286 of 304 people found the following review helpful
Quirky little camera!
, May 22, 2013
This review is from: Sony DSC-WX300/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) (Electronics)
The quest to find the perfect compact digital camera which takes excellent Photos and 1080p videos at the same time is no easy matter. I have tried various models from various manufacturers (primarily Canon & Sony) each one seems to contradict each other. While one model impresses you with Photo quality but fails miserably in video. There is always one thing or the other that disappoints me. May be it's me or I am too picky when it comes to quality or my expectations are too much to ask for in this price range & form factor.
My search for sub-compact cameras is still on and I am yet to find the perfect sub compact camera. Make no mistake, this camera takes very good pictures for a Point & Shoot form factor camera which is easy to carry & Lasts all day without having to worry about recharging the battery. With an 18.2 megapixel packed into this tiny body and SONY's `Exmor R CMOS' sensor and 20x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 25-500mm) The Zoom is impressive for this small size form factor and can be extended further to 40x with Clear Image Zoom (Digital Zoom). There is also `Optical SteadyShot' feature to reduce blur when shooting handheld and you can also shoot at 10 fps which tells me this camera has speed and potential.
In the real world tests using this camera I find some strange design quirkiness which I need to learn to overcome. Firstly you will notice the shutter button which is placed oddly from the side and the select dial there instead. 99% of the time my finger goes to that dial to realize that I was pressing in the wrong region.
The extended lens assembly and the placement of flash on the body of the camera do create shadows on the subject especially when you are taking close-ups or macro shots. This problem is prevalent in most cameras with extended zoom lens. There is no cure for this bug. The only workaround is to disable flash and manually illuminate the subject and adjust exposure settings to compensate for the need of flash.
Thankfully, this camera does have very good low light performance for compact P&S. I did find most of my photos come out clear and sharp even when I disable flash. But you will have to tweak the settings and adjust the exposure manually to achieve the desired results. Superior Auto will take multiple shots and superimpose them to achieve the desired exposure but for better control manual is best.
`Background de-focus' to make it look like a shot taken from`High end' DSLR is a cool feature indeed and I am pleased to see SONY has included a dedicated option on the dial for this. I love this feature and tend to use it a lot with impressive results.
The video results are very good. It has the capability to record in `AVCHD' as well as `MP4' file formats. `MP4' will be useful for sharing on YouTube or other social media sites without any additional need for software conversion. The zoom while you take video is smooth and very steady and results are impressive.
Wi-Fi implementation is something I wished was pretty straightforward but it is not. All I wanted was this camera to have the capability to transfer photos to my NAS directly without having to connect this to my PC to download photos. But the process is cumbersome. In the end I gave up on using Wi-Fi on this camera. It is good to know it is there but not very practical to use.
There is app to control the camera using Wi-Fi and also view pictures on your Smartphone or tablet but again for me that did not appeal me yet. When I am at home I prefer to watch it on my TV and this camera does output on HDMI with full glory. It also has the capability to push pictures to your HDTV wirelessly but I could not get that to work because my TV is not a SMART TV.
There are plethora of features on this camera that will keep one busy for a long time experimenting it one by one but the basic features presently attempted has convinced me that despite the above mentioned quirkiness it does take good photos and videos but my quest to find the perfect subcompact camera is still not over.
[+] Very small body with impressive features
[+] Takes very good pictures and video
[+] Super battery life
[+] Large easy to view LCD
[+] 20x optical zoom for a sub compact camera
[+] Fast auto focus system
[-] Oddly placed shutter button location
[-] Large Zoom Lens & Flash placement causes shadows on close-up shots
[-] Still images are noisy when taken simultaneously with video
[-] Odd location for HDMI output port
[-] Flimsy door for Multi function port (For charging battery)
[-] Looks rectangular box shaped wished it had some contour for better hold feeling.
For the price you pay it does give you good results. It does take good video so you can skip carrying a bulky camcorder. The photo quality is very good with good color balance & exposure. There is some quirkiness that one needs to learn to overcome especially the placement of the shutter button.
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