The Sony WX350 is astonishingly small and light for a camera with a 20x optical zoom; Sony claims it is the world’s smallest and lightest of its kind. I can’t think of anything to contest that. For the price, it is rather capable thanks to its 18 Megapixel sensor, 1080/50/60p movies, built-in Wifi with NFC, and 10 frames per second continuous shooting. Although the manual control is simple, Sony has checked all the right boxes for the intended audience.
Design and management
If first impressions in the world of digital cameras are anything to go by, the Sony WX350 makes a pretty good one. It looks stunning and is extremely small. Yet, the size is what really stops you in your tracks. When you see it and hold it in your hand, the 96x55x26mm and 164g of its physical measurements don’t fully capture the significance of its small size. Its depth aside, it is smaller than the majority of phones. It is smaller on the back than my iPhone 4S, which is a small phone by today’s standards. The word “pocketable” seems to have been created specifically for the WX350.
The style is understated and refined. It is a narrow rectangle with rounded corners when viewed from the top. As you hold the camera, the silver Sony brand badge, the tiny window for the built-in flash, and the Autofocus illuminator are to the right of the lens bezel, which extends a few millimeters beyond the front panel. Several millimeters from the right edge, there is a vertical ridge that runs the full height of the body. While it looks lovely, it doesn’t really offer any practical assistance for holding the WX350 because it is too close to the edge and my rather small hand’s fingers extended well past it. Yet, the WX350 is not difficult to grasp onto.
By any criterion, the Canon PowerShot SX600 HS isn’t a huge compact—aside from the ones that the Sony WX350 has recently established. It is 104x61x26mm in size and 188g in weight. But, when placed next to the WX350 HS, the PowerShot SX600 HS appears to be its older, bigger, and significantly gaucher sibling.
A flat plate with two tiny apertures for the dual microphones makes up the top panel of the WX350. The small on/off button is flush placed and is the same color as the camera, but a great design feature is an LED charge indication light in the top quarter part. A mode dial with the two auto positions, Program Auto, SCN, movie, and iSweep panorama is to its right, followed by the shutter release, which is enormous but at least it can’t be missed.
The 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor from Sony and the latest BIONZ X image processing are featured in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350. Combining the two results in a conventional sensitivity range of ISO80 to ISO3200; however, in Multi Frame NR mode, this range is increased to ISO12800.
The image quality is excellent, with well-controlled grain and minimal sign of color speckling, as long as the sensitivity is kept at ISO800 or lower. Even though detail is starting to deteriorate by this point, quality still holds steady at ISO1600. Colors don’t start to seem visibly blotchy and noise unattractive until ISO3200. When you select Multi Frame NR, the camera takes a flurry of exposures in an effort to reduce noise, but even this ruse can’t make photographs taken at ISO6400 or ISO12800 appear appealing.
Those 18.2 megapixels also do a superb job of capturing detail and producing rich color saturation when the ISO is lower than 800. If you pixel peep, a small amount of grain is visible at all sensitivities, but this is to be expected from a 1/2.3″ sensor and is the cost of having a small camera with a large zoom lens. What’s impressive is that because to aggressive noise reduction processing, fine detail like distant foliage in landscape pictures isn’t prone to the painterly smearing effect frequently created by cameras with this sensor size.
The stabilization and lens
The Sony WX350 maintains the same 20x optical range as the WX300, which it replaced. It boasts an optical SteadyShot stabilization system and a 25-500mm focal range that is similar to 35mm. The PowerShot SX600 HS starts at the same 25mm wide angle but falls short at 450mm because it has a slightly longer zoom than the 18x zoom on that camera. The WX350 allows you to have your cake and eat it too by offering a longer zoom in a smaller, lighter body. The difference isn’t great, and the SX600 HS is larger and heavier. At f3.5-6.5 as opposed to f3.8-6.9 on the PowerShot SX600 HS, the WX350’s lens is a little brighter than the SX600 HS’s, although the difference is quite small.
By today’s standards, the 25-500mm zoom range isn’t particularly wide, but a larger zoom will eventually result in a size trade-off. Sony’s HX60 / HX60V packs a 30x zoom but is a bigger (albeit still just about pocket-sized) more sophisticated device with a higher price tag if you’re seeking for a longer telephoto from a comparatively pocket model. Similar to the PowerShot SX700 HS, but larger and more expensive, it expands to 750mm.
A particularly capable travelzoom camera that stands out is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350. Its Exmor R sensor delivers highly attractive images with good clarity, vibrant colors, and well-controlled noise, and it avoids some of the image quality issues common in cameras utilizing the same size sensor. Additionally, the camera’s optics, exposure metering, and focusing systems all perform admirably. Because of this, you can be sure that the camera will precisely capture a scene in any shooting mode.