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Sample photos: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1

Check out an examination of photos taken with the compact Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1, featuring the company's Exmor R backlit sensor.

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Joshua Goldman
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1 of 7 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

When it comes to photo quality, the WX1 is a tough camera to judge. Going strictly by what happens between ISO sensitivities, the camera is a fairly typical point-and-shoot; good up to ISO 200, but from ISO 400 and above, noise reduction mucks up fine details. This is mainly noticeable when pictures are viewed at 100 percent or when heavily cropped.

The WX1's consistent color performance across sensitivities up to ISO 1600 keeps them usable for 8x10 prints and smaller. Photos at ISO 3200 look washed out, but can be printed at 4x6 inches and smaller--assuming you're not terribly picky.

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2 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
There's some color noise/artifacts at all ISOs, including the lowest setting of ISO 160. Can you see what I'm talking about in this photo? No, probably not. If you're going to make poster-size prints and stare at them from a foot away, you're probably going to see it.
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3 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
As you can see in the photo taken at ISO 3200, the rabbit kind of looks like a painting. Basically, the heavy noise reduction has smeared all the details. When printed at 4x6 inches, though, the resulting photo is OK. However, the colors are slightly washed out.
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4 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
The WX1 has impressive center sharpness. Photos soften up out to the sides, but all in all the lens on this camera is pretty great.
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5 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
There's surprisingly little barrel distortion considering how wide the lens is (top). There's no pincushioning at the lens's longest position. I also didn't see much in the way of chromatic aberration.
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6 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
One of the big selling points for the WX1 is the Handheld Twilight mode. With a single press of the shutter, the camera collects six shots and then processes them together to create the sharpest possible shot. In the 100-percent crop on the left you can see how vertical lines have some waviness to them, particularly in the windows. When I printed this entire scene at 8x10 inches, however, it's only visible if you're looking for it. And even then it's tough to see.
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7 of 7 Joshua Goldman/CNET
Color, white balance, and exposure were all excellent from the WX1--nice, natural, and vibrant.

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