Customer Review

596 of 609 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I expected - Still!, May 27, 2012
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This review is from: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 10x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model) (Electronics)
If you are a photo-purist, you will not like this camera. It does not take RAW images; there are no manual exposure controls (other than the ISO setting); and it lacks both a manual focus ring and the ability to switch-out $1,500 lenses. Add to this the fact that the camera applies a degree of in-camera processing to every shot taken and you pixel-peeping people will be outraged at the result when your images are blown-up to the football-field proportions that 18.2 megapixels affords. Maybe a D3 is the camera you need after all? Similarly, you geeky folks that wax lyrical of bells and whistles will be disappointed to learn that this camera does not do wi-fi, does not contain a GPS and, so far, I have not discovered any way to use it for sending text messages.

If, on the other hand, like me, you accept up-front that the WX150 purports to be nothing more than a darn good 'point and shoot' camera, you will not be disappointed. The stats are there for all to see and, in the two weeks I have owned and used this camera, I have been more than happy with the performance. What is not there to see so obviously on amazon.com is that this camera feels sturdy and well-built, yet is small enough to fit into a cigarette packet. Battery life is excellent (250+ photos per charge, even with the $5.00 look-alike batteries); there is no (yes zero!) noticeable shutter-lag when not using the flash; and it is blazingly fast (getting from switch-on to 'ready' probably takes less than 2 seconds and when zooming/focusing it is almost instantaneous, rivaling DSLR's).

Having switched off the battery-saving 'eco' option (which, in the default mode, annoyingly shuts-down the camera after one minute if no settings are changed) I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the WX150 at this stage. I will be back to update this review if I am subsequently disappointed by some as-yet-undiscovered weakness.

July 25, 2012 - Update

Looking at all the other reviews here, it seems I was wise to wait (as I did) several months for this camera to become available in the USA. I have now been using the WX150 for a further eight weeks and its performance as a truly 'pocket-sized' point and shoot continues to be hugely impressive. It could never compete with a mid/high-end DSLR, but I defy any DSLR user to find a better 'pocket alternative' at present.

In addition to the 'core' camera features, I have recently been enjoying some new perspectives using the (pretty much 1-click) artistic settings. Initially, I thought I would have no use for these 'novelty' features, but the Watercolor and Line Drawing in-camera processing effects are producing some interesting and worthwhile shots. Neither did I anticipate using the video recording option, but I discovered that, (even at the lo-res MP4 setting), this camera takes high quality video indoors in ambient lighting conditions. The hi-res video consumes a lot of memory (of course), but the quality of both picture and audio are absolutely remarkable for a camera of this size ... now you'll have to buy a 55 inch TV from Amazon.com, just to see what I mean ;-)

I would advise buyers to also get an external battery charger and an additional battery. The USB charging connection can be very convenient, but so too is being able to swap-out a battery and carry on shooting while the original recharges. The Wasabi batteries are working just fine for me. Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit for Sony NP-BN1 and Cyber-shot DSC-T99, DSC-T110, DSC-TX5, DSC-TX7, DSC-TX9, DSC-TX10, DSC-TX20, DSC-TX55, DSC-TX66, DSC-TX100V, DSC-TX200V, DSC-W310, DSC-W320, DSC-W330, DSC-W350, DSC-W360, DSC-W380, DSC-W390, DSC-W...I would also strongly recommend installing a 16GB/32GB Class 10 SDHC, or better, memory card (to get the high-end performance from this camera, you cannot shackle it with a low-end memory card).

We can expect broken battery/utility doors, damaged connectors and the occasional 'lemon' failure on miniature cameras such as this - only time will tell us whether these and other reliability features are any better or worse for this camera than they are for its peers. So far, so good, it seems.

A photographer friend asked me the other day, "What would be the one thing you would like to improve on the WX150". He forced me to answer. After a few moments thought I replied that the one thing that I would personally like would be for the camera to provide a menu option to capture a RAW image in addition to the processed image. Don't get me wrong ... the image processor in this camera is astonishingly intelligent, but on the odd shot (less than one percent of the total) I would like to try my luck with some manual post-processing. This, despite what I said above - I guess there's still some geek in me after all :-)

Mostly though, I am just loving the convenience of my WX150. You can pull this little camera out and be clicking away confidently in a couple of seconds. It is a joy to use and the resulting photographs can be posted, printed (to at least 8x10), or displayed anywhere SOOC (straight out of the camera).

November 20, 2012 - Update

A couple of quick notes to add my latest experiences ... Some may find this useful.

On the negative side - despite keeping my WX150 protected at all times when not in use, a fleck of dust somehow became apparent on one of my lens elements, causing a slight shadow in the corner of photos taken at the mid-zoom range. On the positive side (and quite different to my lens problem experiences with Canon and Olympus in recent years) - Sony respected the warranty. The repair center cleaned and returned my camera within two weeks without charge. We all hope we do not have to return stuff under warranty, but when we do we expect to be treated like a valued customer, so this was a BIG plus for me.

