Colours Technology

Sony DSC WX7 Cyber-shot


Model:
Specifications:
Product Link:

Ease of Use: / 5

Video Quality: / 5

Features: / 5


KEY SPECS:

[checklist]

  • 16.2 Megapixel CMOS Exmor R Sensor
  • Full HD Video (1080p) at 60i
  • 5x Optical zoom, with Zeiss lens
  • 3” LCD display
  • Pricing: R1999

[/checklist]

I was quite excited to get my hands on this WX7 camera from Sony, as it’s the first stills camera I’ve used with the special Exmor R sensor from Sony. It also put my expectations for this little camera quite high.

This is a very stylish camera with a lovely Silver finish. It really does look good and feels very solid in your hand. Apart from this Silver variant, there are four other colour variants, all looking very slick. This is definitely a camera you want to take out in front of other people.

Sony DSC WX7 camera

At first it looked as though the zoom dial might be awkward to use, but it turned out to work very well. The only button I found fiddly, was the On/Off button, but that could be because of my slightly bigger fingers.

Sony DSC WX7

At the back you are greeted by a big 3” LCD display, and the usual raft of buttons on the right of the screen. The scrolling wheel button works well, but more on this later. At the top right, sits the movie recording button, which was a clever touch by Sony. Just press the button, and no matter what mode you were in, the camera starts recording movies.

Sony DSC WX7 review

Working with this LCD display was fantastic. It has a very high-resolution with lots of details and a true reproduction of the actual photo taken.

Operating this camera is a breeze. As I stated, starting movie recording is a one-touch affair. To access any shooting mode, just turn the wheel and it opens a scene menu for you. Wheel through the choices and press the middle button for what you want. For every scene, there’s a quick explanation as to what it does, so you never get lost.

Sony DSC WX7 Menu

Speaking of scene modes, this camera has some of the most interesting ones. Firstly, this camera boasts a mode called “Superior Auto”, which over and above normal Auto, will select the relevant scenes it believes the photo should be shot in, and has a cool function whereby it will, in very quick succession shoot various exposures of the same photo, should it feel the need to add some more details into the shot. In that mode, I managed to capture photos of Cape Town City at night, handheld!

Sony DSC WX7 Handheld

Sony DSC WX7 Handheld

Sony DSC WX7 Handheld

The review continues on the next page




  • Johan

    I’ve been using the WX7 for a good couple of months and your findings are pretty much spot on, except that noise is a bigger issue in low light than mentioned.

    Other than that, it’s actually smaller than it looks in the photos and the 3D mode actually works very well. It’s compatible with any 3D TV.

    What’s really great is the fact that you can take photos without using the flash – awesome for parties & such. Video quality is good but it WILL drain the battery quickly. ALso nice that it supports SD cards and not only Sony’s propriety Memory Stick Duo.

    My 2 main concerns:
    1)Propriety USB cable – in this day & age?
    2)Battery life is pretty good but not nearly as good as my previous Canon Digital Ixus.

    It’s definitely a camera I’d recommend to anybody looking for a very compact point & shoot which doesn’t compromise on image quality & features.

  • http://www.imagery.co.za Hein Schlebusch

    Hey Johan

    I must be honest, the noise wasn’t that big a deal for me, especially up to ISO800. From ISO1600 it does get mose, but the photos will still be usable, as I said. Also, the propriatry noise reduction in Lightroom easily minimized the noise (I didn’t use it for these photos ;) ).

    You are right about the 3D TVs. Since I don’t have one, that’s a feature I didn’t manage to explore.

    As to your concerns, I agree about the USB cables. It isn’t great still using proprietry cables seems like a useless exercise. They got the SD card right, but messed up the cable. :)

    I think the main reason the battery might be draining quicker with the video is because of the Exmor sensor. Still though, the battery life isn’t bad, so I didn’t deem it a problem.

    Have you tried the 3D options? Would like to hear your thoughts on that.

    Thanks for your thoughts

  • Johan

    Yep, noise can be reduced, I guess it depends on your needs – this is not my primary camera so I mostly use it at parties/events and general shots to be emailed and that sort of thing so I’d never spend time editing photos.

    That being said, when resized to web/email size the noise isn’t too noticeable and I’m sure the intended target market would never notice it.

    The 3D options are pretty impressive, especially “3D Sweep Panorama” when viewed via the PS3. It adds a lot of depth but you need to understand the do’s and don’ts of 3D photorgraphy – taking a “3D” photo of a landscape is never going to work but take a photo of the same landscape with some objects in the foreground and you’ll get a nice 3D effect.

    It’s obviously not as good as a camera with 2 lenses but it’s still a neat feature.

    As for battery life when taking video, I guess the wuality makes up for it and there is always the option of getting a 2nd battery – which actually raises another issue – unlike Canon where you get a proper battery charger, the Sony’s charger plugs into the camera so you can’t charge a 2nd battery while using the camera.

    Either way, it’s not perfect but the image and video quality combined with some awesome features more than makes up for it.

  • http://www.imagery.co.za Hein Schlebusch

    Hey Johan

    I agree with you.

    I managed the normal Sweep Panorama, but would have loved to see the 3D version. Sony is quite prgressive on the 3D front.

    Yeah, the charger setup and USB cable isn’t great. As you said, the actual photo and video quality makes up for the other shortcomings though.

  • Johan

    Absolutely.

    I actually first bought the Sony 3D Bloggie but it was horrible so I took it back and exchanged it for the WX7.

    The important thing is that Sony is indeed doing a lot trying to promote 3D so I reckon a year or 2 from now there should be some awesome consumer 3D cameras.

  • http://www.imagery.co.za Hein Schlebusch

    Thats very true. The rate at which 3D is evolving is amazing, with quite a few of the big names pushing hard.

    That’s also the problem with being an early adopter. Usually then you get technology that’s not fully up to scratch.

    Cant wait to see how far 3D will be in 2-3 years time.

  • Johan

    Definitely. There are already problems with the glasses regarding format. Samsung for instance changed from IR to Bluetooth so 2011 glasses are not compatible with 2010 sets and vice versa and to make things worse they’re working on a joint format with LG and Sony if I’m not mistaken to come up with a standard.

    That means shopping for (expensive) glasses is becoming trickier every year.

    Then you’ve also got LG trying to convince the public that their cheap passive glasses “technology” running at half resolution is “next generation technology”.

    The technology is there and it’s looking great but it’s very confusing for the consumer right now. As you’ve said, give it 2-3 years and the standards, etc should be sorted and everybody can enjoy 3D.