WX150 first impressions

Started May 25, 2012 | Discussions
Identity
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WX150 first impressions
May 25, 2012

I bought a Sony WX150 yesterday and spent a few hours taking photos. First impression: seriously impressed.

It's very small and light. Almost too small, but it fits easily in just about any pocket which was my main consideration. I have a Nikon D5100 for serious duty.

It's fast. Startup to first photo is about a second, and autofocus is near-instant. Sony advertises 0.1 second autofocus speed in good light, and that seems about right. Even in dim lighting, it's still accurate, reliable, and pretty quick. This is the first pocketable camera I've used that feels nearly as responsive as my D5100.

The 10fps burst mode works as advertised. For capturing action shots (in my case, a toddler and puppy), it's very useful.

The lens is sharper than any compact camera I've used, and the stabilization seems to be very effective. 10x zoom with excellent optics in something the size of a deck of cards is pretty cool.

Colors are punchy, and probably not that accurate, but I love nice saturated colors so I'm happy. I was worried that the 18mp sensor would be needlessly noisy, but Sony has done some nice processing to retain detail while cleaning up noise. At 100% view, images are clearly heavily processed and look quite unnatural, but viewed full-screen on my 27" iMac, photos look incredibly sharp and noise-free.

The full-auto mode which will take multiple shots automatically and combine them if needed is quite effective, and I'm amazed how well it works even when hand-held. Low-light photos taken like this are clearly heavily processed, but I can't argue with the results. They look clean and sharp.

Up to ISO 800, detail is retained fairly well and colors are reasonably saturated. The camera is not shy about using ISO 800 indoors at all in full auto mode. Speaking of which, there really is no manual mode to speak of. This is a true point and shoot.

Video quality is excellent for this class of camera. In particular, the stabilization is very effective and optical zoom is smooth and fairly quiet while filming. This will definitely work as a camcorder replacement for me.

I have been quite impressed at the latitude for post-processing. The ability to recover shadows and highlights is quite good by point and shoot JPEG standards, and in particular I've been impressed with how fine-grained the shadow noise is when shadows are recovered.

So it's tiny, fast, sharp, and works well in low light. If you need manual control, or if you are a pixel-peeper, this is not the camera for you. There is some serious processing going on if you look closely at the images, but at normal viewing sizes, I think the images are of excellent quality. Your mileage may vary

Here's a gallery of photos I took tonight, using a variety of modes. These are mostly nature and landscape shots, but I'll add some urban/people shots soon.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoecrib/sets/72157629886552506/

To sum up: this as close to the perfect pocket camera as I've ever used.

Nikon D5100 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150
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ASR45
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, May 25, 2012

Some interesting shots
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eawhitcomb
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, May 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures! The WX150 I ordered for my mom is coming in the mail today. She doesn't know it yet, but she's going to be primarily interested in the panorama -- have you had a chance to try that, and if so is it easy to use?

I, of course, will have it out and play with it this weekend under the excuse that I have to learn it to teach her when she comes to visit in June! And who knows? Maybe it'll be so cool I'll convert from Canon to Sony!

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eawhitcomb
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to eawhitcomb, May 25, 2012

My first attempt at panorama looks great! My only complaint, after playing with lots of features, is how long it takes to write to the memory card. But from what I'm seeing, it's still worth it for all the fun features and good pictures coming out of the camera.

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zhir
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to eawhitcomb, May 25, 2012

If your panoramas are 20 or 40 megapixels, you have to forgive the time it takes to write such gigantic JPEG to the card.

By the way, I am planning to offer my mom a WX70 shortly.
Can you tell us if your WX is made in China or in Japan?

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Identity
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to zhir, May 26, 2012

My WX150 was made in China. Not sure it makes a difference these days, but I do still prefer to see Made in Japan on my electronics.

So after another day of shooting, I can confirm that this is a FAST camera. I was able to take photos of my daughter on her swing and the near-instant focus and minimal shutter lag meant I got as many keepers as I have in the past with my Nikon V1. This camera is actually replacing my V1 as a carry-around camera, and while the image quality isn't quite as good, it's quite close in good lighting and the speed of operation is similar. In terms of size and weight, it's not even close. The WX150 is so tiny I forget I have it in my pocket. Also, I think the WX150 focuses more quickly and accurately in low light that my V1.

Still impressed on day day 2

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ASR45
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, May 26, 2012

Glad you are having fun with it

Identity wrote:

My WX150 was made in China. Not sure it makes a difference these days, but I do still prefer to see Made in Japan on my electronics.

So after another day of shooting, I can confirm that this is a FAST camera. I was able to take photos of my daughter on her swing and the near-instant focus and minimal shutter lag meant I got as many keepers as I have in the past with my Nikon V1. This camera is actually replacing my V1 as a carry-around camera, and while the image quality isn't quite as good, it's quite close in good lighting and the speed of operation is similar. In terms of size and weight, it's not even close. The WX150 is so tiny I forget I have it in my pocket. Also, I think the WX150 focuses more quickly and accurately in low light that my V1.

