Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 review

A slim, smart pocket camera with 10x optical zoom

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The Sony Cyber-Shot W690 is very sleek and small, making it the ideal kind of camera for slipping into a pocket or a handbag. It's almost unbelievable that the camera houses a 10x optical zoom lens.

Although there's no finger grip or thumb rest, holding the camera one handed is relatively comfortable, with most of the buttons you might need all within easy reach.

The number of buttons is pretty sparse, on the top of the camera only the on/off button and shutter release can be found. The shutter release feels a little flimsy and it's very easy to accidentally take a picture when trying to half-press to focus.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Unlike some of the other cameras in Sony's range, the zoom is activated via two buttons on the back of the camera rather than with a switch around the shutter release. Zooming in and out across the 10x optical zoom range is quick and smooth.

Also on the back of the camera is a switch that enables changing between standard stills shooting mode, sweep panorama and movie recording. It's great to have a quick way to quickly switch panorama on and off, and we can see this becoming a popular feature for casual photographers who don't want to have to mess around with extensive menu systems.

Other than that, the back of the camera is relatively well laid out, with a four-way directional pad housing the most commonly used settings (such as flash, smile detection and self-timer).

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Tapping the Menu button brings up a Quick Menu-style array of options, with the most likely to be needed settings presented. Here you can switch from fully automatic shooting to Program mode, Picture Effect or Scene Mode.

If you need a more extensive menu, to change settings such as shutter sounds, this can be accessed from the bottom of the quick menu. You'll probably rarely need to delve into this, so it's good that it's been kept separate to reduce fuss.

There's not much in the way of manual control on this compact camera, but you can make a few select changes when shooting in Program mode. This can be activated via the quick menu, which will then enable sensitivity (ISO), white balance, focus type and metering mode to be altered manually.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

When shooting, the button at the bottom right of the camera brings up an in-camera shooting guide. This is handy for deciphering what the different icons mean, or for discovering which settings you need for different situations. There's also a Troubleshooting option should something go wrong.

Playback of images can be accessed via a dedicated button at the back of the camera. Within playback you can choose to show detailed information about an image, or have it completely unhindered by text. A slideshow can be created, either with music and effects or without. As we said before, you can also upload your own music to the camera.

A few very basic editing options are available via the Playback menu. These are trimming (resize), red-eye removal, or applying sharpening. Each option enables a new image to be saved alongside the old one.

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