The Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 is an incredibly slim digital camera. It offers an appealing combination of style, size, picture quality and features. It is right up there with the best cameras in the pocket sized category. Key features include touch control, High Definition movies, 3D stills and panoramic shots.
At around 12mm wide it will fit any pocket and is the slimmest digital camera available at the time of release from a major brand.
If you are looking for extra all round quality in an extremely small camera then the Cybershot DSC TX55 is likely to prove very attractive. It is a very impressive digital camera.
Megapixels and Zoom
The Cybershot DSC TX55 has 16 megapixels and a 5x wide angle lens. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 26 - 130mm in 35mm format. The maximum aperture is f/3.5-4.8.
Batteries and Memory Cards
A lithium ion battery powers the camera. Sony supplies a battery and charger in the box. They estimate you should be able to take around 250 before a recharge is required.
Owing to the small size of this camera it is compatible with micro sized memory cards. It can use microSD, microSDHC or memory stick micro cards.
You can capture Full High Definition movies. These have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Another useful feature is that you can take 12 megapixel still images while you are recording a movie.
The LCD screen is 3.3 inches. This is larger than most touch controlled screens.
There are a number of predefined shooting modes you can use. These are High Sensitivity, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Night Portrait, Landscape, Soft Snap, Soft Skin, Anti Motion Blur, Backlight Correction HDR, Beach, Snow, Fireworks and Hispeed Shutter.
For close up shots the Cybershot DSC TX55 is able to focus from 3cm away from your subject.
You can produce 2D and 3D panoramic pictures. After placing the camera in panorama mode all you need to do is press down the shutter button and sweep the camera round in an arc.
3D Still Photos
As well as being able to shoot 3D panoramas you can also produce standard still images in 3D.
You may have seen photos where the background of the image is in soft focus. These helps to make the main subject stand out. Sony have equipped the Cybershot DSC TX55 with a defocus mode to make it easy for you to achieve this effect.
High Speed Shooting
For when you are recording action there is a burst mode. In this mode you are able to fire off still photos at a rate of 10 frames per second for 10 shots.
Image stabilisation has been built into the camera to help keep your photos looking sharp.
When you place the Cybershot DSC TX55 in Smile Shutter mode it will take a photo automatically if it detects someone is smiling.
Picture Quality Summary
Apart from one or two minor issues it is hard to fault the picture quality this camera offers. Sony have done an excellent job when it comes to producing bright, clear, sharp and colourful photos.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
There are a number of factors in this shot that suggests the Cybershot DSC TX55 can produce high quality images. Considering the small lens size the sharpness of the shot really catches the eye. The definition levels compare well with the best pocket cameras. This includes the definition showing in areas of light shade where digital cameras can struggle. Colours are true with the blue lines on the boats staying blue and avoiding a purple tinge. Although not perfect the camera manages to bring out a good level of detail in the lightest areas of the scene too.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
The definition and sharpness showing in this photo is impressive. The Cybershot DSC TX55 manages to avoid and purple fringing issues that are seen from time to time in this test. The colours have plenty of depth to them. This bodes well if you like to take pictures with deep blue skies. There is a slight tendency for vertical lines to fall inwards at the very edges of the photo.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
As with the previous photo the level of detail showing in the photo is very impressive. The edge to edge sharpness of the shot is something that is not often achieved by pocket cameras.
This is another example showing the clarity and sharpness this camera is able to pack into its pictures. Once again there are no real signs of any sharpness being lost as you move towards the edges. The definition, the way the camera deals with the lighting and the colours in the photo mark this camera out as comfortably above average.
Moving in closer is no problem for the Cybershot DSC TX55, It produces a fairly standard portrait shot. Colours are about right and there is plenty of brightness in the shot too.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
The Cybershot DSC TX55 flash manages very well. The big plus point is that the light spreads out across the shot. This means that areas such as the hair are lit much better than you see with a lot of other cameras. As the light is evenly dispersed the camera avoids the problems of a burst of concentrated light hitting the face in one central area and washing out colour.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
This photo is a little on the dark side. This suggests that almost as soon as light starts to fade you will need to resort to using the flash. That is not that important with a small, snapshot camera.
You can get in that bit closer with the Cybershot DSC TX55 than a lot of pocket cameras can manage. Although it is unlikely that this would be your choice of camera if you were looking to specialise in close up photography you will still be able to take good quality close ups when the need arises.
Colours are well balanced. There is enough vibrancy to create great looking pictures without overpowering your pictures.
Noise levels are minimal. The definition in general showing in the shots is much better than standard.
Canon Powershot A4000 IS Rating 84/100
You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.
Read Review: Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review
Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100
If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review
Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review
Review Date: February 2012
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.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
92.9 x 54.4 x 132.2mm
Memory Stick Micro, Micro SD, Micro SDHC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
Despite its small size it is easy enough to get a good grip of the camera. To turn the camera on you slide down the lens cover.
Lens and Flash Positioning
The lens is in the top left hand corner. At first you may have to take a bit of extra care with how you hold the camera to ensure a finger does not stray over the lens. The same rule applies with the flash unit as this is very near the lens.
LCD Screen Quality
In terms of viewing the screen is very good. It is clear and easy to see. The larger size makes accessing the icons easier, although other brands, especially Nikon make their screen icons larger.
The responsiveness of the screen can be inconsistent. Touch screens can get smeary easily. This appears to have a big impact on the responsiveness of the screen with this camera and you may find yourself cleaning the screen on a regular basis.
A stylus is provided if you prefer to use that to select options. This works fairly well for making selections, but not so well if you wish to scroll through screen options.
There were times when I found the lack of responsiveness somewhat frustrating.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
Turn on and shutter lag times are acceptable without being anything special. In fact response can be on the slow side when flash is used.
Design and Build Quality
In addition to the touch screen the design of this camera is likely to be a major attraction. This is the slimmest digital camera I can recall reviewing. You will need to take care when you put the camera down somewhere. It is very easy to knock over. It is a very stylish camera and build quality appears to be very good.
The main screen shows options running down both sides. These include being able to shoot a movie, selecting the shooting mode and setting the self timer. The menu has 14 items and the separate set up menu has 26 options.