It seems like the iPhone has made a few companies realise the true potential of touch screen interfaces. Sony has always had a touch screen series of cameras (the N series), but it usually only contained one model at a time and was a little clunky. All of this changes with their new release the Cyber-Shot T200. Combining touch screen functionality with this series' hallmark stylish design, Sony has created a pretty nifty camera. Its pictures leave a little to be desired but they are adequate for many uses, and the interface is extremely intuitive, making for a great novice option.
- Touch screen operates well, low image noise, relatively quick operation
- Chromatic aberration is quite problematic, some sharpness issues
Sony's Cyber-Shot DSC-T200 is an interesting camera. Its pictures suffer from some sharpness and chromatic aberration issues, but are still good enough for small and medium sized prints.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
Basically everything is controlled via the touch screen, and it does an excellent job. It requires a slightly firmer press than some other touch screen devices, but all the icons are large and clearly labelled, and after a few minutes we were navigating as quickly as on any other camera.
The touch screen also offers a few advantages, like the ability to manually set focus by simply tapping a portion of the screen. Similarly you can zoom in and out of shots just by tapping the part you wish to see in more detail. There is also something futuristic about navigating in this manner, which lends a certain appeal to the T200.
Unfortunately it does suffer from a few image aberrations. Chromatic aberration was the worst of these, with some serious loss of clarity and prominent haloing towards the edges of our shots. Our Imatest test software gave the T200 a score of 0.178 per cent for chromatic aberration, which is a poor result.
Sharpness was a mixed bag. Some of our outdoor shots were quite crisp but others had a soft look and this continued in our indoor chart shots occasionally, with a little fringing evident. Imatest gave the camera a score of 1432 for sharpness, which is low for an 8-megapixel sensor, however this is due to the massive 38.1 per cent under-sharpening it found. Our shots weren't as bad as these scores might indicate, but the result definitely fluctuated a little.
Colour response was fairly good with rich tones and decent balance. Imatest gave the unit a score of 8.78 for colour, which is good but not outstanding. There was quite a bit of error evident in the red spectrum, but the other colours were fairly accurate.
Noise was minimal, with an Imatest score of 0.45 per cent at ISO 100. It scaled relatively well as we increased the sensitivity and shots up to ISO 400 are usable at small to medium print sizes.
In our speed tests the T200 performed nicely, exhibiting 0.05 seconds of shutter lag, 1.3 seconds shot-to-shot time and 2.1 seconds power up time. The burst mode was also fairly speedy at three frames per second, however it can't capture more than three shots.
All the features you'd anticipate are packed in here and a few that you wouldn't. In addition to the standard white balance presets, ISO adjustments and focus and metering modes, Sony has also packed in Face Detect as well as some bracketing options, which will give novice users a whole host of options to play with.
Aesthetically, the T200 is quite stylish, with a slide down lens cover and smooth rounded edges. As no controls are needed, the touch screen is also impressively large, measuring 3.5in, which allows for better picture framing.
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