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Customer Review

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool but Lacking Camera, July 20, 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 (Blue) (2012 Model) (Electronics)
This small, thin camera quickly takes good pictures and is very easy to use - you hardly need the built-in manual! Unfortunately, there is no way to set the quality of the photo or the amount of JPEG compression (like you can on the Canon PowerShot SX130IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera), so if you want to shoot extremely high-quality images for any reason, this camera won't work for you. Also, there is no manual focus and no way to set the exposure time.

One of the neat features this camera has is "Clear Image Zoom". It zooms in on a small portion of the CCD chip and converts the lower resolution photo into a higher resolution one that has a higher quality than a cropped photo would have. I like to use this feature when shooting distant non-moving objects. There's also "Digital Zoom", which is basically the equivalent of cropping the image, except with lower JPEG compression. Even without either of the zooms I mentioned, the zoom abilities are still amazing; the lens is basically like a telescope, protracting about an inch and a half from the camera when zoomed in at max. With all three of these features combined, the camera can pick out details better than the average person claiming to have perfect eyesight.

Of the shooting modes, "Intelligent Auto" and "Superior Auto" automatically choose a camera setting for the particular scene, and the second even reduces the noise a little. After that come a bunch of special effects. I prefer Intelligent Auto when I'm photographing in dim light or things without a whole lot of detail, and Superior Auto when it comes to finely textured things that I don't want to be smoothed out at all.

There are some other nice settings, too: "Backlight Correction HDR" digitally reduces under- and over-exposed parts, so you can take photos containing both bright and dim spots; but if anything moves, there are ghosts in the image. There are some nice settings for low-light situations, too - some that use flash, others that don't. The ones that don't use flash usually take advantage of the camera's 12,800 ISO.

When viewing already-taken photos, the switch from one picture to the next is so fast you can use the camera to preview stop-motion animation videos. If you try to zoom in on a photo, however, it's much slower, taking about 2 seconds before anything happens. The trimming feature is mostly a waste - when you try to center the subject in the screen, the camera takes such big steps that the subject is first on the left and then on the right, but never between.

You never need to take the battery out of the camera to charge it - it comes with a USB > Micro USB cord and an adapter for a wall outlet, so you can charge the camera from a computer OR from a standard power outlet. Once the camera's charging, you can't enter camera mode, just playback mode. And in playback mode, you can't see how full the battery is; the only way to check is by unplugging the camera and turning it on.

The camera has a liquid crystal display screen, commonly shortened to "LCD screen." Most LCDs are polarized, so if you're wearing polarized sunglasses and tilt your head to one side, the screen goes black. This camera is different - the red, green, and blue components are polarized slightly differently, so when you wear sunglasses you see funky colors, but the screen never goes black. This can be a little weird, but it could be very useful.

In the end, I strongly recommend this camera for anybody who doesn't care about manual modes or a little noise, but wants nice pictures.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 25, 2012 5:50:13 PM PDT
gw_peterson says:
No way to set the photo quality or compression? You have four options in 4:3 format (18M, 10M, 5M, VGA) and two options in 16:9 format (13M, 2M). That's more than the SX130IS.

No manual focus? Nothing in the size and price range of the WX150 has manual focus. You'll have to jump up to the $600 RX100.

No way to set the exposure time? Sure there is, just not manually. Max shutter speed is 4s, which is a typical speed in this category.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 4:04:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2012 4:15:21 PM PDT
Everest says:
There is no way to set the photo quality. The options which you named only affect the resolution, not the quality. When one photo is higher-quality than another, its pixels are more accurate, but not necessarily more numerous. Wikipedia has some interesting things to say about what affects the image quality, in case you're interested (search for "image quality").

The Canon PowerShot SX130IS (which I mentioned in my review) has manual focus, and is much cheaper than this camera. But it IS a little large, I admit.

This camera adjusts the exposure time AUTOMATICALLY, based on factors such as the scene type. If I could precisely set the exposure time myself, I'd probably have given the camera 5 stars.
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