Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T500
Touch-screen camera that records 720p video footage.
- Captures good detail, HD video recording, HDMI included on dock
- Noisy images even at low sensitivities, touch-screen interface is very fiddly
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T500 is a decent compact camera with some nifty features such as 720p video recording. However, its touch-screen interface is irritating and its images are noisier than normal.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Joining the rapidly expanding high-definition video club is the Cyber-shot DSC-T500, Sony's latest T series compact camera. This is a relatively stylish unit with a few noteworthy features, including the afore-mentioned 720p video recording and a touch-screen interface. It operated well for the most part, but the screen can be fiddly at times. The camera's images also have a few issues, particularly with regards to image noise.
Like the Samsung NV 100 HD we looked at recently, this unit is primarily controlled through the touch screen. We loved what Samsung did with the technology on that camera; unfortunately Sony's implementation is not quite as good. It isn't as responsive and we often found ourselves tapping two or three times to change a setting. It is frustrating, but with a bit of perseverance it does the job.
The HD video recording, on the other hand, is quite good. The footage is somewhat grainy and the clarity isn't at as good as a proper camcorder, but it is a marked improvement over the standard-definition footage recorded by most compact cameras.
Image quality was fine for the most part, but there were a few issues, notably with noise. There was some fine grain at even low sensitivities, but it didn't cause any issues until ISO 400, where there was a sharp drop in clarity. ISO 800 is worse still; beyond that the pictures basically became unusable. Most compacts are fine at ISO 400 or even 800 in a pinch, so the T500 is a little behind the pack in this regard.
When noise wasn't a factor, however, the images were crisp and sharp. The unit has a 10.1-megapixel sensor, which is about average these days. It did a good job capturing the cityscape from our office window. Chromatic aberration was somewhat prevalent, with a little haloing on high-contrast edges, but there wasn't too much detail loss towards the corners of the frame.
Colours were very strongly saturated, erring somewhat on the side of too bright occasionally. This is standard for many compacts, with people often preferring a lively, vibrant look. However, if accuracy is your goal you will need to do a little tweaking in post-processing.
In our speed tests the T500 was fairly fast but not particularly noteworthy. It exhibited 0.09 seconds of shutter lag and 1.9 seconds between shots, both of which were in line with our expectations. The start-up time was a little slower at 2.4 seconds, but the burst mode did a fine job, snapping 2.2 shots in a second.
The unit's features are generally standard for a compact, with a couple of exceptions. Rather than connecting directly to your PC it comes with a dock, which includes an HDMI output in addition to USB. This allows you to easily play back your HD films and photos on a modern TV.
The camera sports optical image stabilisation to support the 5x zoom lens as well as the usual array of colour modes, white balance options (no custom mode unfortunately) and focus/metering modes. It should provide most of the features novices need.
Sony has continued its recognisable T-series slide design on the T500. The lens is stashed neatly behind the slide, lending a certain level of minimalism and sophistication to the unit. The unit also comes in a variety of colours, including red, black and silver. The other noteworthy design feature is the screen, which is a mammoth 3.5in. Obviously the size is a necessity given the touch-screen interface, but nonetheless it is nice to frame shots on such a large display.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCApplication Specialist (Cerner) - Brisbane BasedNSW
- CCSenior Performance Test AnalystVIC
- FTService Desk Analyst / Security EngineerQLD
- TPSenior Test Analyst - Data ReconciliationQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst - BI, DataNSW
- CCProject Management - Infrastructure projectsVIC
- CCFacilities Coordinator/ Data Centre Coordinator- Multiple RolesVIC
- CCWorkforce Planning ManagerNSW
- FTSoftware Developer - .NETNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCTraining Manager - SAP HR/ PayrollNSW
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperOther
- CCTest ManagerNSW
- CCGIS ConsultantNSW
- CCService Desk OfficerSA
- TPSHAREPOINT SPECIALISTQLD
- FTSoftware Developer - LMSNSW
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperOther
- FTFinancial Planner - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSystems Engineer - Managed Service ProviderVIC
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedSA
- FTProject Manager / Senior Business AnalystSA
- CCIT Service Management Delivery SpecialistNSW
- TPSenior Engineer-UNIXVIC
- CCSiebel Developers x 8ACT