Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300 Review

Review Date: December 29th 2008
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10M JPEG mode, which gives an average image size of around 3-4Mb.

With a lens starting at a slightly wider than average 33mm the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300 is suited to group shots, and the larger than usual composition and review screen for both taking and sharing them with friends and family afterwards. And yet, as we noted back in our review of the Cyber-shot T100, the bugbear of producing a camera like the T300 that has its lens located at the top far right hand side of its front plate means that it’s very easy for fingertips to creep into shot when the camera is held in both hands. Even when using the camera over the course of a week I found myself sometimes overlooking those stray digits, though a quick review on the LCD does at least signal telltale shadows at the edge of the frame. Of course, when viewing in bright sunshine this isn’t always that easy to spot. More positively, we admired the results when switching from ‘Normal’ colour mode to the more punchy vivid, which really brings up the reds, blues and greens, even if it does lend western skin tones a decidedly pinkish hue that makes your subjects appear as if they’ve fallen asleep in the sun unprotected. That pinkish/purlish hue appears again in the form of pixel fringing between areas of high contrast – not an uncommon feature of the Cyber-shot range unfortunately, and one that is more pronounced than many competitors. Blown highlight detail and lens flare is similarly an occasional theme, as is not 100% consistent white balance. Thankfully, edge-to-edge and front to back sharpness appears to have been noticeably improved on in comparison with our test last year of the T100. In terms of image noise – or lack of – it is beginning to creep into frame on the T300 from ISO 400 upwards, though there’s not a great deal of difference between this setting and ISO 800 in terms of immediate visibility. Edge detail is however beginning to dissolve in the incremental jump up to ISO 1600, and results at ISO 3200 appear as if the image is being viewed through a frosted or misted shower screen.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300. In terms of image noise – or lack of – it is beginning to creep into frame on the T300 from ISO 400 upwards, though there’s not a great deal of difference between this setting and ISO 800 in terms of immediate visibility. Edge detail is however beginning to dissolve in the incremental jump up to ISO 1600, and results at ISO 3200 appear as if the image is being viewed through a frosted or misted shower screen. 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-T300 did suffer from chromatic aberrations during the review, but it was generally very well controlled. Limited 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-T300 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

Macro Shot (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 are Auto, Forced Flash, Slow Syncro and No Flash These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (33mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (33mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (165mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (165mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, both the Auto setting and the Red-eye Fix option caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Flash - Red-eye Flash

Flash - Red-eye Flash (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300's maximum shutter speed is 1 second, which isn't good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1 second, aperture of f/3.5 at ISO 500. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   
Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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