Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 Review

3.5
June 17, 2009 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

As we expected from a Sony model, the Cyber-shot DSC-T900 delivers warm, well-saturated images when there's both plenty of sunlight available and the camera is left on its auto default settings. For those otherwise looking to inject some mood, the Program setting is available, with the ability to manually tweak imagery and settings to a limited extent and avoid the T900's tendency to bleach out highlight detail.

The combination of 12 megapixel sensor and Carl Zeiss lens also delivers a pleasingly high degree of sharpness and detail if both your camera and subject are fairly static. Even with anti-shake deployed, some softness does creep into interior shots without flash, though as you can see from our test portraits, when you do have to introduce artificial illumination its effects can be reasonably sympathetic.

Under extreme conditions such as a darkened foreground and bright featureless skies, purple pixel fringing makes an appearance. But thus has it always been with Sony Cyber-shots, so its visibility comes as no major shock. Overall sharpness is well maintained even at maximum wideangle, though images would still benefit from Unsharp Mask being applied in Photoshop and our white wall shots do display a very slight barrel distortion and corner shading. Darkened corners can also be partly put down to the fact that it's easy to – at first – allow fingertips to creep into edge of shot also, due to the lens' positioning to the side rather than centre.

In terms of ISO performance it's a relatively clean bill of health for the T900 up to ISO 800. Quality and detail has noticeably deteriorated by ISO 1600 however, though it's not until ISO 3200 that detail is beginning to break up to such an extent that images begin to take on more of an impressionistic, painterly quality. It's fair to say then that those looking for a point and shoot to deliver reliable results could do worse than take a gamble with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900, as long as the asking price doesn't put you off.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

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)

 
 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look, so you will have to edit the images later.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 did suffer from chromatic aberrations during the review. Purple fringing was mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 8cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900 are Auto, Forced On, Slow Syncro and Forced Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (35mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (35mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red-eye option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Night

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900's maximum shutter speed is 2 seconds in the Twilight scene mode, which isn't good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/8th second at ISO 400. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, compact, 720p, 10 megapixel, 4x zoom, 3.5 inch LCD, Cybershot, Sony DSC-T900, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T900, Sony T900

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