Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 Review

June 8, 2011 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Sony DSC-WX10 is a stylish new compact camera with a vast array of advanced features. The WX10 has a 16.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor for better low noise performance, 1080i Full HD movie recording, 7x optical G Lens with a 24mm wide-angle setting and f/2.4 maximum aperture, and a 2.8 inch LCD screen. Also on offer are 3D Sweep Panoramas and 3D still images, high resolution panoramas, Superior Auto mode which combines up to 6 images to reduce noise and maximise dynamic range, 10fps continuous shooting, and Background Defocus mode to create portraits with a smoothly defocused background. The Sony DSC-WX10 is available in silver or black and costs around £279.99 / $279.99.

Ease of Use

Sony is well known for its pocket-sized Cyber-shot point and shoots majoring heavily on style, and the latest upgrade in the (familiar, rectangular) shape of the DSC-WX10 wisely refuses to buck that trend. We had the metal fronted, champagne-coloured option in for review (as opposed to sober black), and upon raising this unashamedly eye-catching example out of its box it's clear it has the requisite wow factor.

In good light our champagne WX10 almost resembles a bar of precious metal, feeling solid in the palm and boasting a weight of 126g with battery and card loaded plus portable, pocket sized dimensions of 95x53.5x23.3mm. Suggested UK pricing was £279 at the time of writing, which, while not cheap, going by first impressions at least seems fair.

Updating last year's WX5, the WX10 is not mere exterior gloss however; it boasts a feature set that includes nearly all of the latest must haves. A 'SteadyShot' image stabilized 7x optical zoom and retractable lens with a 24-168mm (35mm equivalent) focal range plus bright-ish f/2.4 maximum aperture feature alongside Full HD video in AVCHD format (with the additional option of MPEG4 capture). The camera can be connected up to your flat panel TV via HDMI output hidden under a side flap, though the necessary lead is an extra cost. USB lead, a mains plug and adapter unit so that the battery card be charged in camera are all provided however.

We additionally get a 16.2 effective megapixel maximum stills resolution from a 1/2.3-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor totaling 16.8MP, suggesting as with the WX5 the possibility of a decent low light performance from the WX10 despite that high pixel count and small-ish chip dimensions. ISO sensitivity runs from ISO100 up to ISO3200. Continuous shooting at up to 10fps at full 16MP resolution further indicates we should expect big things from the WX10 in the performance stakes. Indeed its maker is making a point of the camera's 'DSLR-like speed', suggesting that its lightning fast focusing is down to an audio speaker-style magnetic coil used to provide a 'back and forth' (rather than rotational) motion.

With stills and video composed and replayed via 2.8-inch LCD screen with a respectable 460,800-dot resolution and presented in 4:3 aspect ratio as default, recording is to removable SD, SDHC or SDHC media with the further option of using Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo card for existing Cyber-shot owners. The WX10 certainly has most angles covered.

As well as being a stylish addition to Sony's Cyber-shot family, the DSC-WX10's predecessor in the WX5 was probably most notable for being the first, along with the TX9 (now also superceded by the TX10), to introduce Sony's 3D Sweep Panorama function to the range. This features again on the WX10 and automatically stitches together a rapid-fire sequence of images to produce one elongated stereoscopic one. Great if you own a 3D TV, the funny specs and want to generate your own content - and seeing friends and family on screen in 3D does have a certain wow factor and emotional draw.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Rear

Also making a re-appearance within the same 3D shooting mode setting is the in-camera 'multi angle mode' allowing a shorter burst of 15-shots to be viewed lenticular-fashion, so with the illusion of 3D if you tilt the camera from side to side.  New this time around though, and also featuring on the WX10's TX10 sibling, is a further stereoscopic option in 3D still image mode. Just like on the WX10 this takes two consecutive shots - for the left eye and right eye - and combines them for the full brain-fooling effect.

Though we can't yet shoot James Cameron style 3D movies with the WX10, 2D moving footage is given almost as much prominence as stills on this Cyber-shot. A red record button marked 'movie' features at the top right hand corner of the Sony's backplate where it readily falls under the thumb as you grip the camera right handed.

