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Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot WX350 brings NFC to ultracompact 20x zoom

The modest update to last year's WX300 offers an easier way to connect to Android devices and a more powerful processor, but little else.

Sony

Very little separates the 2014 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 from the 2013 WX300, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Like the new Cyber-shot HX400V, the WX350 keeps the same core specs as its predecessor: a 20x, f3.5-6.5, 25-500mm lens, 18-megapixel effective resolution, and a 3-inch 460K-dot-resolution LCD.

It does, however, get a new Bionz X image processor. That change presumably improves the quality of the camera's Clear Image Zoom, which digitally doubles the zoom range to 1000mm, and automatically converts photos to 4K resolution, so they look better on a 4K TV (you've got one of those, right?). Plus, Sony's unified its camera interfaces, so that those familiar with the operation of its Alpha cameras will get the same experience on the Cyber-shots and vice versa.

Sony

The camera can also now capture video in full HD at 60p; the WX300 was limited to 60i. The WX350 now has NFC, too, making pairing and sharing with Android devices as simple as tapping the camera and device together.

Worth noting is that the WX350 is the world's smallest and lightest camera with its 20x zoom range. Also worth mentioning is that in order to make a 25-500mm lens for a body this small, Sony took one of its 1/2.3-inch type 20-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensors and used only the center 18 megapixels of it, basically making an already small sensor even smaller. Pixel and sensor size are important to better image quality -- the larger, the better -- so having a small sensor that's packed with pixels isn't great.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 will be in stores in March for around $320.

Sony also announced the $80 Cyber-shot W800, featuring a 5x f3.2-6.4 26-130mm lens, 20-megapixel CCD sensor, and 2.7-inch 230K-dot-resolution LCD.

Where to Buy

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 (Black)

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