Price: £294.16 inc VAT
Pros: Innovative 3D-shooting modes; Great modes for panoramic images.
Cons: Few manual controls; Controls might be a bit small for some users.
Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 is very similar to its predecessor, the DSC-WX1, but gains a pair of 3D-shooting modes.
3D Sweep Panorama works just like the camera’s normal Sweep Panorama mode, but outputs a .mpo-format file (in addition to .jpeg), which can be viewed on a compatible Sony 3D TV using active-shutter glasses.
With the camera attached to a 3D TV, our panoramic images appeared to have an added dimension. Landscape scenes seemed to extend deep into the screen, almost diorama-like, but there was an odd flickering effect in foreground subjects.
You do have to use the camera’s panorama setting to create a 3D image; framing a quick snapshot of your buddy means panning almost 300 degrees to take the shot. Let’s hope things change in the next-generation versions of the feature.
The DSC-WX5 also sports an in-camera 3D mode that means no more glasses. Its Sweep Multi-Angle setting employs the same sweeping motion as the Sweep Panorama mode – but uses slightly different in-camera processing – to create the illusion of taking the same photo from several different angles.
During playback of Sweep Multi-Angle shots, you tilt the camera from side to side to ‘navigate’ around in your image; it’s a lot like viewing a hologram from different angles. The effect is very cool, but you’ll use it a few times, then probably discard it.
The DSC-WX5 deserves credit for being the first everyday, single-lens camera to take 3D photos – even if it’s more of a fun feature at present.