Sony DSC TX10 Review

Waterproof

Picture
Sony DSC TX10 Ease of Use 9
Features 9
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 9
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
16 Megapixels
4x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
95.6 x 56.1 x 17.9
133g

Overview

The Sony Cybershot DSC TX10 is a pocket digital camera with a difference. It has an extremely wide range of features. As well as being waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof the Cybershot DSC TX10 can shoot full High Definition movies, has a touch controlled LCD screen, can take 3D still photos and has a sweep panorama function.

Looks suggest the Cybershot DSC TX10 is a premium digital camera. Sony's use of a sliding lens cover adds to the attractive design. At less than 18mm wide you should have no problem slipping this camera into more or less any pocket.

Sony have created versions in pink, black and silver.

Why Buy The Sony DSC TX10

The Cybershot DSC TX10 offers you a great mix of style, features and lightening fast response times.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

16
4x
3 inches
95.6 x 56.1 x 17.9
133g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

1cm
Yes
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/SDHC

Features

Megapixels

16 megapixels gives you plenty of scope for producing large prints. You can also crop photos to improve composition and still have a large enough image to make a print.

Zoom Lens

The 4x zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 25 - 100mm in 35mm format. This means that the lens is able to squeeze wider scenes into your photos. Having such a wide angle to the lens also means that the scope for zooming in is a little limited.

The lack of scope for zooming in can be addressed if you opt to reduce the number of megapixels you are shooting at. As you reduce megapixels more zoom becomes available. This is on a sliding scale with a maximum of 28x zoom being available to you.

Image stabilisation has been built into the lens. This helps overcome any blur caused by unsteady hands.

Waterproof

Sony have made the Cybershot DSC TX10 waterproof to depths of 5m.

Shockproof

The camera should be able to survive drops of up to 1.5m. This may be an attraction if you have younger children that like to use the family camera.

Freezeproof

Digital cameras find it difficult to operate in extreme cold. The Cybershot DSC TX10 is able to keep going when temperatures drop down to -10 degrees centigrade.

Dustproof

Sony have sealed the camera so that it is protected against dust.

LCD Screen Touch Control

The LCD screen is 3 inches in size. Compared to other robust digital cameras the screen was easy enough to see, although not as clear as many standard digital cameras.

Sweep Panorama

You can take panoramic pictures with the Cybershot DSC TX10. All you need to do is select the panoramic mode, press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in an arc. Your panoramic picture is then stitched together in camera.

High Definition Movies

Sony have equipped the camera with the ability to shoot Full High Definition movies. Digital cameras can capture HD footage at one of two resolutions. This camera is capable of recording at the higher of the two. It is also able to record sound in stereo.

High Speed Shooting

One of the benefits you get from the advanced sensor is the ability to reel of photos at high speed. There is a burst mode that allows you to capture a short burst of shots at a rate of 8 frames per second.

Background Defocus

You may have seen photographs taken by professional photographers with the background thrown out of focus. The Cybershot DSC TX10 includes a background defocus mode. This gives you the opportunity to really make your subject stand out when taking portrait or wildlife photos.

3D Shooting

A small number of digital cameras offer the ability to capture 3D images. This camera is one of them. The 3D shots can be viewed on 3D televisions.

Close Up Photography

For close up photography you have access to a macro mode that is able to focus from 1cm away from your subject.

Advanced Features

Although in many ways the Cybershot DSC TX10 operates as a simple point and shoot digital camera you have access to a few more advanced features. These include white balance, ISO, exposure compensation and metering.

Handling

General

Although the Cybershot DSC TX10 is ultra slim it is still easy enough to get a good grip of the camera. There is an on/off button on the top of the camera, but you can also turn the Cybershot DSC TX10 on by sliding the lens cover down. The lens cover does not slide up automatically when you turn the camera off, so you need to remember to do this each time in order to ensure the lens is protected.

Lens Position and Flash

The lens is sited in the top right hand corner of the camera as you look at it. The lens is integral and does not protrude from the body when the camera is turned on. A little extra care is required to ensure a stray finger does not obstruct the lens when a picture is taken. The flash unit is centrally positioned near the top of the camera away from any stray fingers.

Touch Control and the LCD Screen

The touch screen is responsive and compares well against other touch controlled screens. It can take a short while to build up the accuracy required to change settings through a touch screen. A stylus is included in the box in case you find it difficult getting the buttons to respond to your touch.

Shutter Delay

The Cybershot DSC TX10 is one of the fastest digital cameras around for typical, every day shots. A single shot was timed at 0.15. That is under half the time the majority of digital cameras take to capture a shot. Turn on time, times for multiple shots and shots taken with flash were all very impressive.

