Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Review

June 26, 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.

Leaving aside the possible issue you may have with stray digits creeping into frame because of the aforementioned position of the lens, and the occasional blurred image due to camera shake, the quality of the shots from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 were slightly better than we expected from a point and shoot model that puts as much emphasis on fashion as it does features.

Shooting on the default colour setting and with the built-in exposure enhancing dynamic range optimizer likewise set to standard mode, it takes little effort from the user to get acceptable results - as long, of course, you're happy with snapshots. Subdued yet natural looking colours are the order of the day, with a vivid option selectable if you prefer more punch. Pixel fringing is there if you look closely but it's kept reasonably well under control and the auto scene modes also provide a degree of consistency and reliability, with greens and blues brought to life particularly vividly courtesy of the 'landscape' option.

In terms of performance at higher ISO settings, at maximum selectable ISO 3200 equivalent images appear as if being viewed through a pane of frosted glass. So, while not perfect, they are at least comparable to a performance at ISO 1600 from a lower end model. Likewise the subtle softening of detail at ISO 1600 is comparable to the performance at ISO 800 from a humble snapper.

We did however notice some loss of critical sharpness towards the corners of the frame when shooting at maximum wideangle, and gentle barrel distortion, though the point and shoot brigade at whom the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 is aimed will find this easy to live with, if it's even noticed.


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90. 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)



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-T90 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)


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 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


The flash settings on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 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, both the Auto setting and the Red-eye option caused a small amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)


The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90'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 1.3 seconds at ISO 80. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)