Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 review

A slim, smart pocket camera with 10x optical zoom

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Images from the Sony W690 are generally good, with lots of details and strong colours. Images are also clear and detailed, especially when shooting at the widest angle the lens offers.

The Sony Cyber-Shot W690 offers a 10x optical zoom within its very slim body, giving it a 25-250mm focal length spread. At the very telephoto end of the lens, image quality is retained, although the camera does suffer a little if it's not held completely steady.

Focusing is generally quick and accurate, and with macro focusing available as close as 5cm available, this is a pretty versatile camera.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Occasionally, the camera struggles to lock onto a close subject, and it would have been nice to see the lens able to focus even closer than 5cm for super macros. Switching to macro mode is completely automated, and the camera does a good job of detecting when it was presented with such a scene.

Chromatic aberration appears to be minimal, with only slight incidence of it occurring in areas of sharp contrast when viewed at 100 per cent. At normal printing or web sizes, it's unlikely that it would be noticeable.

In Program mode, three different metering modes are available – Multi, Center and Spot. Multi does a reasonably good job of assessing the light, even in mixed lighting conditions, to provide a good exposure. The same can be said when using the camera in Intelligent Auto mode.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Sweep Panorama is a function that has been on a number of Sony compact cameras for a while now. On the Sony Cyber-Shot W690 this works by creating a video as the camera is swept across a scene, from which the panorama is produced.

The finished image isn't especially high quality, but it's still a fun mode to use and when displaying the images at low resolutions/sizes (such as on social networks) the effect is good.

An increasing number of camera manufacturers are including digital filters to appeal to those looking to get a bit more creative, especially smartphone users accustomed to apps such as Instagram.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

On the Sony Cyber-Shot W690 there's not a huge amount of choice, but there is Toy Camera (available in five different variations), Pop Colour, Partial Colour and Soft High Key. It's perhaps a little surprising to see the seemingly ubiquitous Miniature mode (which recreates the effect of a tilt-shift lens) missing, but the other effects are quite fun.

Of course, since the camera doesn't shoot raw files, making the decision to shoot with a filter means there's no way to remove it post-capture.

When shooting at high sensitivities, the camera does a good job of keeping noise down. There is some evidence of smoothing when viewing images at actual pixel size, but generally at ISO 800 and below this is kept to a minimum.

Sony Cyber Shot DSC W690 review

Even at the highest sensitivities, such as ISO 3200, the camera does a reasonable job, and using this is certainly preferable to not being able to get the shot at all.

The 230k dot screen is a bit of disappointment, being difficult to see outdoors, especially in bright light. It also does a poor job of displaying images in playback mode, making them appear slightly out of focus at times, something that's not reflected in the images viewed on a computer screen.

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