Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 review: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review
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The Good Well-made and compact; easy to use; colourful results; '3D sweep panorama' feature is fun; bright and clear LCD display; records 1080i videos.

The Bad Some features are gimmicky; you need a 3D TV to view '3D sweep panorama' images in 3D.

The Bottom Line The diminutive Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 is a well-built compact camera that will let you take 3D images. Packing plenty of hi-tech features, it offers decent value for money, even if it does feel gimmicky on occasions.

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The 12.2-megapixel Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 is noteworthy for introducing Sony's '3D sweep panorama' functionality to the Cyber-shot range of compact cameras. Sony also claims that it offers dSLR-like image quality. You can expect to pay around £250 for the WX5.

One lens, three dimensions

The sweep-panorama feature allows the user to capture an elongated image by panning the camera in one continuous arc. The resulting image can be either 2D, as on previous Cyber-shot cameras, or three-dimensional, if shooting in the 3D mode. You'll need to view the results on a 3D TV or monitor, using 3D glasses, to notice the effect through. Unlike Fujifilm's 3D-capable FinePix Real 3D W3 , the WX5's rear screen only displays images in 2D.

Although images taken using this feature occasionally suffer from jarring overlaps, particularly if subjects were moving through the frame as you panned the camera, the 3D effect is impressive on a big screen. The depth really draws you into the picture. This is all the more impressive given that the WX5 is a single-lens device, unlike the marginally more bulky FinePix Real 3D W3, which has twin lenses.

This shot gives away the WX5's snapshot status. Captured indoors in daylight, this image isn't as sharp as we wanted. Still, the colours are warm and the exposure is even, with the camera having chosen a safe, noise-free ISO 400 setting (click image to enlarge).

Another new feature introduced with the WX5 is 'sweep multi-angle'. This shoots a high-speed burst of 15 frames, presenting a final image with a 3D-like effect on the camera's LCD screen. You have to tip the camera from side to side to get the 3D effect. We found it unsatisfying, and were hard-pressed to distinguish a 3D from a 2D image. But you can, again, plug the WX5 into a 3D TV to view a true 3D image.

Small wonder

Even if you dismiss the WX5's 3D capabilities as a gimmick, there's no denying that the camera is impressively small and well-made. It measures 92 by 52 by 22mm, and weighs about 130g. The camera is attractive too, thanks to its brushed-metal face plate.

Pictures and videos are composed via the 2.8-inch LCD display, which is brighter and noticeably clearer than usual, thanks to its whopping, 460,800-pixel resolution. With an optically stabilised focal range equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm terms, the lens can take in landscapes, as well as pull distant subjects closer.

The WX5 powers up in around 2 seconds. With a half press of the shutter-release button, focus and exposure is determined in a second. A full-resolution JPEG is written to memory -- either an SD or Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo card -- in around 2 to 3 seconds, which is average for the camera's class.

Tech-packed snapper

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Where to Buy

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5

Part Number: DSC-WX5/V
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Ultracompact
  • Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixel