Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Review: Best Compact Camera. Фотоаппарат sony wx500

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500: Digital Photography Review

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Announced Apr 14, 2015

The Sony Cyber-shot WX500 is, at the time of its release, the world's smallest superzoom camera (along with its sibling, the HX70V). It features a 30X zoom equivalent to 24-720mm, optical image stabilization, and an 18.2MP BSI CMOS sensor. Photos can be composed on a 3" LCD that tilts upward 180 degrees. Also borrowed from the RX100 is a customizable ring around the front of the lens. The HX90V can record video at 1080/60p using the XAVC S codec, which allows for bit rates up to 50MBps. The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC with downloadable apps.

Body type Compact
Max resolution 4896 x 3672
Effective pixels 18 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
ISO Auto, 80-12800
Focal length (equiv.) 24–720 mm
Max aperture F3.5–6.4
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 921,000
Max shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 236 g (0.52 lb / 8.32 oz)
Dimensions 102 x 58 x 36 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.42″)
GPS None

See full specifications

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Review

The Sony Cyber-shot WX500 is the little brother to the HX90, with the same 30x optical zoom lens and 18.2 megapixel sensor, it cuts down on a few features, making it a more affordable version. The WX500 still benefits from the same tilting screen, making it great for selfies and group shots. 

Sony Cyber-shot WX500 Features

The Sony Cyber-shot WX500, as the doppelganger to the HX90, features almost identical specifications and features as the HX90, minus a few premium luxuries, such as the EVF, front grip, lens control wheel, and dual-axis electronic level. On offer is the same 30x optical zoom lens, crammed into an ultra compact digital camera body, a 3inch tilting screen, high-speed continuous shooting, and full manual controls. The 30x optical zoom lens is equivalent to 24-720mm in 35mm terms and features 5-axis Optical SteadShot image stabilisation.

Let me take a selfie!

The 3inch tilting screen can be tilted forwards, helping you get the perfect "selfie" or self-portrait, and the built in pop up flash will help illuminate you even in dark seedy night clubs. Built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity lets you transfer photos to a compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, as well as control the camera remotely, so that you can share your memories straight to Facebook and other social media websites. Sony PlayMemories apps can be added to the camera, expanding what the camera is capable of shooting. 

The WX500 features an 18 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, can shoot at up to 10fps and records fullHD video with stereo sound and optical zoom. As well as full manual controls, there are a number of scene modes, as well as intelligent Auto modes to make using the camera easy for beginners. Intelligent Sweep Panorama makes it easy and quick to shoot panoramic photos, and there are a number of built-in effects to add creativity to your shots. 

The Sony Cyber-shot WX500 (left) and the Sony Cyber-shot HX90, shown above.

Key Features

  • 18.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, 24-720mm equivalent
  • Optical Steadyshot (5-axis)
  • 3inch tilting screen, 921k dots
  • P/A/S/M modes
  • Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity 
  • PlayMemories Camera Apps
  • Pop-up flash
  • FullHD Video, XAVC-S, AVCHD
  • Available in red, white, or black

Sony Cyber-shot WX500 Handling

The Sony Cyber-shot WX500 is extremely compact for a camera with a 30x optical zoom lens, and with such a long telephoto zoom, you want to make sure that your can hold the camera firm and steady in your hands. Unfortunately, there is very little grip provided with the camera and we'd recommend adding a flipbac rubber grip to the front of the camera to improve handling. The camera feels well built with a metal body and the controls can all be accessed using your right hand, making it possible to use the camera easily with one hand - although for the steadiest grip, we would recommend holding the camera with both hands.

The Fn (Function) button gives quick access to photo options and settings without having to enter the menu system. These options, along with the menus can be browsed using the 4-way control wheel at the back of the camera, although at times we found this a little bit small so if you've got large hands you may want to try the camera in store first. 

The screen looks good, with a clear display and visibility is good even outdoors in sunny conditions. The ability to tilt the screen helps here, as you can angle it away from reflections if needed. 

Wi-Fi features - Using Wi-Fi and NFC, you can select images to send to the smartphone, and the app is available for iOS and Android devices. You can also setup a remote connection to control the camera from your smartphone (or tablet), with optinos to adjust the zoom, set the self-time and take photos. Using the video mode you can also start and stop video recording.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 400 shots according to Sony / CIPA test results, which is excellent for a compact camera.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Digital Camera (Black) DSCWX500/B B&H

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  • 18.2MP BSI Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 30x Optical Zoom Lens
  • 24-720mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 3.0" 921k-Dot LCD
  • Full HD 1080/60p AVCHD/XAVC S Video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
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Sony DSC-WX500 overview

The black Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Digital Camera from Sony has an 18.2MP BSI Exmor R CMOS Sensor and a powerful 30x optical zoom lens. In combination with the BIONZ X image processor, the sensor provides sharp imaging and fast autofocus speeds. The 30x optical zoom Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens has a 35mm focal length equivalency of 24-720mm which covers a full range of shooting situations from wide angle to telephoto. In addition, the camera has 60x digital zoom to allow you to effectively double the optical zoom range for distant image capture.

