Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX9: Performance

May 2, 2011 by Andy Stanton Reads (6,496)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 7.75
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overall performance of the WX9 is good. The camera starts up fairly quickly in about two seconds, and takes only a bit longer to shut down. Menu operations are adequately quick and accurate. Shot to shot time is excellent. I was able to take an unlimited number shots as quickly as I could press the shutter button. Using the flash slowed things down to about three seconds between shots, which is very good for a small Point and Shoot camera like the WX9.

Shooting Performance
The WX9 is consistently quick in acquiring and locking focus, even in low light. According to the performance tables below, produced by the DCR lab, the camera measured 0.01 seconds for shutter lag when the camera was pre-focused, and 0.25 seconds for auto focus acquisition, the time it takes from pressing the shutter to taking the shot. Both times are very good, among the faster times I’ve seen for Point and Shoot cameras. The WX9 achieved an excellent continuous shooting speed of 9.8 frames per second in full resolution, although it can shoot in only one burst of 10 shots.

Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)

Camera Time (seconds)
Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 0.01
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 0.01
Sony Cyber-shot WX9 0.01
Nikon Coolpix S9100 0.01

AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)

Camera Time (seconds)
Nikon Coolpix S9100 0.18
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 0.20
Sony Cyber-shot WX9 0.25
Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 0.48

Continuous Shooting

Camera Frames Framerate*
Nikon Coolpix S9100 5 15.0 fps
Sony Cyber-shot WX9 10 9.8 fps
Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS 3 3.5 fps
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27 1.3 fps

*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera’s fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). “Frames” notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.

According to Sony, battery life is 210 shots. This may be true if no other camera functions are used, but since I was constantly accessing the LCD and taking movies, my battery life was significantly less. It would be wise to purchase a second battery for backup.

Lens Performance
The WX9 uses a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with a focal length of 28-140mm (35mm film camera equivalent), or 5x optical zoom, which provides good versatility, especially for such a small camera.

Sony WX9 Sample Image
Wide Angle
Sony WX9 Sample Image

The WX9 includes the option of digital zoom, which Sony refers to Smart Zoom and Precision Zoom. Smart Zoom will increase magnification while lowering the camera’s resolution, supposedly without image deterioration, while Precision Zoom may lead to image deterioration. I generally do not use digital zoom, as I find that cropping the image after it is taken will achieve the same effect and give me more control over the results.

Lens performance is good. The camera produces images that are sharp in the center though less sharp in the corners. Vignetting and chromatic aberration (purple fringing) in high contrast areas are not a problem. There is some barrel distortion at wide angle but no pincushion distortion at maximum zoom.

Sony WX9 Sample Image
Wide Angle
Sony WX9 Sample Image



All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.