First of all, just want to mention that Sony didn't pay me for writing this(I do hope if they see this maybe they will :P). Wife's friend wants a good PnS (Point and Shoot) camera and of course she immediately recalls I am a photographer and asked me to recommend and buy one for her.
She is a good friend (best pal actually) of my wife so I cannot dissapoint her. Her budget is 400SGD so I had a hard time to hunt around until I stumble upon an ad from Sony on a trade-in promotion for the WX-1 or TX-1. I have an old Canon A90 that has a faulty LCD screen so I decidede to trade it in for the deal.
Went down to MS Colour and got one (with some top up from myself as she has bought tons of stuff for my kids and my wife an I have not really gave her anything).
So decided to test shoot with the new toy as its a gift and I don't want any issue with it as it will be in Thailand. So after testing it, I got hooked immediately by how good this little camera is. I would say its more of a gadget camera rather than the usual PnS cam. You can read the specs here, I'm not going to go through them but I just want to write how I enjoy using this camera as a photographer.
First feature to mention is the Panorama capture. Here's a shot of my office below.
Basically, you focus and then starts to swipe in the direction of arrow indicated. The camera will automatically stich the photo up for you. Pretty neat and nice! I had tons of fun shooting in this mode and most of the time the stiches are very well done.
The 2nd feature is the smile detection. This is old news to some but I tested it and found it surprisingly accurate. Though you need to smile and hold it there for at least a sec before it triggers the shutter.
The 3rd feature to mention is the handheld twilight mode. Its a pretty interesting feature where the camera will take six consecutive shots and combine them to get you a more high dynamic range picture. Here's a sample below. Flash is not used at all. The picture taken with this method is not as sharp but at least you can shoot handheld photos at night.
The next feature worth mentioning is the interface. The camera literally has only 3 physcal buttons and a zoom lever. All the rest is on the touch screen. Yes! Touch screen like the iPhone or those monile phones. The best is the selecting focusing point. No longer I need to teach people how to half press the shutter to get a focus. By touching on the screen, the camera automatically focus on that spot. Making it a breeze to get a sharp photo.
Image quality is considered very good to me for such a small compact camera. High ISO photos are definitely acceptable for print up to 8Rs. Which is more than enought for casual shooters.
Lastly, I just have to mention it again is the build quality and stylo looks. Its cool looking and very thin. Easily pocketable in your shirt pocket. Making it very portable. Sony also have some cool leather pouches for these cameras but I'm not sure how much they are charging them.
Now for the bad things.
Battery life is ok. Expected due to such small size but definitely can last a day of shooting. You may need to consider getting a spare batt.
The touchscreen is a bit sensitive. Sometimes you might accidentally hit on the screen and go into another mode or turning off a feature.
The battery compartment door is a bit filmy and plasticky (the rest of the body is all metal) so I think this is the part that will get spoilt first if you are not careful.
All in all, I find it to be the best PnS digital cam I have used so far. And I will be getting one for myself soon :P