Camera Controls

As you might expect with a touch controlled camera there are very few control buttons on the camera body. The buttons available are the on / off button, shutter button, picture review button and a button to shoot movies. There is also a control for zooming in and out. This is relatively small and you may find it a bit fiddly.

What's in the Menu?

When you first turn on the Cybershot DSC TX10 key options display down each side of the screen. These include flash, shooting mode, the help guide and access to the menu system.

On entering the menu system 9 items appear on the screen. If you scroll down a further two items are shown.

Camera setup is accessed from the menu system. The setup menu is divided into four sections and has a total of 27 items. The setup menu can be tricky to scroll through.

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

With a lot of light coloured areas in this photo the camera does a good job of to capturing a high level of detail in these areas of the shot. Glare from the sun is handled well in general. I really like the overall look of the photo. The picture is bright and the colours are well balanced. One concern is that sharpness softens as you move away from the centre of the photo.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

Zooming the lens out completely produces a good shot all round shot. Just about all digital cameras struggle for absolute pin sharpness with these more distant scenes. In this instance the Cybershot DSC TX10 compares well against digital cameras with similar specifications.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

As with the first test shot there is a loss of sharpness as you move away from the centre of the shot. The centre of the shot is in sharp focus, but as you move away from the centre sharpness drifts. This is especially true on the left hand side of the shot. Some of the darker areas of the shot also lack detail.

Outdoor Building

The loss of sharpness away from the centre is quite pronounced in this shot. Again the left hand side of the scene is softer than the remainder of the shot.

Outdoor Portrait

Moving in closer produces better a sharper result. As noted earlier the Cybershot DSC TX10 does find it difficult to brighten any darker areas. In this case it causes areas of the hair to look dark.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

The flash unit produces enough brightness to spread the light across most of the picture. As with the outdoor portrait some areas of the hair lack a little detail as the shortage of light makes those areas darker.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

Without flash the Cybershot DSC TX10 produces a photo with a much warmer look than the one taken using flash. Sharpness is good with the definition of the photo being very good for a photo taken indoors away from the sun.

Macro

You can get in more or less as close as you want to when you place the Cybershot DSC TX10 in macro mode. The camera is able to place the main subject of the photograph in sharp focus before throwing the surrounding areas out of focus. The level of quality is good for a smaller compact.

Colours

The colours in the test photos were fairly gentle. This helped to make the scenes a fair reflection on how they looked at the time the pictures were taken.

Noise

The indoor portrait shot kept noise levels to a minimum. That bodes well for noise levels in general.

Picture Quality Summary

As long as you are not too ambitious with print size the pictures look good. Focusing can look soft away from the centre of the photo.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Fast

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

0.15 seconds
4.84 seconds
0.65 seconds
7.85 seconds
2.52 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy The touch controlled interface is one of the easier touch screens to use out of the cameras I have tested. There is enough room on the screen to make selections easily and the screen is also very responsive compared to a lot of touch controlled cameras. There is also an in camera guide if you find yourself stuck.

Points I Like

Feature, response times, design, very slim size

Where it Could Improve

Loss of sharpness away from the centre of photos.

Verdict

The Sony Cybershot DSC TX10 has a great range of features, but the overall sharpness of the photosof more distant scenes is slightly disappointing. If you are not planning to make large prints then the issues with picture sharpness are unlikely to unduly trouble you. If on the other hand you can envisage producing larger prints of landscape style shots you may find the soft focus detracts from picture quality.

Test Shots

outdoors 1 outdoors 2 outdoors 3

building macro colours

portrait-outdoors portrait-indoors indoors

See sample images link arrow

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Olympus TG-820 Rating 83/100

There are a number of robust digital cameras with similar features and general qualities. The Olympus TG-820 is priced a little lower than most of its direct competitors, so if you are looking for a good quality, robust digital camera and you would like to keep a few pounds in your pocket then this camera could well be the one for you.

Read Review: Olympus TG-820 Review

Olympus TG-320 Rating 81/100

The Olympus Tough TG-320 offers quite a lot of features for the price. It is able to cope with most typical snapshot opportunities. It scores well for ease of use. All in all it is a good choice if you are looking for a digital camera with robust features and you would like one with a lower price tag.

Read Review: Olympus TG-320 Review

Panasonic DMC FT20 Rating 81/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FT20 is a mid range robust digital camera. In terms of performance it is mid range too when it comes to picture quality. It is one of those digital cameras that do not stand out from the crowd, but at the same time it is hard to come up with reasons not to buy it. Picture quality is fine for snapshot print sizes.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FT20 Review

Related Pages

Sony DSC TX10 Review Sony DSC TX10 Specification Sony DSC TX10 Sample Images Sony Digital Cameras



UK Digital Cameras The camera used in this review of the Sony Cybershot DSC TX10 was kindly provided by UK Digital Cameras

Review Date

June 2011

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