The Sony Cyber-shot WX10 is the company’s new Canon Ixus challenger bringing with it 16.2 megapixels, a new sensor, and a host of other goodies to boot and we grabbed an afternoon with the new model at Kenilworth Castle to find out a little more.

The DSC-WX10 sits just above the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX7 and comes with a 7x optical lens that promises to get you that little bit closer. The WX10 also includes a high speed linear focus feature, helping to provide more accurate focusing, so it's almost like having a compact DSLR camera.

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You’ll get 3D images that are possible using the 3D Sweep Panorama mode or the 3D Still Image mode. With the latter, the camera takes two consecutive shots in different focus positions to gauge the depths, creating left-eye and right-eye images to produce a 3D effect.

The Cyber-shot also has video recording capabilities up to 50i in 1080 AVCHD.

Inside and you’ll get a 16.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS Sensor that is now standard across the company’s new Cyber-shot cameras - the HX7, HX9, HX100, WX7, and WX10.

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That means, say Sony, that you’ll get a new high-res panoramic scene mode, that at the press the shutter button and sweep the camera allows you to capture huge panoramic images with an incredible 10480 x 4096 resolution, over 40million pixels.

You’ll also get an intelligent auto mode as well as a superior auto mode. The difference between them is that the superior mode will also work to enhance the image with HDR-like effects when needed rather than just choosing the right scene mode - you can see this in our test shots taken with the Superior Auto mode.

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In our brief play the camera performed well, the superior auto effects appeared fairly quickly after a little processing time and the camera, although a tad bulky, is still fairly compact - certainly enough to slip into a bag (a pocket would be questionable).

It’s worth pointing out that Sony have said that while the hardware is 100 per cent finalised the images are only around 90 per cent with final tweaks still to be made before the camera comes out at the end of March.

The camera is expected to cost around £280 when it hits the shops.