The WX500 also supports Full HD 1080p video capture at 60p, 60i, and 24p. In both still and video modes, the camera has Optical SteadyShot Hybrid image stabilization to help reduce shake and blur by countering camera movements in 5 axes, resulting in more stable stills and videos even at long focal lengths.

Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity allows you to instantly transfer images from your camera to your computer, smartphone, or tablet. With the included Sony PlayMemories App you can also use your smartphone as a remote control and viewer and directly send images to social media sites.

UPC: 027242889668

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Digital Camera (Black)

  • NP-BX1 Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Micro-USB Cable
  • Wrist Strap
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Sony DSC-WX500 specs

    Pixels 18.2 Megapixel
    Sensor 1/2.3" CMOS
    File Formats Still Images: JPEGMovies: AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MPEG-4, XAVC SAudio: AAC LC, AC3, Dolby Digital 2ch, Linear PCM
    Max Resolution 18 MP: 4896 x 3672
    Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
    Image Stabilization Optical, 5-Way
    Lens Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar, 11 elements in 10 groups5 AsphericalEFL: 4.3-129mm (35 mm equivalent: 24-720mm)Aperture: f/3.5 (W) - 6.4 (T)
    Filter Thread None
    Zoom Optical: 30xDigital: 60x
    Focus Range Wide: 2.0" (5 cm) to InfinityTelephoto: 8.2' (2.5 m) to Infinity
    ISO Sensitivity 80-3200 (Extended Mode: 80-12800)
    Shutter 30 - 1/2000 Seconds 
    Exposure Metering Center-Weighted, Multi, Spot
    Exposure Modes Modes: Aperture Priority, Intelligent Auto, Manual, Memory Recall, Movie, Panorama Shot, Programmed Auto, Scene Selection, Shutter Priority, Superior AutoCompensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV Steps)
    Shooting Modes Anti-motion BlurBacklight HDRBeachFireworksGourmetHandheld TwilightHigh SensitivityLandscapeNight PortraitNight ScenePet ModePortraitSnowSoft SkinSportsSunset
    White Balance Modes Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent (Cool White), Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Daylight), Incandescent, One Push, One Push Set, Shade
    Buffer/Continuous Shooting Up to 10 fps for up to Frames
    Self-Timer 2, 5, 10 Seconds
    Flash Modes Flash OnOffRear SyncSlow Sync
    Built-In Flash Yes
    Maximum Effective Flash Range Wide: 0.98 - 17.72' (0.3 - 5.4 m)Telephoto: 8.20 - 9.84' (2.5 - 3 m)
    Memory Card Type Memory Stick DuoMemory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed)Memory Stick PRO HG-DuoMemory Stick MicroMemory Stick Micro (M2)SDSDHCSDXCmicroSDmicroSDHCmicroSDXC
    Video Recording Yes, NTSC
    Resolution 1920 x 1080p: 60 fps, 24 fps1920 x 1080i: 60 fps
    Viewfinder Type None
    Screen 3.0" LCD Rear Screen (921,000 pixels)
    Connectivity HDMI D (Micro), Micro-USB, USB 2.0
    Wi-Fi Yes, 802.11b/g/n built-in
    Battery 1 x NP-BX1 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
    AC Power Adapter AC-UB10C / UB10D (Included)
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4" / 101.6 x 58.1 x 35.5 mm
    Weight 7.372 oz / 209 g Without battery
    Package Weight 1.05 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 6.1 x 4.7 x 2.7"

    Sony DSC-WX500 reviews

    Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Digital Camera (Black) is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 14.

    Rated 5 out of 5 by Anonymous from Small point-and-shoot with a great zoom I got this camera before taking a week long cruise to Alaska and was immensely pleased with it. It doesn't have a viewfinder, so my polarized sunglasses had to be taken off for vertical shots, but that's a very minor inconvenience in my opinion. The image quality, even at 30x zoom, was amazing. A tripod would have helped, but I was still pleased with the results without one. The flip up screen for taking selfies has an automatic mode where it does a 3 second count down, which I found to be nice. The recycle time (time between pictures) is quite minimal, much quicker than my last super-zoom. Overall, I'd buy it again.

