Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T99 Review

3.5
January 12, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14.1 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

At its heart the T99 is a snapshot camera so is obviously not the most sophisticated photographic entity on the market. This translates into slightly flat images straight out of the camera that aren't as sharp as we'd ideally like, with exposure biasing whatever is largest and most prominent in the frame, even with the dynamic range optimizer function enabled on the camera. The result is detail in the foregrounds but washed out backgrounds. Admittedly we were shooting with the camera in the grey depths of winter in the UK rather than under vivid blue skies where a sub £200 snapshot camera would inevitably fair better. The result was that colours were also rather flatter and less warm than we would have hoped for.

Low light performance is similarly unsurprising. Noise creeps in at ISO800 setting and gets progressively worse as we move higher. At ISO1600, whilst we aren't getting a badly gritty appearance, we are losing edge detail, and at top whack ISO3200 setting we are getting a distinctly dotty look that causes the images to begin to resemble Pontilist/Impressionist paintings.

The T99 then does seem biased slightly more towards the style end of the spectrum than substance, but should nevertheless reward those with low expectations looking for usable results with minimal fuss.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-T99. 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 and ideally benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Sony CyberShot DSC-T99 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Sony CyberShot DSC-T99 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 1cm 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 CyberShot DSC-T99 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro, No Flash, with a Red-eye Reduction option in the Main menu. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (100mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (100mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Forced Flash setting or the Red-Eye Correction option caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Sony CyberShot DSC-T99's maximum shutter speed is 2 seconds, which is not good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/3rd second at ISO 400.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T99 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching and now even successfully compensates for moving subjects. The main catch is that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution.

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, review, 720p, beginner, 14 megapixel, touch-screen, touch screen, touchscreen, 4x zoom, 4x, 4x lens, t99, Sony T99, Sony DSC-T99, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T99, dsc-t99

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