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Customer Review

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best P&S Currently On The Market, August 25, 2012
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)
Try buying a camera nowadays and you're deluged with choices, which is ultimately a good thing but takes time figuring out which is best for your needs. I wanted a camera that I can tote comfortably in my pocket but didn't want to sacrifice photo quality or capability. Here's a synopsis of what I found and why these didn't not make the cutoff:

Canon S100
- only 5x optical zoom, high price, and low battery life (CIPA rated at only 200 photos)

Canon Elph 510
- only takes 10 minutes of HD video

Canon SX260 HS
- typically has high review ratings however lacks HDR, only takes 15 minutes of HD video, and no in-camera stitching of panorama photos

Nikon S9300
- nice feature set but reviewed lower than the competition (CNET, Amazon, PhotographyBlog, and TechRadar)

Panasonic SZ7
- compared to the WX150 this has shorter battery life and longer off-to-on-and-shoot time but otherwise was competitive in my search, however, in direct comparison at least one pro review (PCMag) site says WX150 is much sharper

Panasonic ZS20
- more than one pro review site indicated strong redeye and limited ability of in-camera adjustment to reduce this; additionally not as good in low light as others. Further when I played with this model in the store the autofocus seemed slow to react

Samsung WB850F
- reviewed lower than the competition (Amazon, DigitalCameraInfo, PCMag, PhotographyBlog, and TechRadar)

Sony HX20V
- larger than I prefer, otherwise I would have bought this one

After a week of looking at paper stats the Sony WX150 won out so I picked one up at Target for the same price as currently here on Amazon (~ $250). Target only has the silver, although I'd call it gun-metal grey because it's a dark silver. I wanted black but in the back of my mind I thought I'd be returning this for the Sony HX20V. However after several days of practicing with the WX150 I'm going to keep it; plus the "silver" color is growing on me.

As suggested in reviews, the pics are sharp and colors are punchy. No complaints there. My main concern were lack of manual controls, particularly shutter control when taking extreme low-light pics. This baby has a max shutter speed of 4s but control is entirely automatic. I selected the low-light setting in the SCENE controls, mounted on a tripod, and gave it a go. The WX150 did ok but nothing to write home about. If you have specific need for extreme low-light photography you'll want the next class up in P&S cameras with a 30s max shutter speed.

With that said, in conventional low-light settings the WX150 is fantastic! If you want pics that look like what your eyes see then use the auto mode. If you want pics that capture more light than what your eyes can see then use the handheld twilight setting. On this setting I can take pictures in a dark room and the photos look as if the light was turned on. Its pretty amazing.

Low-light video is exceptional as well; the videos you take will be WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). The video does not fall down in low light however it cannot "add" lighting by adjusting shutter speed as in the case of capturing stills.

Pictures taken at the full 10x optical zoom are just as good as with no zoom. The ClearImage zoom goes to 20x and only a really critical eye will see any differences. Beyond that, the digital zoom takes you out to 40x which indeed shows image degradation as expected. Overall, exceptional. Truly exceptional considering it's less than 1 inch thick.

Focus, metering, white balance, ISO, and exposure are individually selectable. A live histogram is displayed. Tracking focus is a usefull feature if you wish to make sure a specific spot is continually in focus.

Panorama capturing is easy as pie. The camera lets you capture in any direction: up, down, left, or right.

Off-to-on is as quick as advertised. Press the on button and you're ready to capture in an instant.

I bought a class10 32GB SDHC card and downloading 100MB videos happens in just seconds.

When I was reading the marketing promo's for this camera I kept seeing it has what Sony calls an Exmor R sensor, which is simply their branding for backlit CMOS sensors. Judging from the low-light capabilities I'd say this technology is more than lip-service. If you are in the market, keep this in mind. Last year's models may be cheaper but those would likely have the older frontlit CCD sensors.

Overall I'm very happy. I won't be trading this for the bulkier Sony HX20V but I don't need anymore capabilities than the WX150 has. They say the best camera is the one you have with you. This thing slips into your pocket with really no more bulk than your phone.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 13, 2012 3:35:08 PM PDT
SusanSays says:
I found this review extremely helpful. Thanks so much for including all of that information, including the product comparisons!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 4:27:14 PM PDT
gwp says:
You're welcome Susan. If you get one I hope you're as happy as I am with it.

One positive that I forgot to mention is that Sony ditched their proprietary upload interface. Instead of the special bulkier cable, all that's needed is a standard micro USB.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 7:16:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2012 7:15:09 PM PDT
80sGuy says:
Great review! I too was looking at the more expensive HX30V and the DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom but then again I just wanted a compact P&S. Maybe one day I'll move up to the 20MP model. I was also debating against whether getting this or the WX50 16.2 MP model because of the Zeiss Lens, but somehow (please do correct me if I'm wrong here) after reviewing actual shots taken from various users and posted to sites like Flicker and so forth, I thought the photos taken with the WX150 rendered better results in terms of image clarity, color-balance and overall sharpness. The images also looked much more natural. Not sure if this has anything to do with the sensors controlling the lens (whether it be a Zeiss or Sony). I also owned a Leica D-LUX model which takes incredible pictures at only 3MP, and also an older Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens. So buying a camera without any of these lens 'upgrade' was not an easy choice, and like I mentioned, after reviewing various images taken with the WX150, I took the plunge. Let's hope I am right and satisfied with this purchase.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 7:13:31 PM PDT
gwp says:
Awesome 80sGuy! My thought is that cameras in the P&S category have such small sensors that MP's don't really mean very much, exception to the RX100 which has a significantly larger sensor. unfortunately at this stage in technological development, real quality photos still require a bulky camera. However, unless you're a pro or frequently blowup photos, P&S's are perfectly fine.
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