Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 Review

4.0
August 8, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

After looking at the test pictures, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 seems to give up and down results. We were disappointed by the noise test but the night shot flew in the face of those because in contrast it was pretty good.

Colours are recorded well, we really like how it handles primary colours. Purple can be a problem but the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 handles it nicely as well as subtle hues. Sony sensors have a really good dynamic range anyway but the Sony offers dynamic range expansion called DRO (Dynamic Range Optimisation). It helps bring out more detail in shadow areas while capping burn out in the highlights. It works very symapthetically with shadows and dark areas. It doesn't bring them out too much but still helps when it's needed.

Pictures are sharp, the focusing is fast enough and although it's possible to use macro in normal shooting, we found it could sometimes miss focus.

Chromatic aberration is bound to be a problem and it is but not as much as we thought it would be. There's usually a definite hard line of colour along contrasty edges and although it's present, it's a lot softer to the degree that we thought it was lens flare on occasion.

So the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 is not going to break ground with the picture results but the type of person that this camera is aimed at will be perfectly happy with the results.

Noise

Small sensors always have an issue with digital noise but usually there's a decent noise control program dealing with it. Sony are pretty good when it comes to noise reduction so it's a surprise to see problems in edge definition right at ISO80. Now, this is only seen if you do zoom in to the picture to 100% magnification. At normal viewing size the picture looks ok and doesn't suffer any colour distortion.

Disappointingly, the image starts to degrade as low as ISO200 but it's tolerable. The real problems start if the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 is taken over this threshold to ISO400 and higher. There's a discernible colour change at ISO400 as colour noise starts to get more aggressive. Edge definition starts to get worse here as well with the overall image getting more fuzzy.

Noise at ISO1600 is terrible with green blobs covering the majority of pictures giving them a horrible cast. Edges start to smooth out as noise reduction tries to control the problem but it fails miserably as the green blobs turn into greeny-yellow mush that ruins any chance of a decent picture.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Sony CyberShot DSC-J10's 4x zoom lens offers a fairly versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples.

35mm

140mm

Sharpening

As we mentioned, the noise causes problems with image definition and straight out of the camera, things look a little soft. A simple amount of sharpening from Adobe Photoshop solves the problem giving the pictures a cleaner look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We rarely came across chromatic aberration (CA) in the pictures and when we did, it  gave the effect of lens flare which can sometimes resemble CA. It wasn't until we noticed that on the opposite side that this "flare" was a different colour that we realised it was CA. Chromatic aberration is sometimes known as colour fringing and occurs when the lens can't focus all colours on the sensor. It appears as a thin purple band on high contrast edges but can also show up as other colours too.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The close focusing ability of the Sony Cybershot DSC-J10 isn't miraculous but it's certainly good enough for the type of person that the camera is aimed at. Images are also sharp enough when looked at full magnification.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

There are only 4 flash modes on the Sony Cybershot DSC-J10 which are auto, forced on, forced off and slow synchro. The latter option selects a slow shutter speed to light up a dark background while the flash illuminates the foreground so a tripod is necessary. Some manufacturers put the red-eye options in the flash menu but Sony relegate it to the main menu. There's a minor amount of vignetting at the edges of the frame at wide-angle but it's no more than what images with no flash give which suggests an even coverage. At telephoto, the flash targets its main power into the centre of the frame with a very small amount of fall off towards the edges.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (35mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (35mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

The red-eye mode uses a pre-flash system that fires the flash before it actually takes the picture. The aim is to reduce the size of the iris to reduce red-eye. However, the camera doesn't suffer from giving red-eye anyway.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

There's only a simple night shot system on the Sony that slows down the shutter speed and enables noise reduction. Unfortunately, there's no way to over-ride ISO and this would be more advantageous, but considering the noise test results, the camera has worked very well.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

wide-angle, 16 megapixel, video, sony, 2.7 inch LCD, 4x zoom, 35mm, cybershot, vga, sony j10, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-J10 Review, j10, cybershot j10, dsc-j10

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