    Date published: 2015-08-11

    Rated 4 out of 5 by MVC Audio from Nice camera, but better to have next model with viewfinder. I always wanted to have small camera with me. Here we go. Was said enough about picture quality. I would like to note things that I would like to improve: 1. Turning on: this is compact camera; it is always with me and I would like to have fast turning on to be able take a unique picture. By the way, I thing that Power button is very flat with camera's body, so it is not so simple to turn it. 2. LCD display Well, it is almost impossible to use it in sun bright weather. So, HX90V model would be much better at this point of view. 3. Wind cancelation reduce a lot of LF range and not always works. If you don't care about points above, this is a good product!

    Date published: 2016-10-27

    Rated 4 out of 5 by PopStu from Great Tele For a Point N Shoot Very satisfied with the Sony WX500 camera. Like a lot of others nowadays most of my photo and video is shot with an iPhone. But an iPhone can't zoom like this camera. The 30x zoom is fantastic! Just have to make sure your stable when you use it. You just can't zoom like that with a phone and really any kind of zoom with a phone and you're talking pixel city. You don't get that with this camera. And it's just as easy to carry around as your phone (almost). I'm not big into all the technical photo stuff so fairly simple controls are all I really want to deal with and the WX500 allows me to do just that. Keep it simple with great results. Videos are very good. Low light isn't a strong point but we are talking about a point n shoot so I'm ok with that. Sound recording is good (just don't cover up the mic's on top). The flip up screen is great for selfie recording. And when your trying to get a grandkid level video shot just tilt the screen up 90degrees. Too cool. Flash is easy to use and does a nice job. I always get my subjects looking like they've been hit by a searchlight but I get that same flash result with any camera I use. If you want a simple to use point n shoot with great looking pics and video then I highly recommend the Sony DSC-WX500. Fun camera!

    Date published: 2015-09-05

    Rated 5 out of 5 by John the Rabbit from Great Camera This is a great compact camera. Lens quality is excellent, easy to handle. Took it on a trip to South America, and used it for stills, movies, panoramas with ease. Flip screen is very helpful; screen hard to view in bright sunlight.

    Date published: 2016-02-22

    Rated 5 out of 5 by Mapdoctor from The Sony WX500: A Great Little Point and Shoot. I currently own four Sony digital cameras: an Alpha 55, A7, DSC-HX30V, and now a DSC-WX500. I bought the WX500 recently because the view window on my HX30V was losing the emulsion finish and it was getting difficult to see an image being framed. My new WX500 has all of the features I have on the older HX30V, plus a longer magnification and adjustable back viewing window. The glass is made by Carl Zeiss who produces some of the best lenses on the market. I have a Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 on my A7. While smaller, the glass on this WX500 is proving it can hold its own with the big boys. This WX500 is small which makes it easy for me to pack while hiking, yet I can mount it on a small protable tripod and shoot under any light conditions available. It is very reasonably priced and produces excellent quality images. You would be hard pressed to find a camera with the features packaged in this little guy, and at a cost that clearly out shines the competition.

    Date published: 2016-11-09

    Rated 5 out of 5 by LEE from Amazing image quality Amazing image quality. A bit thicker and heavier than anticipated, but worth it. Incredible zoom range.

    Date published: 2016-06-23

    Rated 5 out of 5 by Anonymous from Fantastic camera I bought this to replace my Panasonic Lumix, seemed like a great camera but the pictures always came out awful no matter the setting. I bought this Sony specifically for kids activities and low lighting. So far it's been great, very user friendly and many settings to choose from for basic point and shoot. Selfie screen is coll but not what I bought it for.

    Date published: 2016-09-06

    Rated 2 out of 5 by Serg from Only for video Screen is not good, Record sign is not visible, Poor Image Quality, Good video

    Date published: 2015-08-10

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    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 Review

    The good

    • Wide focal range
    • Compact
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • Variety of mobile apps
    • Flip-up LCD
    • Built-in image stabilization

    The bad

    • No viewfinder
    • LCD difficult to see in bright sunlight


    Small and portable, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 takes great pictures for a compact camera, and a wide range of mobile apps lets you add functionality and fun effects to your photos.

    When you want to take better photos than your smartphone is capable of, yet donꞌt want to lug around a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a compact camera could be just the ticket. And the 18-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 ($299) is the best choice in its class. Itꞌs easy to use, regardless of your skill level, and with its carry-anywhere compact size, youꞌll never miss a photo opportunity.