By contrast at the front there's no handgrip to stop fingers slipping, just in practice the slightly raised and rough surfaced 'Sony Cyber-shot' logo. Movie capture has been further enhanced with a dual recording mode which allows low-resolution stills to be captured in the midst of filming, but for those looking to concentrate purely on making the most of their stills rather than gimmicks, background defocus and backlit-correcting HDR (High Dynamic Range) options further feature (under the scene options) to lift the WX10 above your average happy snapper. In many ways the WX10 is very similar to the TX10, the notable exception being that this camera isn't waterproof, shock or freeze proof.

Though the WX10 may look sophisticated and impressively so from the front, at the back the controls are rather more plastic-y and simplified, as well as being on the regulation-issue small side. Included here alongside the familiar dime-sized shooting mode wheel and multi directional control pad is a button marked with an enigmatic '?' which, as on the TX10, provides access to an in-camera help manual in capture mode. This allows for keyword searches as well as providing a basic feature overview and offering a degree of trouble-shooting. In review mode the same control doubles up as a delete button.

Those giving this a press might be doing so to find out why the camera includes two auto shooting modes - Superior Auto and intelligent auto - alongside the regular Program auto option. Also getting dedicated settings on the shooting mode dial are, slightly surprisingly, a manual shooting mode (allowing for adjustment of shutter speed and aperture value with subsequent presses of the unmarked 'OK'-type button in the midst of the familiar control pad), 'intelligent' Sweep Panorama, video (in addition to that dedicated record button), a grouping of 3D shooting options plus separate scene modes, which we've touched on.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Top

You don't actually have to have the dial turned to video to begin filming - at which point the screen display is cropped to 16:9 widescreen format - a press of the aforementioned button will do it. Fortunately the optical zoom can be utilized when shooting video, but it's far slower to move through its focal range than when framing up a still image instead - no doubt to cut down on any distracting mechanical buzz as the lens makes its physical adjustments. Incidentally, if you do switch from AVCHD format recording to alternative MPEG 4 recording (via the set up menu), resolution also drops from 1920x1080 pixels to a maximum 1440x1080 pixels, though this isn't perhaps as obvious as it should be, and is only apparent if then going back and taking a look at the video option on-screen settings toolbar.

At the front the 24-168mm equivalent in 35mm terms, f/2.4 to f/5.9 Sony 'G' series lens unsurprisingly dominates proceedings, top right of which is a tiny porthole housing the AF assist and self-timer lamp. Over at the other side of the optic is one of the narrowest windows housing a flash we've ever witnessed on a digital camera; not only does this mean that in-camera flash looks almost embarrassed to be featured at all, it also means that it has the potential to be at least partly obscured by a stray finger when gripping the WX10 in the right hand. A sloping edge to the left hand side of the faceplate - when viewed lens on - seems to be there pretty much for show only, as when our fingertips attempted to get some purchase they ended up merely slipping about.

The top of the camera meanwhile features a raised and obvious shutter release button encircled by a chunky lever for operating the optical zoom, which there's equally no mistaking. To the left of this is a lozenge shaped power button recessed into the top plate to prevent accidental activation. Give this a press and the DSC-WX10 readies itself for the first shot in around two seconds, lens extending from flush to the body and LCD screen blinking into life accompanied by an audio flourish. A lamp next to the on/off button briefly illuminates in green at the same time, if only to further indicate the device is actually working.

Also on the top plate are holes housing left and right stereo microphones - another welcome feature at this price - and, set just back from them at the far edge, we find a third hole housing the built-in mono speaker. Once up and running the WX10 is as responsive as hoped for. Give the shutter release button a half press and focus and exposure are determined almost as instantly as your finger finds that half way point, AF points highlighted in green with a beep of affirmation that the user is free to go ahead and take the shot. Do so and with negligible shutter delay a full 16MP resolution JPEG is committed to memory in just over two seconds. The screen blanks out briefly before freezing to show the image being saved.