Still impressed on day day 2

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eawhitcomb
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to zhir, May 26, 2012

So far everything -- just straight shots in auto -- are taking a long time to write. Let's just say longer than I'm used to. It would probably drive me crazy, but my mom won't even notice a difference.

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Dutchpepper
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to eawhitcomb, May 26, 2012

eawhitcomb wrote:

So far everything -- just straight shots in auto -- are taking a long time to write. Let's just say longer than I'm used to. It would probably drive me crazy, but my mom won't even notice a difference.

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it maybe the card you are using, not the camera. just an idea?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/loubella/

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Dutchpepper
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Dutchpepper, May 26, 2012

Great to hear you are having a great time with the camera, excellent review and photos of the Wx150, keep them coming
DP
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Identity
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Dutchpepper, Jun 2, 2012

Just thought I'd update this thread to report that after a week, the shine has not worn off of my WX150. It's proving to be very capable at point-n-shoot duties, and the intelligent auto mode produces some impressive results in difficult situations. I normally hate auto modes too. The autofocus speed and sharp lens continue to impress.

I've added a few new images to my flickr gallery as well. Ignore the art mode shots if you don't like that sort of thing - I'm just having fun playing around with every mode
|
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoecrib/sets/72157629886552506/with/7318228044/
|

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Dutchpepper, Jun 2, 2012

I have had two WX150's for about a month now. One I got for my wife as a Mother's Day present. She said she wanted more zoom than her TX9 gave her. She is very pleased. The other WX150 is for me to take when I am out for a morning run before the rest of the family wakes up, especially when we are on vacation in Europe or US national parks, etc. It is so small and light it is very comfortable in my pocket and I take it on all my runs. I never notice it until I turn a corner, see something, stop quickly, take a shot, run on. It starts us quickly enough not to be annoying, although the shut down time is surprisingly long. Usually I have taken 4 or 5 strides before the lens has completely retracted and the camera has shut off so I can slide it back into my pocket.

The one weakness of the camera is the screen visibility in sunlight. With the brightness turned all the way up, you can see what you are shooting okay, but not good enough to feel like you are composing a shot. My Canon 500HS has significantly better display visibility in the sun so I feel like I can compose a shot. The 500HS used to be my jogging camera, but it is a little too heavy to be comfortable for that, and the zoom is only 5X.

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ASR45
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, Jun 2, 2012

Lovely glad you like
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betabeta1
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, Jun 25, 2012

How did you made this? With background defocus? I would be curious to the settings. Very impressive photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoecrib/7318204878/sizes/l/in/set-72157629886552506/

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KCHAWK
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, Jun 25, 2012

Thanks for the review. My daughter in law just got one and I am sure she will be pleased.

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ASR45
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to betabeta1, Jun 26, 2012

what.
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Stephen McDonald
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Nice Collection and Invasive Plant Alert
In reply to KCHAWK, Jun 26, 2012

These were sharp, interesting and well-framed. For a first time with a camera, I'd say that's very good.

Also, I must tell you, if you don't know, that the pretty green plant with pink flowers, is a Robert Geranium. It's a wild plant from Europe and Asia that is very invasive in the U.S. It will spread fast underground and take over everything if you allow it. If you rub the foliage it smells very bad. I fought it for 4 years, before I mostly cleared it out of my place, but I see it around in many wooded areas and parks.
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martin0reg
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, Jul 6, 2012

Thank you for the report.

I have just bought me a WX100 (same as WX150 with 2,7 display) and think it is one of the best in its size.

Very good photos, zoom range incredible concerning camera size and IQ, stabilized video, good looking effects (auto panorama, illustration and water color, multishot for NR or HDR,...)
A very good package!
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AndyHWC
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to Identity, Jul 6, 2012

Hi Identity, which shooting mode do you use? P or iAuto? Thanks

Identity wrote:

My WX150 was made in China. Not sure it makes a difference these days, but I do still prefer to see Made in Japan on my electronics.

So after another day of shooting, I can confirm that this is a FAST camera. I was able to take photos of my daughter on her swing and the near-instant focus and minimal shutter lag meant I got as many keepers as I have in the past with my Nikon V1. This camera is actually replacing my V1 as a carry-around camera, and while the image quality isn't quite as good, it's quite close in good lighting and the speed of operation is similar. In terms of size and weight, it's not even close. The WX150 is so tiny I forget I have it in my pocket. Also, I think the WX150 focuses more quickly and accurately in low light that my V1.

Still impressed on day day 2

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ASR45
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Re: WX150 first impressions
In reply to martin0reg, Jul 7, 2012

Have fun.

martin0reg wrote:

Thank you for the report.

I have just bought me a WX100 (same as WX150 with 2,7 display) and think it is one of the best in its size.

Very good photos, zoom range incredible concerning camera size and IQ, stabilized video, good looking effects (auto panorama, illustration and water color, multishot for NR or HDR,...)
A very good package!
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http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/index.php

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