Sub-compact Dynamite

The tiny Sony Cyber-shot WX1 is a big performer and is packed with features. This camera excels in low-light, which is the result of a new generation of sensor, a fast and wide lens, and an effective optical image stabilizer. If these aren't enough for even lower lighting conditions, the ingenious Hand-held Twilight and Anti-Motion Blur modes can capture sharp pictures by taking multiple shots and merging them together - it sounds complicated but it works.

A cool and unique feature of Sony's new cameras, including the WX1, is the Sweep Panorama mode. It lets us shoot very wide panoramas by hand-sweeping. The camera automatically stitches the images it shot during the sweep into one image. The resolution of the panoramas and image quality are lower than normal, making them suitable only for small prints, but good enough for emails, web pages, or Facebook (see the last 5 images in the photo gallery).

Another feature that we like is the high-speed burst mode which can capture up to 10 images in 1 second.

We really like the Cyber-shot WX1: besides all the nifty features, it's very fast and easy to use. The camera and buttons are small, but we have no problem operating them. There's always room for improvement, however. We wish the WX1 would allow exposures longer than 2 seconds. If you don't take night pictures, then it's not an issue. But nocturnal shutterbugs need longer exposure settings. Also, for connecting to HD TVs, there's an optional HD component cable, but no HDMI. For those who like black & white photography, beware: there's no monochrome shooting mode.


>> seattle photo gallery

  • fast, easy to use
  • great in low light for a small camera
  • very good image quality
  • very compact, stylish, well built body
  • excellent, fast 24-120mm zoom lens
  • effective optical image stabilization
  • 720p HD video
  • video optical zoom
  • excellent 2.7" LCD
  • sweep panorama mode
  • anti-motion blur mode
  • hand-held twilight mode
  • high-speed burst mode
  • smile-detection



  • longest exposure is limited to 2 seconds
  • no manual exposure mode
  • no HDMI cable option
  • no black & white mode

  • pocket dynamite
  • sub-compact camera
  • price when tested: $349
  • 12.2009 street price: $329
  • color: black, silver
  • image stabilized zoom lens 24-120mm
  • multi-format: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • 2.7" LCD
  • 720p HD video
  • Memory Stick card
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 10 megapixels
  • dimension: 3.6 " x 2.1" x 0.8"
  • weight: 5.3 oz
  • Cyber-shot WX1 @