So far, so straightforward and so it continues on each flank of the camera; one side being devoid of any features whatsoever whilst the opposite end incorporates a covered HDMI output port and a lug for the attachment of a wrist strap. USB and AV output is alternatively provided via a joint unprotected multi-connector port at the WX10's base.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

The base also houses the rechargeable lithium ion battery, which is charged in-camera. Battery life is good for 360 shots according to CIPA standards. Alongside the battery and protected by the same sliding cover, is a joint use slot for either SD card or Sony's own proprietary Memory Stick Pro media, whilst over at the far end of the base (rather than dead centre) is a screw thread for fixing the Sony to a tripod if so wished.

The back of the WX10 is probably the most conventionally featured and set out, as we've already touched on. Camcorder style record button, dime shaped shooting wheel and camera manual button aside, also here is the four way control pad unobtrusively encircled by a scroll wheel, with playback button sitting just above and menu button just below.

Ranged at north, east, south and west around the pad are a means of adjusting the display, working through the flash settings (on, off, auto, slow sync, with red eye reduction selected from amid the set up menu), calling up self timer options (10 or two seconds, or activated when one or two faces are detected), and lastly switching drive modes, from single shot to continuous capture or a triple shot bracketing option. A press of the display setting meanwhile can add a live histogram to the basic screen info for those who want to watch out for clipped highlights or potentially lost shadow detail.

Beneath the WX10's command pad, as on its WX5 predecessor we find a menu button situated next to a tiny delete button. A press of 'menu' and a toolbar appears down the left hand side of the WX5's screen, with white icons presented against a black background. It's here we get to adjust image size and image ratio, from the full 16 megapixels in 4:3 ratio down to 12 megapixels or two megapixels if opting for 16:9 instead, exposure compensation (+/- 2EV), ISO sensitivity settings (from ISO100, rather than its forebear's ISO125, up to ISO3200), plus white balance, focusing (multi AF, centre AF, Spot AF, semi manual or manual AF via an on-screen slider bar) and metering (multi, centre and spot) settings. Smile shutter, exposure bracketing and face detection options are further available on the same toolbar.

While the WX10 may offer more than one might expect from a sub-£300 snapshot and be especially enticing if low light shooting or stereoscopic snaps are your bag, how does it measure up in practice? Do the images it provides match the gloss of its showy exterior, or suggest that gimmicks have been placed ahead of end results? Read on to find out.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

Compared with a £100 snapshot (such as the Pentax S1 we were looking at alongside this), pictures from the WX10 appear impressively sharp and detailed for what is still a point and shoot model with a smallish lens and sensor yet a high pixel count. Even on default setting, colours are realistically vibrant, with reds, greens and blues 'singing' in particular. At times, when shooting on Superior Auto setting, the camera's desire to maintain both shadow and highlight detail within the same shot can result in pictures verging on appearing a little washed out and lacking in contrast, but it's easiest enough to twist the dial around to intelligent auto, program auto or manual if this proves to be the case. The idea is to get results straight from the camera that require little if any adjustment, and for the most part that is exactly what the WX10 delivers.

Though pixel fringing can occasionally be found if you're really looking for it, images are ever so slightly soft when shooting handheld at the telephoto end of the zoom even in broad daylight and extreme wide angle shots can result in converging verticals, none of the above is either a surprise nor a deal breaker. Moreover edge-to-edge sharpness is well maintained.

In terms of lower light performance as we make our way up the ISO settings, we were able to get usable results up to and including its top manually selectable ISO3200 setting, which is no mean feat. Of course, as we found with its WX5 predecessor here is some noise visible - inevitably perhaps - at this top setting and a slight smudging of detail. But as we say, this is relatively slight. Overall then a very good showing, and an option for those who want a reliable snapper to slip into a top pocket and take out with them for the evening.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


The Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The flash settings on the Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (168mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (168mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10's maximum shutter speed is 2 seconds, which is not good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/30th second at ISO 400.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and now even successfully compensates for moving subjects. The main catch is that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution.

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample video from the Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10 camera at the quality setting of 1440x1080 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 33 second movie is 38.7Mb in size.

