Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 review:

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5

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Typical Price: $449.00
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CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Plenty of shooting modes available. Slim, stylish looking camera with brushed metal exterior. Stereo microphone.

The Bad Images fuzzy, over-processed at full magnification. Sony G lens not as good as the Zeiss branded one on the TX9. 3D modes are still gimmicky.

The Bottom Line The WX5 is a perfectly serviceable and sexy compact camera with a bright lens and tons of features, but its images leave a lot to be desired.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.7 Overall

Sony is stepping up its game in the compact camera space, churning out cameras that not only look attractive but also try to meet the mark on the important stuff like good quality pictures.

The TX9 and this camera, the WX5, are the latest compacts to jump on the bandwagon, toting style with substance.

Design and features

Underneath the brushed metal front panel is a 24mm wide-angle Sony G lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.4-5.9. Apart from the obvious external differences, the main differentiators between this camera and the more expensive TX9 are the increased zoom range (5x from 4x optical zoom), smaller screen (2.8-inch vs. 3.5-inch touchscreen) and the lens itself; the TX9 uses a Zeiss lens.

Both record video in HD resolution at 1080i in AVCHD, and have the same 12.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor. There's a teeny tiny stereo microphone nestled into the top panel of the camera, near the power button and shutter/zoom rocker that sit almost flush with the camera.

Around the back is where things start to look a little cheaper than the TX9 — the screen is smaller and the mode buttons look a tad less refined. There's plenty of shooting modes for those who are inclined to step away from automatic: background defocus, 3D sweep panorama and 3D sweep multi-angle (see our test from the TX9), iSweep panorama, program mode and over 10 dedicated scene modes with options ranging from pet to backlight correction HDR. For a full overview of the 3D modes available, please see our review of the TX9.

There's a lonely HDMI output connection on the side of the camera, covered by a flap. Apart from this, there's little else to distinguish the camera on external features.


General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • Shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag


Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)


Editor's note: in continuous shooting mode, using the high interval, the TX9 takes 10 frames at one time before pausing to process them.

Image quality

Even though the image sensor is the same between the TX9 and WX5, there's a fair bit of difference between the images each camera takes, which we're putting down to the lens. Some of the WX5's images appear almost dreamy at full magnification, with chromatic aberration apparent and over-processing being another issue that makes us deduct points.

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