Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX10 Review

4.0
May 31, 2011 | 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 4Mb.

Like its predecessor in the DSC-TX5, the TX10's lens starts out at a wider than most 25mm, which sounds good on paper for its ability to shoehorn in holiday landscapes as readily as group shots of friends and family enjoying the pina coladas.

However in practice we noticed some softness towards the edges of the frame at this extreme setting, particularly noticeable with people shots. That said, most point and shooters will be pleased with the results straight out of the camera. As a default the colours here are well saturated and exposures pleasantly even  - which means good results are to be had with minimal effort being made, as should always be the case with the TX10's class. Plus, you don't want to be fiddling around with settings whilst traipsing frozen Arctic wastes or even when taking pictures in the rain - as close as we got to such unpleasantness during our test period.

In terms of what this svelte Cyber-shot offers to make it stand out from the crowd, the Sweep Panorama feature is fun for anyone wanting extra wide landscapes (wider than the 25mm lens will already allow that is), though what you gain in fun you lose in critical sharpness when downloaded and viewed on a desktop. Sony claims the technology has been refined to better align images even when people are moving in the frame, so we tested in during rush hour outside Waterloo station - perhaps the most unforgiving test of all. Though as expected we got a disjointed and at times curtailed sequence as the camera struggled to keep up with commuters rushing home, we were pleasantly surprised by how well it did do.

In terms of how the TX10 performs in low light, with an adjustable ISO range stretching from a higher than usual starting point of ISO125 though to ISO3200 - again no change from its TX5 predecessor - there is theoretically the ability for the camera to cope with a wide range of lighting conditions. Whilst the additional auto ISO setting works well, surprisingly good results are to be had up to and including ISO1600, and even though ISO3200 is noticeably softer it's still a setting that would be usable.

So if you need to push things a bit in low light - despite the fact that there's a lack of anything approaching a decent grip on the camera - as on the TX5, the TX10's Exmor R CMOS sensor does seem to live up to its manufacturers hype. Plus, if you do want to shot in the near dark, decent results can be had from choosing the Twilight mode/s among the scene mode options.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX10. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 125 (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-TX10 handled chromatic aberrations very 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)

Macro

The Sony CyberShot DSC-TX10 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-TX10 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-TX10'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 1/30th second at ISO 500.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, touch-screen, touch screen, 1080i, 10fps, 4x zoom, waterproof, dustproof, 25mm, shockproof, freezeproof, 200mm, Cybershot, sony dsc-tx10, sony tx10, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX10 Review

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