Product Images

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Front of the Camera

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Isometric View

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Isometric View

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Rear of the Camera

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Top of the Camera

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Bottom of the Camera

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Side of the Camera


Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Side of the Camera

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Memory Card Slot

Sony CyberShot DSC-WX10

Battery Compartment


Given that at the end of the day this is basically a point and shoot camera pure and simple, Sony has packed a lot of functionality into the WX10 that should save those who want to occasionally do something other than pointing and shooting getting rapidly bored. Having said that the camera is a reliably consistent tool when left to its own devices. For a snapshot model it exceeds expectations by being better than average as regards response times and the expansive nature of the feature set, so anyone upgrading from a basic point and shoot should find plenty to interest them without the environment being too unfamiliar.

While the Sony WX5 excels when there is plenty of light around, it also makes a decent fist of it when there's not. We shot handheld with available light inside a dark panelled stately home and were pleased to achieve results that were both free from blur and ridiculous levels of image noise at the same time. Results were again surprisingly crisp, as hopefully our sample images have indicated, meaning this Cyber-shot should give the likes of Panasonic's Lumix range a good run for its money. With straight '4's across the board, it all adds up to another Photography Blog Recommendation for those looking for a comprehensively featured, consumer-level pocket compact.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 from around the web. »

With a body measuring about the width and height of a stack of business cards, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX10 point-and-shoot camera packs a surprising amount of features into a slight frame.
Read the full review »



Optical Zoom


Precision Digital Zoom

Approx. 28x (Total)

Smart Zoom

up to 50x (with VGA)



Focal Length (f= mm)


Focal Length (f=35mm conversion)


Macro (cm)

iAuto(W:Approx.5cm(0.16') to Infinity, T:Approx.100cm(3.28') to Infinity)

Filter Diameter (mm)


Conversion Lens compatibility


Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens


Sony G


Image Sensory

CCD Type

Exmor R™ CMOS Sensor

Size (Inches)

1/2.3 type(7.77mm)


Effective Pixels (Mega Pixels)

Approx. 16.2

Bionz Processor


Face Detection


Smile Shutter


Soft Skin Mode


Background Defocus


Backlight Correction


Sweep Panorama


Intelligent Sweep Panorama


Underwater Sweep Panorama


3D Sweep Panorama


Clear RAW NR


Auto Focus Area (Multi Point)

9 points (Under Face Undetected)

Auto Focus Area (Centre weighted)


Auto Focus Area (Spot)


Auto Focus Area (Flexible Spot)


Manual Focus


Aperture Auto Mode


Aperture Priority Mode


Aperture Manual Mode


Shutter Speed Auto Mode (sec)

iAuto(2" - 1/1,600)

NR Slow Shutter

1/3sec or slower

Hand Shake Alert


Exposure Control

± 2.0EV, 1/3EV step

White Balance

Auto (intelligent), Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3, Incandescent, Flash, One Push, One Push Set, White Balance Sift

Automatic White Balance

YES (Intelligent)

Light Metering (Multi Pattern)


Light Metering (Centre weighted)


Light Metering (Spot)


Sharpness Setting


Saturation Setting


Contrast Setting


ISO Sensitivity (REI)

YES (Auto / 100 / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200)

Scene Selection

11 modes (Superior Auto / Portrait / Backlight Portrait / Twilight Portrait / Twilight / Backlight / Macro / Landscape / Infant / Spot Light / Low Light )

AF Illuminator

Auto / Off


SteadyShot capability


Optical SteadyShot capability

YES (Optical SteadyShot Active Mode)

Auto Focus System

AF Illuminator

Auto / Off


Flash Mode

Auto / On / Slow Syncro / Off



Red-Eye Correction

Auto / On / Off

Auto Daylight Synchronized Flash


Distance limitations using Flash (m)

ISO Auto: Approx. 0.35-Approx.7.1m(Approx.1.15'-Approx.23.3')(W) / Approx.1.0 - Approx.2.9m(Approx.3.28'-Approx.9.51')(T), ISO3200: up to Approx.10.1m(Approx.33.1)(W) / Approx.4.0m(Approx.13.1')(T)

