Sony WX500

 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 front
 
  • 18MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 80 - 12800
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-720mm (F3.5-6.4) lens
  • 236g - 102 x 58 x 36mm
  • Announced April 2015
  • Superseded the Sony WX350
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
91
Imaging
45
Features
56
Overall
49

Sony WX500 overview

Sony WX500 is Sony's Small Sensor Superzoom camera originally announced on April of 2015. The camera has got a 18MP, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4896 x 3672.

Sony released this camera to improve the previous Sony WX350 (Read Full Comparison)

The WX500 comes in at #25 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and all round #416 out of 1428 for cameras in our list. Remember to check out our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your custom factors.

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Below is a graph of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony WX500 family

The Sony WX500 is part of a family of cameras. You can view the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX500 front thumbnailSony WX50024-720mm
F3.5-6.4
18MP1/2.3"2015
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX350 front thumbnailSony WX350
WX500 vs WX350
25-500mm
F3.5-6.5
18MP1/2.3"2014
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W800 front thumbnailSony W800
WX500 vs W800
26-130mm
F3.2-6.4
20MP1/2.3"2014
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX300 front thumbnailSony WX300
WX500 vs WX300
25-500mm
F3.5-6.5
18MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W710 front thumbnailSony W710
WX500 vs W710
28-140mm
F3.2-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W730 front thumbnailSony W730
WX500 vs W730
25-224mm
F3.3-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2013
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX80 front thumbnailSony WX80
WX500 vs WX80
28-224mm
F3.3-8.0
16MP1/2.3"2013
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W690 front thumbnailSony W690
WX500 vs W690
25-250mm
F3.3-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX150 front thumbnailSony WX150
WX500 vs WX150
25-250mm
F3.3-5.9
18MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX50 front thumbnailSony WX50
WX500 vs WX50
25-125mm
F2.6-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX70 front thumbnailSony WX70
WX500 vs WX70
25-125mm
F2.6-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2012
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W650 front thumbnailSony W650
WX500 vs W650
25-125mm
F2.6-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W620 front thumbnailSony W620
WX500 vs W620
28-140mm
F3.2-6.5
14MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W610 front thumbnailSony W610
WX500 vs W610
26-105mm
F2.8-5.9
14MP1/2.3"2012
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX30 front thumbnailSony WX30
WX500 vs WX30
25-125mm
F2.6-6.3
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX10 front thumbnailSony WX10
WX500 vs WX10
24-168mm
F2.4-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2011
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-WX5 front thumbnailSony WX5
WX500 vs WX5
24-120mm
F2.4-5.9
12MP1/2.3"2010
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W370 front thumbnailSony W370
WX500 vs W370
34-238mm
F3.6-5.6
14MP1/2.3"2010
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W290 front thumbnailSony W290
WX500 vs W290
28-140mm
F3.3-5.2
12MP1/2.3"2009
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Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W230 front thumbnailSony W230
WX500 vs W230
30-120mm
F2.8-5.8
12MP1/2.3"2009
Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-W220 front thumbnailSony W220
WX500 vs W220
30-120mm
F2.8-7.1
12MP1/2.3"2009

Sony WX500 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of pros and cons of the Sony WX500 based on things which are often viewed as necessary in a camera.

amazing zoom range (24-720mm 30.0 x zoom)
comes with HDMI port
decently wide (24mm)
flash built-in
good battery (360 CIPA)
good megapixels (18 megapixels)
great zoom (720mm)
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than average (236g)
NFC support
offers face detection focusing
offers tracking autofocus
pretty good screen size (3")
screen has good resolution (921 thousand dot)
screen tilts up and down
very good min ISO (80)
can't use external flash
doesn't have external mic port
doesn't have headphone port
doesn't have selfie friendly display
doesn't have Time Lapse recording
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
has no phase detect AF
has no RAW files
lack of manual focus
sluggish at full zoom (f6.4)
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Sony WX500 Sensor specs

The Sony WX500 features the Bionz X chip. The spec of the sensor on the Sony WX500 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 4896 x 3672 pixels using aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter can easily cause cropping.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 18 megapixels and provides a native ISO range of 80 to 12800. Unfortunately, RAW format is not supported therefore you have less margin for error.

The graphic underneath illustrates the WX500's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The WX500 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 sensor size Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony WX500 dimensions

Sony WX500 weighs around 0.52 pounds (236 grams / 8.32 oz) and features exterior dimensions of 102mm x 58mm x 36mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 1.4"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 grams and the Sony WX500 is lighter as compared to other rivals.

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Underneath is a picture of the Sony WX500 besides a softdrink so you're able to have a feel for its size.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button design on the WX500.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 topview buttons dials

Sony WX500 Lens details

The WX500 comes with a built in lens offering a focal range of 24-720mm making it a 30.0 x zoom which is very good and can make it easier to zoom all the way in.

At it's widest 24mm, it offers an aperture of f3.5 making it somewhat sluggish and not the best in low light circumstances and you will likely find it difficult to capture a shallow depth of field. You would also have to increase your ISO setting which causes noisy files. With the long end, 720mm is incredible zoom and comes to f6.4 making it really sluggish and you may have to go with slow shutter speeds.

