The Sony DSC T10 is a seven megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens. It is small and sleek and will fit easily into a pocket. In terms of features the DSC T10 is a point and shoot camera and should not prove too taxing for anyone who takes photographs for their own enjoyment. With a good build quality it will appeal to someone who is prepared to pay a little extra for a clear step up from a standard digital camera. The camera also has image stabilisation.
89.7 x 54.9 x 20.6mm
Memory Stick Duo
The quality of the photos I was able to take with the DSC T10 was roughly in line with my expectations. In the main I was very impressed with the photos and I would suggest that this is one of the best pocket sized digital cameras you can buy.
Running through the test shots the main comments I have are the high levels of sharpness and the balance of the colours. This helps to produce a set of clear photographs with a natural feel to them.
In all three outdoor scenic shots the sharpness levels are noticeable. Another important factor is that the levels of sharpness stay right up to the edge of each photo and there is very little evidence of a fall off in picture quality. Using the building and boats in the first picture as a guideline the brickwork on the building and the names on the boats stand out more sharply than the majority of digital cameras I have tested are able to produce.
Another area where the DSC T10 excels is the way it is able to handle light coloured objects. With many digital cameras it is hard to make out any detail at all in the white beams under the roof of the building and the boats themselves often loose a lot of detail as well. This is not the case here and the DSC T10 handles this problem as well as any camera I have tested recently.
Likewise whereas other cameras have serious problems with darkness creeping into the corners of pictures taken when the zoom lens is not being used the DSC T10 is able to overcome this problem too. This is illustrated in the second test shot.
Without doubt the most disappointing test shot is the outdoor portrait. This photo is overexposed and a lot of the skin tones are lost. This is something I have experienced with other cameras in this series.
Looking at the indoor shots the portrait is another sharply focused shot. Again this compares well to many direct competitors. Once more as is typical of this range of Sony cameras the picture is blighted by serious red eye. This is despite the fact red eye reduction was used when the shot was taken.
The test for extreme lowlight is also handled well. The picture of beer bottles is another in sharp focus considering the conditions and the camera does well in getting the lighting levels up.
For close up work the DSC T10 is able to focus from very close into an object. The resulting photo is clear and bright. Although I would not recommend buying this camera purely to take macro shots you should be able to take decent close up photos as and when required.
Higher ISO settings cause a loss of quality in photos. Although you can use a setting of ISO 1000, I found that pushing the level up to ISO 400 causes a clear decrease in quality.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times
I was able to take a single picture in 0.25 seconds and five photos in 6.11 seconds. The time taken to take a single picture is just a shade below average. The time taken to capture five photos is a fast time.
You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.
The 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 38 - 114mm in 35mm format. This is supported by up to 14x smart zoom and also 6x digital zoom. The amount of smart zoom available increases as you decrease the resolution (number of megapixels) you shoot at.
Control can be taken over focusing by selecting the focus area. The options available are Multi Point, Centre weighted and Spot. There are also focus presets available. These can be set to either 0.5m, 1m, 3m, 7m or infinity. For close up shots the DSC T10 is able to focus from 1cm away from the subject.
To help you take the best possible shot there are a number of pre programmed scene modes. When you select a scene mode the camera will use what it considers to be the most appropriate settings. The scene modes you can use are Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Snow, Beach, High-speed shutter, Fireworks and High Sensitivity.
The built in flash unit has a maximum range of 2.8m. This falls to 2.3m when the zoom lens is in use. The flash modes available are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Synchro and No Flash. Red eye reduction can be turned on or off.
The 2.5" LCD screen is made up of around 230,000 pixels. There is no viewfinder.
If you would like to appear in a picture there is a self timer with a two or ten second delay. There is also a histogram to help you check exposure levels. In addition there is also a 3:2 aspect ratio. This allows you to produce 6 x 4" prints without the need for trimming the photo to fit on the paper.
Among the more advanced features are exposure compensation (+/-2.0 EV, 1/3 EV step), white balance (Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash), metering (Multi Pattern, Centre weighted and Spot), ISO sensitivity (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000) and exposure bracketing. You can also adjust the levels of sharpness, saturation and contrast.
Shutter speeds and aperture size are set automatically by the DSC T10. The maximum aperture is f3.5 - f4.3. Shutter speeds operate in the range ¼ - 1/1000 seconds.
There are two types of burst or continuous shooting modes. The first is a standard type. This allows you to shoot at a maximum speed of 0.78 shots per second. The second method stores 16 mini shots in a single image. The shots are stored in a 4 x 4 grid.
After you have taken a photo you can create smaller copies and also crop the photo.
Movies can be recorded up to the capacity of the memory card. The maximum resolution is 640 x 480 pixels and the top speed is 30 frames per second. Sound can be recorded with the movie and zoom can be used whilst the movie is being captured.
Sony supplies all the necessary cables and software to connect the DSC T10 to a printer, television set and PictBridge compatible printer.
Ease of Use
There is nothing especially difficult about the DSC T10. There are quite a few buttons on the back of the camera to get acquainted with, but once you have mastered these you are well on your way to getting to know the camera. Again although there are plenty of options in the menu system it is well laid out and you should soon be able to find your way around.
You can pick up a Sony DSC T10 for around £215. This compares to around £160 for a Pentax Optio S7, £210 for a Kodak EasyShare V705 and £175 for a Casio Exilim EX-Z700.
As you can see the DSC T10 is one of the more expensive seven megapixel, pocket sized digital cameras. Even so I think it offers fair value for money.
I like the style of this range of cameras from Sony. They have a simple design and are certainly small enough to fit easily into a pocket. The sliding lens design looks good, but you do need to remember to close the cover when you finish using the camera to ensure the lens is properly protected.
The DSC T10 weighs 140g and has dimensions of 89.7 x 54.9 x 20.6mm. It is available in black, pink, white and silver.
Batteries and Memory Cards
Power is supplied to the camera through a rechargeable lithium ion battery. Sony estimate you should be able to take around 250 shots before the battery needs to be recharged. Both a battery and charger are supplied with the camera as standard.
According to the specification Sony have built a generous 56mb of memory into the DSC T10. I was able to take 21 photos before the memory was full. Although this is enough to test the camera you will need to pick up a high capacity memory card to go with the camera. It is compatible with Memory Stick Duo cards.
Click here to save money on Memory Stick Duo.
Points I like:
Large internal memory
Style and design
Where it is not so hot:
Limited flash distance
The Sony DSC T10 is one of the better pocket sized digital cameras. On the whole picture quality is very good. I like the design and its ease of use is another attraction. As with other cameras in the Sony range the camera does not come cheap, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for.
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