Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 Overview
Working with a limited budget, but want a slim, pocket-friendly camera with plenty of zoom range? Sony claims that--with the exception of its more-expensive DSC-WX150 model--its Cyber-shot DSC-W690 is the world's slimmest digital camera with a 10x zoom lens. As in the WX150, it's a Sony G-branded 10x optical zoom lens. 35mm-equivalent focal lengths range from 25-250mm for still images at the native aspect ratio, and maximum aperture ranges from f/3.3 to f/5.9 across the zoom range.
Effective resolution from the W690's Super HAD CCD imager is 16.1 megapixels, and the sensor size is 1/2.3-inch, for a diagonal of 7.75mm. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 to 3,200 equivalents, although for movie shooting, the range is a much narrower 250 to 1,250 equivalents.
On the rear panel of the Sony W690 is a large 3.0-inch LCD display, with a resolution of 230,400 dots, equating to an array of 320 x 240 pixels, with each pixel being comprised of separate red, green, and blue dots. The screen also doubles as an input device, courtesy of a touch panel overlay. As you'd expect given the form factor of the W690, there's no optical or electronic viewfinder.
As well as still imaging, the W690 can also capture high-def 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) MPEG-4 video, with monaural audio. There are also one reduced-resolution option: standard-def VGA (640 x 480 pixel). At either resolution, movies are captured at 30 frames per second. Two different stabilization systems are available for video: either the standard Optical SteadyShot used for still imaging, or a more powerful Active SteadyShot mode that combines optical and digital stabilization, with a resulting increase in the focal length crop. (Translation: wide-angle video is harder to achieve with this enabled, but you can manage an even greater maximum telephoto.)
The Sony W690 includes both USB 2.0 High Speed data and video output connectivity. Images and movies are stored in a not-so-generous 27MB of built-in memory, or on SD / Memory Stick Duo cards. Supported SD cards include SDHC and SDXC types, while Memory Stick Duo compatibility includes PRO Duo and PRO HG Duo types, as well as Micro and Micro Mark 2 cards with an adapter. Power comes courtesy of a proprietary NP-BN or NP-BN1 lithium ion rechargeable battery pack, with the former in the product bundle. The W690 is rated as good for 220 shots on a charge, although it isn't stated with which pack type this figure was determined.
Available from May 2012, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W690 is priced at around US$180. Body colors for this model include black, silver, red, and blue.