Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review

May 19, 2010 | Gavin Stoker | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The DSC-TX5's lens starts out at a wider than most 25mm, which sounds good on paper. However in practice we noticed a distinct loss of sharpness towards the edges of the frame at this extreme setting, particularly noticeable on group portraits, with the natural imperfections of vegetation on landscape shots disguising this effect a little better. Still, colours are well saturated and exposures even for the most part - which means good results are to be had from merely pointing and shooting with the camera, as should always be the case with the TX5's class.

In terms of what this diminutive 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 the resultant images are small and fuzzy 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. That may be so, but the occasional disjointed overlap still results. Still, it does prompt the user to take a wider range of photographs than they might otherwise and get an overall view of a scene that's closer to what the human eye captures than a camera lens could normally provide.

In terms of low light photography, with an adjustable ISO range stretching from a higher than usual starting point of ISO 125 though to ISO 3200, 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 ISO 1600, what visible noise there is at this setting comparable with performance at ISO 800 from rival point and shoots. 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 - the TX5's Exmor R CMOS sensor does seem to live up to its manufacturers hype. Even at ISO 3200, though overall detail has softened, it avoids the watercolour effect that blights so many rivals at this setting. Overall a good showing from this slender Sony.


There are 6 ISO settings available on the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5. 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)


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-TX5 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


The Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5 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


The flash settings on the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5 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-TX5'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 1/10th second at ISO 400.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Sweep Panorama Mode

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 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.