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The skinny on the Sony

Billed as the world's lightest and smallest camera, the WX100 slips into your pocket as easily as a credit card



If you're looking for a small camera that slips easily into your pocket, you'll probably like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100. This compact digital camera captures pleasing quality photos and is also fun to use.

Being a mere 17.5mm thin and only marginally - bigger than a credit card, the WX100 - all 124 grams of it - will sit comfortably in your pocket, ready to whip out to catch any spontaneous moment. Even at its thickest part, it's only 21.6mm.

Sony said that as of February 28, the WX100 was the world's smallest and lightest camera.

WX100 features 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor with extra high sensitivity technology. It comes with 25mm wide-angle lens in 35mm equivalence and has 10x optical zoom or 250mm focal length in 35mm photography.

Its 2.7-inch ClearPhoto LCD monitor is also used together with the mode dial to navigate through the camera's functions and options.

The WX100 is very easy to use and has very good performance. You simply use the dial to select the mode you want to use. The shooting modes include Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Easy Shooting and Program Auto. The Program Auto is for more advanced users as it allows you to adjust various parameters.

For most users, Intelligent Auto and Superior Auto are sufficient to get good quality photos. Superior Auto is more advanced, recognising 35 types of shooting scenes for still images and movies and allowing the camera to automatically detects the correct scene for you. Superior Auto also reduces blur and noise automatically so it takes longer to process each shot than the Intelligent Auto.

There is also Scene Selection mode that lets you manually select scene mode to suit the shooting environment. The available scene modes include Landscape, Fireworks, Backlight Correction HDR, Soft Snap, Gourmet, Pet and Handheld Twilight.

The WX100 has very good performance. It is ready for the first shot in just about one second and a half after it starts up. In Intelligent Auto mode that requires no special processing and you need wait only one second before starting to shoot the next shot.

Best of all, the camera is capable of shooting up to 10 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. During the test, we used the continuous shooting mode to capture fun and fast actions, like jumping and kicking. When shots captured in continuous shooting mode were grouped, they could be viewed like stop-motion actions by tilting the camera left or right.

The WX100 has high speed auto focus so it is not difficult to track moving objects and capture them sharply.

The camera also lets you shoot panorama shots - just use the Panorama mode.

Making the WX100 even more fun are the nine picture effects, which include HDR Painting, Miniature, Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Partial Colour Water Colour and Illustration.

During the test, outdoors and in The Nation newsroom, WX100 captured sharp, clean and beautiful photos. Outdoor photos look beautiful with well-saturated colours. Indoor and low-light photos also came out and sharp and clean thanks to the high-sensitivity Exmor R sensor. Portraits were captured beautifully when we used the Soft Skin mode.

I like to capture the lights at night and I was impressed with the Handheld Twilight mode. The camera fired several shots and composed them into a single shot, which was sharp and colourful.

Another nice thing about the camera is that it also recharges its battery when you connect it to a USB port of a computer to transfer your files.

It's even reasonably priced. You'll fin the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100 in shops for Bt9,440.



Key specs

_ Image sensor: 18.2 Exmor R CMOS Sensor

_ Lens: Sony G Lens with f/3.3-5.9, 10x optical zoom (25-250mm)

_ LCD: 2.7 inch ClearPhoto LCD with 460800 pixels

_ Image processor: BIONZ

_ ISO Sensitivity Setting: Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800

_ Shutter speed: 4-1/1600

_ Recording media: SD card/Memory Stick Duo

_ Battery: NP-BN (about 240 shots per charge)

_ Connections: Micro USB, Mini HDMI

_ Dimension: 92.3x52.4x21.6mm

_ Weight: 124g (with battery, memory stick)


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