LCD/ Viewfinder

LCD Screen Size (inches)

7.0cm (2.8type)

LCD Total Dots Number


LCD Monitor Type


Auto Bright Monitoring


Optical Viewfinder


Electrical Viewfinder



Recording Media

Memory Stick™ Duo. Memory Stick PRO Duo™(Mark2 only for movie). Memory Stick PRO Duo™ High Speed (Still only and no Speed Advantage), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ (No Speed Advantage)

Recording Media II

SD Memory Card(Class4 or Higher for movie), SDHC/SDXC Memory Card(Class4 or Higher for movie)

Recording Format


DCF (Design rule for Camera File System)


DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)


Burst Mode (shots)

Approx.10 fps(10 shots)

Burst Interval (approximately sec)

Approx.0.1 sec.(10 shots)

Still Image size (16M 4608 x 3456)


Still Image size (14M 4320 x 3240)


Still Image size (13M 4224 x 3168)


Still Image size (12M 4000 x 3000)


Still Image size (10M 3648 x 2736)


Still Image size (9.0M, 3456 x 2592)


Still Image size (8.0M, 3264 x 2448)


Still Image size (7.2M 3072 x 2304)


Still Image size (5.0M, 2592 x 1944)


Still Image size (3.1M, 2048 x 1536)


Still Image size (VGA, 640 x 480)


Still Image size (16:9 mode, 1920 x 1080)


Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4,320 x 2,432)


Still Image size (16:9 mode, 4000 x 2248)


Still Image size (3:2 mode, 4000 x 2672)


Still Image size (3:2 mode 3648 x 2432)


Still Image size (3:2 mode 3456 x 2304)


2D Panorama

7,152 x 1,080(227deg) / 4,912 x 1,080(156deg) / 4,912 x 1,920(171deg) / 3,424 x 1,920(119deg)

3D Panorama

7,152 x 1,080(227deg) / 4,912 x 1,080(156deg) / 4,912 x 1,920(171deg) / 3,424 x 1,920(119deg) / 1,920 x 1,080(61deg)

Moving Image Size (1280x720 30fps Fine Approx.9Mbps)


Moving Image Size (1280x720 30fps Standard Approx.6Mbps)


Moving Image Size (640x480 30fps Approx.3Mbps)


Moving Image Size (320x240 30fps)


Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1920 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.24Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1920 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.17Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1440 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.9Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 1440 x 1080 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.12Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 1280 x 720 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.6Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 640 x 480 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.3Mbps(Average bit-rate))


Playback/ Edit

HD (High Definition) Playback

Under 16M(4,608 x 3,456)

Slideshow Playback


Slideshow with Music


Slideshow Movie




Playback Zoom

YES (8x)

Cue & Review (MPEG)


Index Playback

16 / 25 images (Date / Folder-Still / Folder-Movie / AVCHD)

Image Rotation


Auto Image Rotation


Auto grouping and & Best Picture Recognition



Battery Remaining Indicator


Histogram Indicator


Exposure Warning Indicator


Disk / Memory Stick remaining indicator


PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol)


Print Image Matching




Shop Front Mode


Start up time (approximately sec)

Approx. 2.0 sec.

Menu Language

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian , Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian


Multi use Terminal with HD


Multi use Terminal


AV Out


USB 2.0 Hi-Speed


Power/ Others

Battery System

Lithium N

Supplied Battery


Stamina (battery life) with the supplied battery(s) in normal shooting condition

360 shots, 180min (CIPA standard with LCD screen on)

Battery for Clock

Manganese-Lithium (MS614SE)

Weight (g)

Approx. 109g (3.8oz.)

Weight with Accessories (g)

Approx. 126g (4.4oz.)

Supplied Software

Picture Motion Browser

Supplied Accessories

Rechargeable Battery Pack(NP-BG1), USB Charger (AC-UB10/10B), USB Cable, AC Adapter, Wrist strap, CD-ROM


Width (mm)


Height (mm)


Depth (mm)


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