Also, I've changed my mind about what I would wish for (If I could have Sony improve one thing on this camera). I would ask for a more scratch-resistant display screen. Because it stands slightly proud of the casing, protective adhesive covers are pretty much useless (they quickly peel at the corners), consequently the surface of my display is now covered with small scratches (from general use and from carrying a spare battery around). Although still fine in use, this degrades the appearance of the camera. I fail to understand why it should be so delicate - the 3 year-old screen on my Blackberry has received severe abuse (it's even been kicked, spinning across a concrete station platform), but it has barely a mark on it. Alright, the phone sucks, but the screen is robust. Come on Sony - you can do better - this weakness is causing me to question whether I might invest in a more expensive camera from Sony.
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Comments

Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2012 9:30:33 PM PDT
Charlie T. says:
correction? "16MB/32MB" to 16GB/32GB?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 5:58:44 PM PDT
Whoops - Absolutely - thanks for this :)

Posted on Aug 25, 2012 10:29:37 AM PDT
Sweetgirl007 says:
Thanks for your review! help me to narrow down to this camera! ;)

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 4:15:45 PM PDT
R. Sullivan says:
Thank you for your review! I do have this camera and have taken some great photos with it. I'm having one problem though. I am not having luck getting clear pictures of my kids when they are in motion, like playing on the playground or riding their bicycles. Can you help a newbie and tell me what setting I need to be on for these type of photos? I would very much appreciate it. I've gone through all the settings, but it seems I'm still getting blurry photos when trying to get these types of shots.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 1:41:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 1:51:30 PM PDT
The lens and the sensor in this camera are very good for a point-and-shoot pocket-sized camera. Also, the in-camera photo processing significantly enhances low-light shots, but the one thing it cannot do is to compensate for moving subjects in low-light conditions - you would need a much bigger camera/sensor with a large-aperture lens to accomplish that. I suspect low light may be your challenge. You should try increasing the ambient lighting, if possible, or use the built-in flash, which is also quite impressive for a pocket-sized camera.

This camera should be fine to capture moving kids in GOOD indoor lighting or outside, except in rainy or other dull conditions - e.g. in shaded woodland. I would suggest that the iAuto setting is usually going to do the best job for you, however, if it is a dull day, the iAuto settings may not 'force' the flash to fire. In such dull conditions, you could use the 'P' mode with the flash control set to (always) 'On'. If you are getting blurry photos in sunny conditions (with iAuto or iAuto+ settings), or when using the flash, there is a problem with your camera camera and it should be returned under warranty.

I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 4:51:05 PM PDT
R. Sullivan says:
Thank you for your response. I will give your suggestions a try and see if I can get some clearer pictures. Again, thanks!

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 7:10:40 AM PST
R. Sullivan says:
I wanted to let you know that because of your advice, I sent my camera back to Sony with photo samples of my problems. There was a lens issue and they have fixed it and sent it back to me. I hope it works like it should now, after seeing all of these great reviews. Thank you Fair Minded Guy!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 7:13:07 AM PST
I'm sorry to hear your problem required a warranty return, but happy it now appears to be fixed. I hope all goes well for you now. I'm glad I was able to help.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 3:42:18 PM PST
Thank you for your fun and candid reviews of the camera, helped us to make our decision!

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 10:13:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 28, 2012 10:34:14 AM PST
Did you happen to notice the blurb in the manual about the battery? It says: "Rechargeable battery pack NP-BN (1) (This rechargeable battery pack cannot be used with Cyber-shot that are supplied with the NP-BN1 battery pack.)"

Contacted Sony and the support person at first couldn't say anything more than that they are different because they have different model numbers. Further, she couldn't explain as to why Sony does not sell the NP-BN battery--only the NP-BN1.

If you look at Sony's product page for the camera, under the specifications it identifies the battery as a NP-BN. Both batteries are of the same type and voltage. If it weren't for the warning in the manual I would have put it up as a typo.

The Sony rep found the answer (after much persistence). The correct battery is the NP-FG1 (which replaced the NP-BG1). Can't say what the difference is, but there you have it.

*********************
UPDATE
*********************
Wow! Was that Sony support person wrong! Called Sony support again and this time and my suspicions were confirmed. The previous information was dead wrong. The NP-FG1 should not be used in the DSC-WX150. The correct battery replacement is the NP-BN1.

What tech support could not answer is why the NP-BN battery could not be used in other Cyber-Shot cameras, but it can't.

He also verified that the charger (model #BC-CSN) that came with the DSC-W350 should not be used to charge the the NP-BN battery, which suggest that the aftermarket charges available for the NP-BN1 should not be used either. So far none of the techies can explain why. Nor can they explain the difference between the NP-BN and the NP-BN1.
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