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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 Review

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 Review

You'll find that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 is a solid performer in this price range, and Sony is offering it in red, black, or white camera bodies.

Sony

The Bottom Line

The Sony Cyber-shot WX80 camera is one of those models that proves the old adage: You can't judge a book -- or camera -- by its cover. I certainly didn't expect this camera to have many above-average features, as most small, inexpensive cameras tend to struggle with photographic quality and performance.

However, the WX80's response times are above average, and this camera does an adequate job with its image quality. You won't be able to make extremely large prints with the Cyber-shot WX80 because of some slight image softness, but image quality is very good for flash photos that will be shared via social networking sites, such as Facebook. You also can share your images with Facebook through this camera's built-in Wi-Fi feature.

The Sony WX80 is very small, which means that its control buttons and LCD screen are also very small. This will represent a significant drawback with this camera, as anyone with large fingers will struggle to use this camera comfortably. Still, if you don't mind the small size of this model, it's a good option versus others in its sub-$200 price point.

Specifications

  • Resolution: 16.2 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 8X (34-272mm at 4:3 ratio, 28-224mm at 16:9 ratio)
  • LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels
  • Maximum image size: 4608 x 3456
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 2.13 x 3.75 x 0.91 inches
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces (with battery and memory card)
  • Image sensor: CMOS 1/2.3 in.
  • Movie mode: HD AVCHD 60i (1920x1080)

    Pros

  • Nice performance versus other small cameras
  • Flash photo quality is good
  • WX80 is easy to use with built-in help screens
  • Strong battery life
  • Built-in Wi-Fi is nice to find in this price range

    Cons

  • 8X zoom lens could be larger
  • You may notice a bit of image softness when magnifying images
  • Camera's control buttons are too small
  • LCD screen is a bit smaller than it should be
  • Some menu options are a bit odd and confusing
  • Image Quality

    Sony

    On average, image quality with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 is pretty good. You aren't going to be able to make extremely large prints with this camera, but it will work well for making small prints and for sharing with others through social networks or by e-mail.

    The color accuracy is above average with this camera, both with indoor and outdoor photos. And the WX80 does a good job with setting the exposure, which isn't always the case with beginner-level point-and-shoot cameras.

    Large prints will show a bit of softness, as the WX80's autofocus mechanism isn't pin sharp throughout the zoom range. Another problem with image softness occurs because the Cyber-shot WX80 uses a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor. You may not notice this image softness when viewing the images at small sizes, but once you try to create large prints or expand the image sizes on a computer screen, you're going to see a slight blur.

    Sony did at least choose to include a CMOS image sensor with this camera, which helps it perform better in low light than some other cameras with small image sensors. Flash photo quality is good with the WX80 too, and the camera performs quickly when using the flash, which is difficult to find versus other similarly priced models.

    Performance

    I was pretty surprised with the ability of the Cyber-shot WX80 to perform quickly, as you'll notice very little shutter lag with this camera. Sony also gave the WX80 a strong burst mode, allowing you to shoot several photos per second at full resolution.

    When you're looking at other cameras in the sub-$200 and sub-$150 price ranges, the Sony WX80 is an above-average performer.

    Sony kept the WX80 very easy to use, even though it doesn't have a mode dial. This camera instead uses a three-way toggle switch, allowing you to change between still image mode, movie mode, and panoramic mode. The Cyber-shot WX80 has no fully manual mode.

    Battery life is pretty good with this camera, too, despite the fact that it has a thin and small rechargeable battery.

    Finally the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities of the Cyber-shot WX80 work pretty well, although it can be a little confusing to set up initially. Using Wi-Fi quite often will drain the battery much more quickly than just shooting still images.

    Design

    Sony

    At first glance the Sony WX80 is a very basic looking model, with a solid colored body and silver trim.

    If you're looking for a very small camera, the Cyber-shot WX80 certainly is an interesting option. It's one of the smaller camera bodies on the market, and it weighs only 4.4 ounces with the battery and memory card installed. This tiny size does have its drawbacks, as the DSC-WX80's control buttons are too small to use comfortably, including the power button. You may miss some spontaneous photos with this camera because you cannot press the power button properly.

    Another feature that's too small with this camera is its LCD screen, as it only measures 2.7 inches diagonally and contains 230,000 pixels, both of which are below average measurements for cameras in today's marketplace.

    It would've been nice to have a zoom lens larger than 8X with this camera, as 10X is an average zoom measurement for fixed lens cameras.

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