Sony DSC T500 Review

Ultra Compact

Sony DSC T500 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality9
Colours 9
Photo Quality 8
Style 9
Lowlight 7
Macro 7
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
5x Zoom
3.5 inch LCD Screen
97 x 59.3 x 21.4mm


The Sony DSC T500 is a very stylish, pocket digital camera. It has 10 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom lens. It has a few extra features when compared to more standard pocket cameras such as a 3.5 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and the ability to adjust flash intensity.

Why Buy The Sony DSC T500

There are three big selling points of the DSC T500. The first is the stylish design. Next is the touch controlled LCD screen. Finally is its ability to take High Definition movies.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

3.5 inches
97 x 59.3 x 21.4mm

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:

Lithium-ion Rechargeable
Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): This is a good enough start although I can already see the DSC T500 is unlikely to match up to the best pocket cameras when it comes to picture quality. Colours are vivid and focusing is o.k. without being anything like pin sharp. I can also see a loss of definition in some areas of the sky. This is likely to be caused by the number of megapixels squeezed onto a relatively small sensor.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): My next photo is similar in quality to the first one. Focusing is again good enough, but there are better cameras out there. I can also see small amounts of noise in the picture in places. The corners of shots taken when zoom is not being used have a tendency to be darker.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the lens fully zoomed in this is an average shot. Parts of the photo away from the centre become a softer than I would like to see.

Outdoor 4 (Building): Based on my four outdoor scenic shots I would give the DSC T500 8 out of 10 for focusing. You should not really see any issues if you are printing at snapshot size up to say 7 by 5 inches. After that you may start to notice a clearer difference between this camera and those able to produce sharper shots.


Outdoor Portrait: The skin tones have a natural look to them in this photo. Out of all the test shots I take this is probably the easiest one for a camera. I can see no reason why you should not be able to produce pleasing portrait shots in good light.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: This shot works well. The DSC T500 does a good job of retaining fairly natural colours, despite the flash being used. The flash does not over power the photo.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Although the conditions for this shot were quite bright noise does show in the photo. This suggests it may be hard to take any noise free indoor photos unless you use flash.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: If you look closely you will see a reflection of the word "Sony" on the front of the watch. This is a problem you could find when taking close up shots of reflective objects. Close up shots are not really a strength of this camera, but then again if macro photography is something very important to you, you are likely to be looking for a different type of camera.

Colours: Sony digital cameras produce vivid colours and the DSC T500 is no exception. I like the look of the scenic photos I have taken and I am also pleased with the natural look to the portrait shots.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: Noise appears before you get to ISO 400. One thing that concerns me is that noise appears quite clearly in the corners of the shot even at ISO 400. At ISO 1600 a lot of picture quality has been lost.


It is true that if you are looking for a pocket sized digital camera then you will struggle to find the ultimate in terms of picture quality. Even so I feel that although the DSC T500 can take a decent snap there are better pocket sized cameras around.

See sample images link arrow


This is a very stylish camera. I like the sliding lens design and you should have no problems slipping it into a pocket. It is available in black, silver and red.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.29 seconds
10.44 seconds
0.5 seconds
15.28 seconds
2.74 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par The DSC T500 is easy enough to use. I think the touch screen makes the camera more intuitive, even if I am not convinced it speeds up the process of selecting options. Perhaps my fingers are just too big!

Points I Like

Design and style - touch screen control

Where it Could Improve

Photos could be that bit better


I think the Sony DSC T500 will really appeal to people who like great looking gadgets. The HD quality movies and touch sensitive screen are more likely to be the selling points than the picture quality. The picture quality is o.k., but it is mid range rather than anything special.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu home

playback metering

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

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If the touch screen was perfect then the Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 would be a truly outstanding digital camera. As it is picture quality is hard to beat for such a small camera. Style and design is very impressive and the features on offer give you more or less everything you are likely to want in a point and shoot pocket camera and a bit more on top. It can be very hard to find the perfect touch screen so if touch control is important to you then this camera is well worth a place on your short list.

Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100

Panasonic offers some excellent digital cameras and can normally be replied upon to produce crystal clear photos. As with previous reviews of cameras in the FX part of the range the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX90 just does not match up to those usual high standards. Focusing is softer than it should be and you are likely to see the results of this even with relatively small sized prints.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review

Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX70 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC T500 Review Sony DSC T500 Specification Sony DSC T500 Sample Images Sony DSC T500 Features Sony Digital Cameras

Review Date

December 2008

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