Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 review

A slim, smart pocket camera with 10x optical zoom

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  • Slim
  • 10x optical zoom
  • Picture Effects


  • Poor screen
  • Low quality sweep panorama

The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 was announced in February as part of a trio of stylish and slim compact cameras.

Although it's not quite as slim as the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX100, the Sony W690 is no porker, cramming in a 10x optical zoom lens in its 21.7mm deep body. Not only that, it also has a 16 million pixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor.

That lens starts at an equivalent focal length of 25mm and rises up to 250mm at the telephoto lens. Unlike some of Sony's other compact cameras, it doesn't feature Clear Zoom technology to digitally boost the zoom capability of the camera.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Other features on this tiny camera include a Bionz processor, face detection, smile shutter and an in-built guide to using the camera.

Pretty squarely targeted at casual users, a number of creative options have been included to attract the Instagram crowd.

First up we have four digital filters, or 'Picture Effects', to use Sony's parlance, such as Toy Camera, Pop Colour and Partial Colour.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Secondly, Sony's Sweep Panorama enables super-wide images to be captured by sweeping the camera across a scene and then stitching the resulting images together in one picture.

There's not a great deal of manual control available on the Sony Cyber-Shot WC90, though a Program mode does give some flexibility.

HD video recording at 720p is available, with minimal control over recording settings. Videos can also be shot in VGA mode, which is more suitable for uploading quick videos straight to the web.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

A 230k dot resolution, 3-inch TFT Clear Photo screen can be found on the back of the camera, on which you can watch slideshows of your images accompanied by music that you load into the camera.

Scene Modes including High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap and Pet Mode are also available, as is Intelligent Auto for automatically detecting the optimum shooting settings.

The Sony W690 has a full retail price of £149 in the UK or $179.99 in the US, putting it in the same price bracket as the Nikon Coolpix S6200, Canon IXUS 220HS and the Panasonic SZ1.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCyber-shot W
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO High Speed Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro, Memory Stick Micro (M2), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), microSD Card, microSDHC Card
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom10x
Digital Zoom40x
Brand NameSony
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Smile Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)124 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height56.1 mm
Width94.3 mm
Depth21.7 mm
Product SeriesW
Focal Length4.45 mm to 44.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelDSC-W690
Product NameDSC-W690 Digital Compact Camera
Product LineCyber-shot
Exposure Control

Program Auto

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDSCW690R.CEH
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationSo slim and simple with high-power zoom

The super-slim Cyber-shot W690 digital camera gets you even closer to the action with its powerful 10x optical zoom lens. Optical SteadShot and Sweep Panorama expand shooting possibilities, while iAUTO takes care of adjusting settings for great results without fuss.

Package Contents
  • DSC-W690 Digital Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BN)
  • Battery Charger
  • Multi USB
  • Wrist Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • AC Power Cord
Limited Warranty1 Year