Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 review

A slim, smart pocket camera with 10x optical zoom

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W690 review
The Sony Cyber-Shot W690 is slim, stylish and has a 10x optical zoom

TechRadar Verdict


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    10x optical zoom

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    Picture Effects


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    Poor screen

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    Low quality sweep panorama

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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.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.