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Sony CyberShot DSC-WX500 Review

PROS / The display articulates to facilitate shooting in awkward positions.

CONS / This camera’s colors aren’t quite as appealing as some of its competitors.

 VERDICT / This camera offers an excellent combination of image quality, performance and design. Although we have a few small complaints, we’re confident most people would be happy with this camera.

Image quality and shooting performance are two of the most important things to consider when you’re buying a camera. Secondary considerations like built-in Wi-Fi are nice, but they’re not crucial to a camera’s core functions.

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While the Sony CyberShot DMC-WX500 may not have the most features, it handles the basics very well. In our tests, we found its image quality to be outstanding and its performance to be up there with the best point and shoots we tested. In addition to this, it has great battery life and an articulating screen. For these reasons, we’ve given it our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.

  1. The number of photographs each camera can capture on a single battery charge.
    More is Better
  2. 3 Sony CyberShot DSC-WX500
    360 Shots per Charge
  3. 300 Shots per Charge
  4. 250 Shots per Charge
  5. Category Average
    289.00 Shots per Charge

Image Quality

In our tests, the WX500 was right at the top of the pack for everything except color accuracy. While shooting in standard color mode, we found its colors to lack the realism of Nikon or Panasonic cameras and the soft appeal of Canons. While the colors weren’t terrible by any means, the Sony just seemed to have a little less character in this regard.

In our low light performance and dynamic range tests, however, the WX500 proved it deserves a place on our lineup. Despite having the same size sensor as everything else we tested, it handled high ISO levels better than most of the other cameras and captured more details in highlights and shadows. While its colors weren’t the best, we think that these factors are more important.

Performance

One of the most important things you can consider in regard to a point and shoot’s performance is its battery life. The WX500 truly shines in this category. At 360 shots per charge, its battery lasts longer than nearly anything else we tested.

It also features an impressive 30x zoom range. Although you can do better, 30x zoom is more than enough for the vast majority of people. It’ll allow you to zoom in on hard-to-reach pieces of architecture, soccer matches, school plays or whatever – all while allowing you to capture wide landscapes and panoramas.

Features & Design

When it comes to controls, the WX500 is the second best that we tested. Its mode dial is easy to reach and the thumb dial really helps when adjusting settings on the fly. What’s more, this is the only camera on our lineup that features an articulating screen. With this, you can tilt the display up toward you for easy from-the-hip shooting.

Optical image stabilization helps to keep your images blur-free when shooting in low light or at the extremes of your zoom range. In our testing, we found that this feature worked well for the most part, producing blur-free images in situations where shaky hands could make getting a clear shot impossible.

Help & Support

Sony provides excellent support for the CyberShot DMC-WX500. There’s a one-year warranty that protects you against any problems arising from construction or materials. If you have any other questions or problems, support staff are pretty easy to reach via phone, email or live chat.

Summary

The Sony CyberShot DMC-WX500 is an excellent choice for someone seeking a versatile camera with great controls and an articulating screen. We loved shooting with the articulating screen particularly as it allows you to capture images from interesting perspectives without having to make a complete fool of yourself. Although we liked the colors produced by the Nikons and Panasonics slightly better, we’d recommend this camera almost as strongly for the articulating screen alone.

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