictures in my review of pictures I took with the camera.
on July 15, 2015
I'm not a skilled photographer by any means but the quality of shots I can produce in Intelligent Auto mode frequently drop my jaw. The digital zoom is garbage, but you can lock it out and use just the optical. This also happens to be the nicest and smallest 1080p/60 video camera I own so I frequently use that feature as well without any hiccups at all so far. I can record about 7000 shots at 18MP or ~5 hours of 1080/60 video onto a 32gb card.
This camera never leaves my side on vacation and it's effortless to pocket or put on a belt clip. There's more depth and features to the camera than I have time to review, but I wanted to offer my general sentiments and some shots I've taken using this model. It is definitely worth considering if you want to step up the quality of your effortlessly shot vacation photos. If you want something more technical or professional, you should probably look elsewhere.
on April 24, 2014
Very happy with this. Indoors with flash the colors are not always true but it's pretty darn sweet and so many other ways. I've been looking for a camera to replace my cell phone. I was looking for something truly tiny that I could keep with me; something that, though menu driven, would give me more photographic control. I shoot both a Nikon DSLR and the Sony Nex 7 but I found that I was addicted to using my cell phone on a day to day basis because of the size and ease of uploading images to FB. I started out with a Sony Nex 3n which is an excellent camera with a full size APS sensor, and it did ride in my purse nicely in the fake leather cover. But, when I saw this one I determined that it would be even better...plus I got rid of the Fuji SX I was keeping around for the 675mm reach( It was heavier than my DSLR).
It starts up fast! I like to turn it on and see how fast I can get a shoot. The lens can be fully extended to reach 500mm and the focus is fast. The wifi transfer was quick and easy. I'm used to using Sony cameras so there was not learning curve.
My main hesitation was the size of the sensor. But, compared to a phone with 8mp and a really tiny sensor, the image quality is amazing.
This camera also makes sense because I am never going to get out to 500mm with a Nikon lens on my camera; can't afford it.
I purchased the genuine leather case for this directly from Sony. Free shipping and 15% off when you register you're camera. That way I feel comfortable throwing the camera in my purse or sticking it in a pocket. Plus it is so classy in the case. Looks like something special, which it is.
on October 2, 2015
Sony gets it right every time!
Flash seems small
I've always been a huge fan of Sony cameras and TV's because their colors are unmatched. Samsung over does their saturation. Canon's greens are always a little odd. And Nikon (who uses Sony sensors) always seemed a little dull but more accurate. Sony, however, has always had colors that are exactly as our eyes see it! And to me color is the most important part of any picture.
The camera itself is very small, which is great because I needed something I could carry in my coat pocket. The battery life is excellent. I got a full day of shooting off the little guy (which would be 10 hours of roaming auto shows and taking a few hundred pictures each day.
The wireless connection is wonderful! I didn't bring my computer and just had my Sony Z3v and since I frequently post to instagram, instantly transferring my photos to my phone worked wonderfully! Plus I could send my girlfriend those pictures via text of what I saw and wanted to share.
The first day the LCD seemed pretty hard to see. But I realized if I just turn the brightness up on the LCD it's fine during direct sunlight.
The quality of the pictures are fantastic. That's all I can say on that. They look just like real life. Color is perfect, exposure is fantastic, dynamic range is impressive for a pocket camera.
Summary: If my camera broke, I would go to Amazon and purchase another one without doing any further research!
on June 7, 2015
I'm a photography enthusiast. Over the years I have done my best, casually, as an amateur and in my spare time, to educate myself about photography, cameras, and the elements that make a good image. I own a couple DSLRS, a few film SLRs, and what they like to call an "advanced compact". I use powerful image-processing software and I take a lot of pictures. Like. Every day. I feel like it's just good practice for what can be a relatively inexpensive hobby.
I bought the WX350 because I wanted a compact, truly pocket-sized camera with a powerful zoom. Basically I wanted something to replace my cell phone camera, because for me, using my cell phone camera is just NOT intuitive at all. In this respect, the WX350 is everything I want it to be. The zoom is better than my cell phone, and the options are more in-depth than what my cell phone offers. It is also faster than my cell phone at taking and recording images.
Transferring the images to my cell phone is super simple with the built-in Wi-Fi/NFC. It truly could not be easier. I downloaded the Play Memories app and made sure NFC was turned on on my phone. All I do is tap the phone on top of the camera while viewing the image I want in playback mode, and it automatically sends it to my phone. SO painless! I really don't understand what in the world is going on with the reviewers who critique this feature. It's very straightforward.
This is the important part: Image Quality. It's not great. I would say it's slightly better than cell-phone-quality. I'm not a megapixel junkie, and I think maybe they would have been better off keeping the megapixels down, which would (logically) improve low-light performance and the appearance of noise. The default settings also tend to overexpose, although you can compensate for this easily with the customized settings on the down arrow of the four-way controller. There is a good amount of information in all those megapixels, and recovering shadows, highlights, and "hot" colors was actually pretty successful for me, in post-processing, as long as I finished up with some noise-reduction to smooth everything out and get rid of those chunky JPEG artifacts.
The lens is sharp enough. Not as sharp as my "advanced compact", but details are very good. Colors are true-to-life and the white balance only struggles where every other white balance struggles: tungsten. Unfortunately, this camera does NOT shoot RAW, so you are limited to what you can preserve of true whites if you go back in to edit the yellow out. There is some distortion at the wide end, and the subject can appear "stretched" in the corners, as many ultra-wide-angle lenses will do. The image quality at full zoom is good, about what you'd expect. Not knocking anyone's socks off, but if you want the shot, you've got it! And that can make all the difference. The shake reduction appears to be very effective, in my application, but I do know how to hold a camera. :-)
All in all, this camera is perfect for what I wanted: Small, fast-to-start, simple to operate (no fiddling with settings), respectable zoom, decent image quality, and the bonus of NFC image transferring.
I went in knowing that the image quality was not going to match my DSLR, so I was pleasantly surprised with what I was able to do with the files.
I can see the WX350 being the PERFECT camera for a very casual shooter who wants a small, all-in-one camera that can pretty much do everything.
on November 5, 2015
I loooove this camera! It's very lightweight and easy to use. There are many, many settings. You can get it to take pictures in any kind of light with or without the flash. The pictures are crystal clear. I take a lot of photos of birds and you can actually see the individual feathers even when using the telephoto feature. It's amazing! It's really nice to have a separate button on the back to take movies so you don't have to change a dial on the top of the camera. It's instantaneous! There is no downside to this camera! Highly recommended!