Good Mid-Level Point and Shoot Camera

Jun 4, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Size, continuous shooting speed, panorama mode

Cons:No manual focus, shutter speed or aperture adjustment.  Has trouble focusing in low light.

The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a small camera at a good price that takes good pictures, but don't need any manual settings or adjustments then I would purchase this one.

I bought one of these a few months ago when I was out of town since I had a carry on bag only, and my digital SLR camera was too big to bring along.  The WX-50 seems to be a mid level point and shoot camera.  It is a bit smaller than any of the point and shoot cameras that I have used, and it takes at least as good pictures.  I was going to buy the Canon Elph 110HS, but the WX-50 had a lower price, higher ISO sensitivity range faster continuous shooting speed, and similar specifications otherwise.  Included in the box is a USB cable, 120V outlet charger and battery.  The camera has a small internal memory, but this isn't very useful and to take more than a few pictures, video or continuous shooting in high resolution mode, you will need to supply an SD card, which is typical for all of the similar models that I saw.
The camera powers on quickly and there is very little shutter delay.  It seems to be at least as fast as my SLR.  The continuous shooting speed, listed at 10 frames per second is the fastest I’ve seen for a point and shoot type camera, I haven’t actually timed it, but it seems to get pretty close to this.  The disadvantage is that the camera needs to be in the continuous shooting mode to get this speed, and it takes a few button clicks to get to this mode, and the pictures display and play back differently when they are taken in the continuous mode.  It would be nice to just be able to take continuous shots in the normal mode by holding down the button longer. 
The camera has an automatic panorama mode for landscape shots.  You hold the shutter button down while rotating the camera approx. 180 degrees and the camera stitches the shots together to create a super wide angle panorama.  This works pretty good as long as there is good lighting and you can move the camera smoothly.  The camera defaults to a low resolution mode initially when in the panorama setting, but you can change it to a higher resolution.  I found that if there is a lot of wind or when standing on an uneven surface, it is difficult to move the camera smooth enough and you get defects on the photos that I can’t usually see on the camera LCD but are very noticeable on a large screen.  In low light situations like sunsets, the panorama feature doesn’t work very well and the camera usually won’t even make it through a full sweep (half of the picture is black).  In normal, well lit situations though it works very good and is a lot easier than manually stitching the pictures together using Photoshop. 
The WX-50 has 5X optical zoom and additional digital zoom, which is more than adequate for what I need, but it does seem to have trouble focusing when zoomed more than 50%, especially in low light situations.  The sensor has real good sensitivity, and the camera is able to take good pictures in much lower light without using the flash than other similar models that I have used, but it does have trouble focusing in low light situations.  It would be extremely useful if there were a manual focus mode and I could lock the camera at infinity focus, but there is no manual focus, shutter speed or aperture setting.  It would seem like the manufacturers could easily implement these options, but unfortunately I could not find any cameras in the same class that have any manual controls.   This camera also takes full HD video, but I bought it mainly for still pictures and I haven’t tried this feature.  If this camera had any manual controls available, I think it could completely replace my SLR, but in most situations it takes very good pictures and I don’t think you can beat it for the price.

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