Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T5
- Pictures are sharp, sleek attractive build
- Some small design flaws, shortish battery life
If you need a snazzy, point and shoot to match your wardrobe, impress your friends and take some crisp pictures all at once, Sony's T5 might be for you.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
The DSC-T5 is Sony's latest foray into the world of fashion orientated digital cameras. With offerings like the Canon IXUS I-Zoom and the Olympus MJU Mini already widely available, camera companies are obviously recognising that this is a big market. The T5 compares favourably with the competition, producing crisp, colourful images whilst sporting a sleek, modern design that definitely makes it a worthwhile contender.
One concern when a company goes out of their way to create such an aesthetically pleasing camera is that they will ignore image quality in favour of style and design. Thankfully that is not the case here; and Sony have has done an excellent job with the lens and sensor on this model.
The T5 takes some extremely clear and sharp photographs. There is some minor blurring around some edges, but for a 5.1 megapixel model the shots were of excellent quality. The only complaint we could venture is that there is a little green fringing around some of the edges. Colour saturation was very solid;, red, blue and green were particularly well represented; with yellows posing the only problem, looking a little pale and washed out. The camera handled low light very well, with little noticeable image noise. Overall and the pictures are were above what we'd expect from a 5 megapixel model.
Shutter lag on the other hand was a little higher than we'd have liked, regularly creeping over half a second. Startup and image write times, however, were lightning quick, both barely reaching the second mark.
There are only possible reactions to the camera's design - What will really convince most buyers however is the camera's design. Wwe found that people either loved or hated it. The T5 comes in a variety of colours such as black and silver, with ours conveniently coming in red to match the striking red design of the site. It utilises the increasingly popular face plate switch as a power button (as seen on the Ricoh R3); you simply slide the large, silver cover down to turn the camera on. There is also however a power button on the top, which lead to a little confusion, as the front slide must be down regardless of which option you use in order to expose the lens. The plastic slide feels likeis the weakest point of the design on the largely metal camera body; the camera body is largely metal, but the slide is made of plastic and feels like it could snap after prolonged use.
The lens itself is in the very top left hand corner, and we found it quite awkwardly placed for those with big hands. Our typical digital camera grip involves a slight curling of the fingers, but on this model we found that interfered with our pictures. Apart from this the camera is well laid out. All the controls are within easy reach, and feel well mounted. Interestingly the battery and card slots are both on the side (battery is almost always on the bottom), which helps the camera keep its slim design. Sony has really gone out of their way to make a light, pocketable pocket sized camera, that is easy on the eyes, and it clearly pays off. The T5 looks and feel fantastic.
The T5 It comes equipped with a fairly standard array of features. ISO can be set up to 400, and there are a number of white balance modes, as well as sharpness, contrast and saturation settings. There are ten preset shooting modes, which is slightly less than average, but we did really like the continuous shot mode, which felt fast and responsive at about 2 frames per second. The video function is also of high quality, shooting unlimited MPEG movies in 640xX480 resolution, at a speed of 30 fps.
Unfortunately the T5's battery life was slightly disappointing. After having reviewed the Casio Z500 we were looking forward to some more models with extreme battery life, but this camera wasn't up to the same standard, taking just 280 shots before the battery ran out of charge. Still, for such a slim model, this isn't an entirely poor result.
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