Published on October 5th,2009 at 1:53 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1: The Review

Last August Sony announced worldwide two new ultra compact cameras, the Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1, tailored to offer the best possible pictures in any situation, with as many functions that could fit on the slimmest, most compact body ever.

Cyber-Shot TX1 Specs
- 10.2-megapixel Resolution
- Exmor R CMOS Senor – BIONZ Image Processor
- Optical Zoom : 4x
- 3.0-inch LCD with 230,000 pixels with touchscreen
- ISO range of 125 to 3200
- Memory Stick Duo
- 10fps Burst Mode
- 720/30p Video recording mode

Cyber-Shot WX1 Specs
- 10.2-megapixel Resolution
- Exmor R CMOS Senor – BIONZ Image Processor
- Optical Zoom : 5x
- 2.7-inch LCD with 230,000 pixels
- ISO range of 125 to 3200
- Memory Stick Duo
- 10fps Burst Mode
- 720/30p Video recording mode

First Impression
There is nothing like a Sony… Like Canon and Nikon, Sony makes amazing little compact cameras that handle well… Both the TX1 and WX1 feel like high-end devices and even have a luxurious touch, especially the TX1.

The TX1 is my favorite one in this regard and I’m crazy about its beauty… Almost perfection with only three buttons on top (zoom, shutter and power), a pure and simple design where all other functions are accessible via the TX1′s bright and very responsive touchscreen.

The WX1 is a bit more traditional in this regard, no touchscreen and the usual dial and menu buttons to the right of the screen… Less sexy, the WX1 is more oriented to people who want a little more than what the TX1 provides by offering quick access to the buttons you need.

Let’s Shoot Baby
While both cameras offer the same basic specs performance is different, they both come with the same features that made me fall in love with them.

1) Smile Shutter, nothing new here and I’m sure you’ve played with this function on a another camera. It works well, AMAZINGLY well, and you will never miss a smiling face again… This function is especially amazing if you have kids, you’ll be surprised by its accuracy.

2) Panoramic Mode… We played with this mode with the DSC-HX1, and like on this bridge, Panoramic Mode on both the WX1 and TX1 works extremely well with a choice of orientation for the scene you want to capture.

3)10fps Burst Mode. I rarely use this feature on a point and shoot, however, I understand the need to shoot up to ten pictures when capturing a sporting event or when a friend trips over a bucket of water…

4) The DRO or Dynamic Range Optimizer, like the EXR Mode on FujiFilm’s S200EXR, provides sharper and clearer details in the dark areas of any picture.

5) And the AMAZING Exmor R censor and its flash-less Night Mode.

The list above is not exhaustive and there are many other nice things, like the way you can flip a picture in the play mode on the TX1 (similar to the iPhone and its gallery feature)… But the five points above are the most important, at least to me.

Let’s talk first about the Exmor R and its flash-less feature… I was already pretty impressed when I saw the demo at Sony HQ, but trying it out was even more impressive… Once turned on and you release the shutter button you’ll hear the camera taking several pictures (four in total) like it would in burst mode. It gives you you a final image shot in the dark without the usual flash burn and the need for a tripod… As you can see below, both pictures were taken with in Night Shot mode. Despite both being shot in high ISO (auto) with ISO 1000 for the first while mounted on a tripod and ISO 3200 for the second with the camera only stabilized in my hands. Really impressive and a first for such an ultra compact point & shoot camera.





You may not always shoot pictures in low light and will probably take daylight pictures and both the TX1 and WX1 offer acceptable result for their size. It’s important to notice the difference in speed processing, the TX1 is a little slower than the WX1 and gives less impressive shots… But once again we’re not talking about DSLR, and noise really starts kicking in at ISO 400, something that you’ll probably not even notice when viewing pictures on a TV/ PC screen or when printed on postcard size photo paper.

My last word on the image quality is the overall lack of color dynamic on both the WX1 and TX1 compared to what competitors are offering. Peculiar indeed for a company (Sony) that in the past made sure to boost camera color range to offer more colorful pictures.

Sony Cyber-Shot TX1 Photo Sample for Review, please follow this link
Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 Photo Sample for Review, please follow this link

Video Mode
These cameras offer a 720/30p video mode, and well, let’s say HD Movie Mode is more of marketing feature than a real plus… Don’t expect much, if you want to shoot HD video, treat yourself to a proper HD camera.

Conclusion
It’s been a long time since I haven’t been excited by a compact point & shoot. For sure these cameras will never reach what you can achieve with a proper DSLR, but for an everyday shooter that you can easily carry around, both the WX1 and TX1 offer impressive performance (especially in low light).

If I had to choose I wouldn’t hesitate a second and jump over to the TX1 for its great design and ultra compact size. Granted the TX1 offers slightly less impressive (but not much) photos than the WX1, on other hand it offers an outstanding ratio size performance that will make you forget everything else.

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Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The Review
Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The Review
Sony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The ReviewSony Cyber-Shot WX1 and TX1:  The Review
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Comments
 

  • Ryan

    Hi Dai,

    Nice comparison. I struggling in my mind to make a decision what to buy last week and finally thought to go for TX1. After reading your review now I know I made the right choice. Do you know where I can buy one of these with English menus in Japan? I was at Yodabashi before but they don’t offer models with English.

    Cheers
    Ryan

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    Hi Ryan, unfortunately, like Panasonic, Sony does not offer English JP menu for their cameras and this for 2 stupid reasons

    1) They are scare that bad foreigners will resell these Cameras overseas (US is now cheaper than Japan on this matter)

    2) According to Sanyo, if a product has other menus than Japanese, this product then bound to be exported, and the JP government has a special tax for that.

 

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