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Sony WX500 Connectivity

The WX500 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • NFC Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that consist of NFC and Bluetooth support can be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You can send photos and oftentimes alter settings with no need to connect directly with the camera.

Certain apps also stream a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can be hooked up to an external display. Virtually all cameras enable you to charge the battery using the USB socket.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Sony WX500 Video details

The maximum video quality on the Sony WX500 is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in AVCHD and XAVC S format. 1080p quality provides a good balance in quality versus file size but FULL HD will not give you much room to crop. The body doesn't feature a mic and headphone jack which means that you have absolutely no control over your audio. It is probably best to take a look at another model should you require decent audio in your video clips.

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Sony WX500 Weather Sealing

Sony WX500 doesn't have weather proofing so rainy conditions can easily affect the camera.

Sony WX500 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony WX500 has got a 3 inch tilting display having a resolution of 921 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500 screen and viewfinder Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

The ViewFinder specs regarding Sony WX500 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are pretty useful in sunny outdoor conditions which will make the camera display washed out and very difficult to view.

Sony WX500 Shutter details

Sony WX500 continuous shooting rate is 10.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Sony WX500 Flash and Hot shoe details

Sony WX500 includes just inbuilt flash with missing external flash ability.

Sony WX500 Autofocusing details

Sony WX500 includes only Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more snappier & accurate as compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera has got Face detect which makes it helpful for portrait photography.

It also has Tracking Autofocus for subjects that move. Sony WX500 does not have manual focus. Manual focus can be good in low light occasions or you require more accurate focus control.

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Sony WX500 Battery life

The battery (NP-BX1) on the Sony WX500 is designed to last for 360 shutters according to the CIPA benchmarks making it higher than average for its class. The general Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has the highest possible (600) battery life in this group of cameras.

Following is a list of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the best battery life:

Sony WX500 for various forms of photography

The following illustration gives a analysis of the Sony WX500 for various forms of photography. To understand more, scroll to the specific paragraph underneath.

Sony WX500 Portrait photography details

The Sony WX500 has a points tally of 40 which is bad, meaning that it is not really very good for portrait images. Photographing portrait images favors heavily to sensor dimensions, support for RAW files & potential to work with external flash.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
MP count decent (18MP)
offers face detection focus
manual focus not available
cannot use external flash
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Sony WX500 Street photography info

Getting a nice score of 70, the Sony WX500 is a good choice to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera features a good balance of image quality and portability.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
has a tilting screen
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition in class (236g)
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format

Sony WX500 Sports photography details

A modest sports photography score of 58 indicates the Sony WX500 is reasonably suitable for taking pictures of sports. A camera should have very good autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
amazing zoom range (24-720mm 30.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Optical)
megapixel count decent (18MP)
provides tracking focus
good battery life (360 per charge)
small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Sony WX500 Travel photography advice

Size is pretty crucial when buying a camera for travel. In general, the Sony WX500 gets a above average 72 as a travel camera which is a good choice to take on your journeys.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
better than average battery life (360 CIPA)
lighter than competition (236g)
decent MP (18 megapixels)
flash built-in
really wide (24mm)
great zoom (720mm)
missing Time Lapse recording
does not have a selfie friendly screen
sluggish max aperture (f3.5)

Sony WX500 as a Landscape photography camera

When you are planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photography, the most vital factor is going to be image quality. The Sony WX500 with it's average grade of 49 for a landscape camera is reasonably acceptable among it's competition.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
pretty wide (24mm)
pretty good screen size (3")
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent MP (18MP)
good battery (360 CIPA)
focusing manually not possible
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW support
doesn't have Time Lapse function

Sony WX500 Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging really should offer a moving display, microphone input and ideally image stabilization. Taking everything in to account, the Sony WX500 is not really very good as a vlog camera as it gets a bad rating of 35.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
reasonably wide (24mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
has face detection focusing
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
lighter than competition in class (236g)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.5)
doesn't have a selfie friendly screen
does not have external mic socket

Sony WX500 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the WX500, below is a range of the highest rated cameras which fall in to the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram underneath will give you a bird's eye view of the WX500 compared to it's top scored rivals shown earlier.

These are some more cameras you might take a look at as alternative options. To review a thorough comparison, go to the "compare" link.

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Specifications

General Information
Make
Sony
Model
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500
Class
Small Sensor Superzoom
Announced
2015-04-14
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Chip
Bionz X
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
18MP
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4896 x 3672
RAW support
Max native ISO
12800
Minimum native ISO
80
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous AF
AF single
Tracking AF
AF selectice
AF center weighted
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Lens
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
24-720mm (30.0x)
Highest aperture
f/3.5-6.4
Macro focus range
5cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Range of display
Tilting
Display size
3"
Resolution of display
921 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch functionality
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder
None
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Features
Slowest shutter speed
30 secs
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shooting speed
10.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
5.40 m (with Auto ISO)
Flash modes
Auto, flash on, slow sync, flash off, rear sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 30p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (30p)
Max video resolution
1920x1080
Video data format
AVCHD, XAVC S
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Connectivity
Wireless
Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
236 gr (0.52 lb)
Dimensions
102 x 58 x 36mm (4.0" x 2.3" x 1.4")
Other
Battery life
360 images
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
NP-BX1
Self timer
Yes
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo
Storage slots
One
Price at launch
$348