Customer Review

66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent performer for a compact, September 2, 2011
This review is from: Sony DSC-WX10 Cyber-Shot 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Still Camera with 7x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom G Lens and Full HD 1080/60i Video (Black) (Electronics)
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I've taken about 500 shots with this camera, under some fairly difficult conditions, and have mixed feelings about this camera.

The great:
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1. It is easy to carry around
2. Its lens is not only bright (f2.4) but is also wide (24-26mm). This works great for indoor group photographs.
3. It is relatively intuitive to use, and you don't really need a manual. In addition, the entire manual is accessible on the camera!
5. Its panorama mode is utterly simple to use, and the results are spectacular.
6. Decent ergonomics - the controls are easy to find and operate.
7. It has a very capable flash - throwing light about 10 feet away.
8. The 7x optical zoom is awesome.
9. You can use standard Class 4 SDHC cards! No need to buy those memory sticks.
10. Supports in-camera HDR, which works rather well.

The not so good:
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1. While the automatic exposure seems to be fine, the image was often noisy - even in reasonable lighting conditions.
2. The images taken would benefit from a bit of sharpening during post processing.
3. Auto focus struggled at night, around a campfire. Most (but not all) of my photos were too unfocused to be of use.
4. You need Sony's software to get at the video you shoot.

Other Thoughts
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Though small in size, this camera is big on features. It comes with an amazing amount of functionality - including panoramic stitching, HDR with auto bracketing, and 1920x1080/60i video recording.

Unfortunately, some of its options can be confusing. E.g., what is the difference between "Intelligent" Auto, and "Superior" Auto? Turns out, "Superior" does its magic by taking multiple exposures in a burst, and then combining them together into a composite. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode does the same thing - but also brackets the exposures before combining them. HDR ensures that you don't blow out the brightest areas in your frame (your highlights) while correctly exposing the darkest areas. Building a composite takes time - requiring an annoying pause while the camera does its thing.

The camera gives you a lot of feedback about its analysis of the scene. This can be of real help when taking a picture. It indicates the type of scene (backlit, macro, portrait, etc.); environmental conditions (hand held or tripod); and whether assistance features are being activated (HDR or anti motion blur).

If you are used to relying on a fill flash, note that the Auto modes won't allow the flash to be force turned on. A fill flash lets you brighten up your subject in daylight conditions where the flash would not normally be necessary. The only choice is to put in onto Program mode. This is easily my favorite mode on this camera.

As with most compacts, the Manual mode is (next to) useless in this camera. You can set the aperture to only one of two values. At the wide end, this is either f2.4 or f7.1. At the telephoto end, this is f5.9 or f18. You do have more control over the ISO and shutter speed, but the process to set these is so onerous, that I preferred to avoid it whenever possible.

Setting the ISO to AUTO does not work well with this camera. It ratchets up the ISO to 800, even in bright daylight, causing noise artifacts in dark areas. I ruined a number of otherwise good photos before I realized this. I'd have loved an option to set the Max ISO that the camera would pick when set to AUTO.

Conclusion
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Overall, I found this camera very convenient to carry around and use. Once I became familiar with its idiosyncrasies, it turned out to be a reasonably decent compact. However, if you are capturing priceless memories, my recommendation would be to seriously consider the Powershot S95. While obviously not up to DSLR quality, the S95 is a competent and plucky performer that gives you full manual control of the process, while remaining compact enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Furthermore, the WX10's battery needed charging more frequently than does my S95. In addition, unlike my S95, I often had to wait for a few seconds for the flash to recharge.

My star rating reflects my "It's Okay" opinion about this being a reasonable camera with nothing special to write home about.

Happy Clicking!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2013 12:39:40 PM PST
C. Y. says:
Well, while your review on WX10 is helpful, your overall rating is not fair and is misleading because your "It's Okay" rating is based on the comparison between this "under $150" point & shoot camera and one of the high-end point & shoot cameras which still costs equivalent to an entry-level DSLR. There is no wonder that WX10 has nothing special if you compare it with a high-end point & shoot camera. However, if you compare it with other point & shoot cameras in the same price range, WX10 has some advantages over the other models.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2013 1:07:23 PM PST
Hi,

Back in Sep 2011, when this review was written, the S95 and the WX10 were priced in the same general neighborhood (you can see these trends over at camelcamelcamel).

Regds
~A_E~
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