    Sturdily built, the WX500 measures 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches and weighs 8.3 ounces — including battery and SD card. It fits effortlessly into pants pockets and purses for easy portability.

    A small, textured thumb pad on the rear helps provide a solid grip when holding the camera. The control buttons and dials, although small, are within easy reach, and some can be customized to access frequently used functions.

    As is common with compact cameras, thereꞌs no viewfinder, but the 3-inch LCD flips up 180 degrees for low- and high-angle shots and for composing selfies. The display is difficult to see in bright sunlight at its default settings but you can easily adjust the brightness manually to resolve the issue.

    Outfitted with a 30x (24-720mm equivalent) Zeiss zoom lens, the WX500 can accommodate group shots of family and friends as well as a photo of the neighborhood hawk nesting in a backyard tree.

    MORE: These Smartphones Can Replace a Compact Camera


    The WX500 is well suited for a wide range of experience levels and shooting conditions. An extensive mix of automatic and scene modes do all the work for you, and manual and semi-manual exposure options provide control over picture-taking for more experienced photographers. At the same time, built-in help affords users on-the-fly learning tools to grow their photography skills.

    PlayMemories apps provide additional functionality using the cameraꞌs Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities and mobile devices. Apps include time-lapse, smart remote control, portrait lighting and more. Some are paid apps; others are free.


    Overall, I was very pleased with the WX500. Itꞌs responsive, can shoot up to 10 frames per second and image quality is quite good, regardless of shooting mode. Exposures were generally accurate, even in challenging conditions such as this beach scene with bright, reflective water and skies.

    f/7.1 1/320 sec, ISO 80 Credit: Theano Nikitasf/7.1 1/320 sec, ISO 80 Credit: Theano Nikitas

    Well-saturated colors and foliage, like those seen below, are the norm. Even in shade, the WX500ꞌs automatic white balance worked well to capture the bright greens and deep purples of this garden scene.

    f/4.2 1/320 sec, ISO 800 Credit: Theano Nikitasf/4.2 1/320 sec, ISO 800 Credit: Theano Nikitas

    The lens isnꞌt particularly fast with an f/stop range of f/3.5-6.4, but its image stabilization works well enough so youꞌll be able to take blur-free shots at slower shutter speeds, such as this night scene, hand-held at 1/60 second. Its ISO range of 80-3200 allowed me to easily bump the ISO up to 800 in this image and still keep image noise well under control.

    f/3.5 1/60 sec, ISO 800 Credit: Theano Nikitasf/3.5 1/60 sec, ISO 800 Credit: Theano Nikitas

    Creative options abound, too, both in-camera and via Sonyꞌs Play Memories apps for iPhone and Android devices. The former includes my personal favorite, the iSweep Panorama, which captures an entire panorama image in one fell swoop, as seen below.

    f/3.5 1/1250 sec, ISO 80 Credit: Theano Nikitasf/3.5 1/1250 sec, ISO 80 Credit: Theano Nikitas

    In-camera picture effects run the gamut from black and white (Rich Tone Mono is shown below) to HDR, partial color and more.

    f/5.6 1/125 sec, ISO 250 Credit: Theano Nikitasf/5.6 1/125 sec, ISO 250 Credit: Theano Nikitas


    For video, you have the choice of three file formats (XAVC S HD, AVCHD and MP4), along with various frame rates of 24, 30 or 60 fps, depending on which format you selected. The camera can capture full HD (1920 x 1280), as well as 1280 x 720 HD.

    Credit: Theano Nikitas

    I shot the video of a water garden in AVCHD at 60 fps and converted it to a MOV file for easier viewing. Although you can choose a scene mode for movie capture, all settings are basically automatic. But the footage is clean and crisp, with good (for a built-in microphone) stereo sound.

    MORE: Camera Recommendations for All Kinds of Photographers

    Battery Life

    For a compact camera, the DSC-WX500 lasts a good long time. A fully charged battery can last for as many as 400 images (or 200 minutes).

    Bottom Line

    For $300, you get a lot of bang for your buck with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500. And, its wide feature set and shooting options means that anyone in the family can use it — from snap shooters to savvy photographers. Running a close second is the Nikon S9900, which has a slight edge in autofocus accuracy and gives you more flexibility with its fully articulated LCD. However, itꞌs a hair bulkier, and the Sony WX500 outshines the Nikon when it comes to mobile connectivity and its PlayMemories apps. If you’re looking for a highly portable and versatile camera, the WX500 should be at the top of your list.

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