The Sony Cyber-shot W690 is a new model for 2012, but based on older technology. While much of the range uses a new 18-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, the W690 comes with an older 16-megapixel CCD sensor.

Although we don't have a price for the new model, which is going to be hitting stores in March 2012, we expect it to be among the most affordable of Sony's compact cameras.

In the hand the W690 doesn't feel quite as exciting as the WX100 or WX150, which are slightly better specified and more lovingly designed. But it's certainly small. Measuring 94.3 x 56.1 x 21.7 and weighing 142g it'll slip into any pocket or bag easily.

However, this compact snapper gives you a 10x zoom, offering a range of 25-250mm (in 35mm terms) which is impressive for a camera this small. The max aperture of f/3.3 is a little slow, but that's typical of this type of camera.


But the biggest downside of this camera, and the thing that instantly marks out it's lower specification, is the display on the back. At 3 inches the size is good, but the 230k-dot resolution means that things don't look nearly as crisp as on Sony's other cameras. 

Designed mostly as a point-and-shoot camera, controls are governed by the buttons and slider on the back, much as they are in the more advanced compacts in the W series.

You get a range of picture effects as well as Sony's signature Sweep Panorama, but not in 3D, on top of the auto everything shooting modes. Video capture maxes out at 720p.