The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 is a premium digital compact camera with a hefty price tag, but a cracking 16.2 megapixel camera to justify it
Sister camera to the waterproofed Sony Cyber-shot TX10, Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 offers the same 16.2 megapixel resolution and integral Exmor R CMOS sensor, but weds this to a broad focal range of 24mm to 168mm in 35mm terms, which equates to a 7x optical zoom.
The fact that said chip is back-lit and positioned behind a bright (for a point-and-shoot) f/2.4 maximum aperture lens suggests in theory this is a camera for excellent results shooting at night as well as day.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Controls
While from the front the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 portrays catwalk cool, from the back it’s slightly more prosaic and user friendly. It's also considerably compact - unlike the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 - and sports a frame that's akin to that of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150.
We get a familiar dime-sized shooting mode wheel and separate camcorder-style video record button, a press of which nigh instantly commences Full HD capture whatever stills mode is in play.
Shoehorned into the camera’s interior is a folded 7x optical zoom lens equivalent to a wide angle 24-168mm in 35mm film terms, and happily this can be deployed for both stills and video, controlled via an ergonomic lever surrounding the shutter release.
On this camera the controls, although particularly small on the backplate, at least fall readily to hand.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Screen
At the back the Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 presents a 2.8-inch, standard 4:3 aspect ratio LCD screen, the display of which is automatically cropped to 16:9 when recording video clips.
A higher than average resolution of 460,800 dots ensures enough clarity for accurate composition even when standing in direct sunlight, and in the expected absence of any optical viewfinder.
On-screen menu and function options are navigated by a four-way control pad with scroll wheel to the bottom right of the LCD.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Speed
Press the top plate on/off button and Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 powers up ready for the first shot in around two seconds, lens extending from flush to the body and rear screen blinking into operation.
A further half press of the shutter release button and focus and exposure are determined almost instantly, AF points highlighted in green, so that picture taking is almost much one continuous, fluid motion from powering up to capture.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Battery
The supplied rechargeable NP-BG1 lithium ion battery is charged in camera via supplied lead and adapter plug, and lasts for around 360 shots from a full charge – which is sufficient for that long weekend getaway and very respectable for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10’s point-and-shoot class.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Pictures and video
For a camera with, typically for a snapshot, a physically small sensor and lens, whether shooting stills or video we were mightily impressed with the image quality from the Cyber-shot DSC-WX10, which required little or no tweaking.
As its lens purports, edge-to-edge sharpness is well maintained even when shooting at maximum wide angle and colours are vibrant without being unrealistic.
It isn’t really until the top light sensitivity setting of ISO3200 that we are getting grain and losing edge definition, which is again very good.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Verdict
Price, feature set and build wise the Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 falls between purely ‘auto everything’ pocket snapshots and premium, enthusiast targeted models such as T3's digital camera of the year - Panasonic’s peerless Lumix LX5.
Though the accent here is on fun rather than manual operation however, great results can be had from minimal user effort and if at the end of the day the results are ‘only’ snapshots, at least they are some of the very best on offer.