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Sony Cyber-shot WX5 - Test shots: ISO performance

By Gavin Stoker



Our Score:


A selection of images taken at the camera's incremental light sensitivity settings, using only available daylight.



Shooting with the WX5 set to Auto ISO, it has chosen a setting equivalent to ISO320 to competently do the job and deliver a result free of noise.


The WX5's first manually selectable setting is ISO125 equivalent.


Same framing at ISO200 and a barely discernible difference for noise/grain.


We're at ISO400, usually the setting at which noise begins to creep in on if we're unlucky. Here grain is hidden by a slight softening of detail.


Matters start to go downhill at ISO800 with both softened detail and noise creeping in to shadow areas on close inspection.


A distinctly gritty look across the entirety of the image at ISO1600, even when viewed full frame. But, conversely, this has the effect of slightly sharpening up the image's soft edges.


The same is true of the top ISO3200 setting. More grain has resulted in a sharper edged look overall. But we'd prefer to stick below ISO400 for a completely clean bill of health, so not the most impressive low light showing ever from the WX5.


Ian Syme

February 21, 2011, 10:54 pm

Difficult to say what's the worst aspect of this camera....... and it is most certainly far from fault free! The very poor and at times seemingly out of focus shots (surely not from a professional reviewer!). Very soft looking shot of the swan and views of the bridge. Please oh please change your set up for iso noise. It's the pits.

Ian Syme

February 21, 2011, 11:03 pm

I take back what I say about the sharpness of the shots, something has gone wrong in the downsizing for the web. The clickable shots are much better when viewed normally, they only appear so poor when viewed within the web site. Bit of a knee jerk reaction when I first looked at the site. Sorry!


February 22, 2011, 7:40 am

Allright, the first thing I have to say right off the bat is that I find Mr Stokers' reviews detailed, well-thought and well put-together. His writing is clear and concise.


The ISO test shots are very disapointing. I've said it before, Ian has said it above, and a whole crowd of viewers has commented on this already. They stick out like a very sore thumb from an otherwise very useful and helpful review. So why the sheer bloodymindedness of totally ignoring input (which intends to be helpful) from your readers? Should we assume you're Vogons and just give up on reading your reviews?


February 22, 2011, 6:35 pm

In fairness to the reviewer I think the subject in the ISO shots has been changed to the coloured cars from the brown ones, which was one of the original complaints i think, so there is obviously some notice of feedback going on. It also probably takes a fair bit of time to find new subjects for test shots that will satisfy all.


February 22, 2011, 6:39 pm

Hi guys,

Hadn't seen your most recent comments. I will again ask Gavin to improve his choice of subject.

Terry 10

February 25, 2011, 10:34 pm

I have to agree. PLEASE CHANGE THE ISO SHOT TEST IMAGE. It really is rubbish. Who photographs or is familiar with plastic toys. Please do the ISO tests with an image with greater detail than plastic toys.

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