Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

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Introduction

The Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 is Sony’s first waterproof, freezeproof, dustproof and shockproof digital compact camera. The 10 megapixel TX5 features an “Exmor R” back-illuminated CMOS image sensor which promises to greatly improve low-light performance, resulting in cleaner images with less noise. Featuring a metal body, sliding front plate and folded lens optics, the super-slim Sony TX5 offers a 25-100mm equivalent 4x zoom lens, 3 inch touch-sensitive rear screen, Super SteadyShot optical image stabilisation, face and smile detection technology, ISO 3200 and intelligent scene recognition. The Sony TX5 also boasts continuous burst shooting up to 10 frames per second at full resolution, clever Sweep Panorama mode for extra-wide landscapes, and 1280×720 pixel 720p HD movie recording with stereo sound and HDMI output. Compatible with both SD(HC) and Memory Stick PRO Duo memory cards, the Sony TX5 camera is available in silver, black, pink, green, and red for around £330 / $350.

Ease of Use

At first glance the DSC-TX5 looks like another predictably ultra stylish entry in the Cyber-shot ‘T’ series. It’s slim of profile at 17.7mm in depth, glossy of fascia, credit card sized and sports a slide open and shoot lens cover mechanism that powers up the camera at the same time, thus ensuring that taking a picture is really, really easy. Idiot proof one might say, especially with intelligent auto mode selected that recognizes common scenes and adjusts on-board settings to achieve the desired result.

Its slender, almost dainty proportions mean that it comes as something of a surprise that the TX5 is also Sony’s first ever waterproof model, capable it claims of withstanding a dunking to a depth of 10ft. Matching the best specification of its rivals it is further dust proof, shock proof (against drops from 1.5 metres) and freeze proof (to minus 10°C) too.

Usually, cameras boasting such toughened qualities come with additional physical bulk and padding – think Canon’s porky PowerShot D10 or the heavy metal feel of Panasonic’s DMC-FT and Olympus Mju Tough series. However the TX5 from Sony feels lightweight enough to slip into the top pocket of your favourite barbecue shirt this coming summer – yet doesn’t seem at all brittle. In fact it’s as well made and solid as we’d expect a Sony product to be, plus, as usual there’s a choice of body colours, including black, silver, green, red and the day-glo pink of our review sample. As ever though with Sony models, you pay something of a price premium and its £339 asking price feels around £40 too high.

The other main area of interest here is the TX5’s 3-inch, 230,400-dot resolution touch screen, which presents a wide-angle format ratio yet displays images in the standard 4:3 ratio format. It thus leaves room left and right of the screen for operational icons, selected with a fingertip or the end of the plastic stylus pen included in the box, which can be attached to the wrist strap. Despite doing this at the outset of our test period, we rarely used the stylus, a finger tap making for quicker and more intuitive operation, though you’ll be constantly wiping the LCD clear of smeared fingerprints as a result.

Fortunately with near instant response the camera’s screen performs as intuitively you’d expect it to: captured images can be scrolled through with a sweep of a finger, or tapped in playback mode to progressively zoom in and check sharpness. Frequently used functions can also be dragged into the camera’s menu screen. An on-board Bionz processor helps ensure those rapid response times and that overall operation zips along.

The Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 offers a modest sounding 10.2-megapixel effective resolution – and especially so in the era of 14MP compacts. Albeit this is from an Exmor R CMOS sensor which its manufacturer claims makes for a low light performance that is twice as effective as ‘conventional’ models. True or not, we’d argue that 10 megapixels is still plenty at the point and shoot end of the market where there is often little marked visible difference in image quality between 10, 12 and 14MP models anyway when downloaded and viewed on the average desktop.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Rear

TX5 users also have the option of recording JPEG still images and easily accessible MPEG-4 format 720P HD video at 30 frames per second to either Sony’s own Memory Stick Pro Duo media or the more commonly available SD or SDHC cards. The two share the same slot, but are obviously not of the same size. This makes for a rather fiddly insertion of a Memory Stick into the central portion of the wider SD-sized slot, where due to its narrower dimensions it ‘wiggles’ about a bit. Still, good to see compatibility with SD offered on a Sony camera, the company historically liking to stick with its own proprietary media.

Design wise, the only break from the camera’s minimally slim and streamlined proportions is a raised lip on the top plate which proves useful in providing a point of purchase for the fingertip when operating the lever for the commendably silent 4x optical zoom. Once again this Cyber-shot employs a folded optic that ensures at no point does the lens stand proud of the body. Thus you don’t get the problem of the sliding lens cover clunking against the optic itself when powering down the camera, as happened on early Olympus Mju digicams. The fact that the zoom operation is silent means that its full extent can also be usefully accessed when shooting video, so users don’t have to suffer degraded image quality from having to utilize a digital zoom instead when recording movies.

The TX5’s lens starts out at a wide-for-its-class 25mm (35mm equivalent) and runs to 100mm at the telephoto end, making it as adept at shooting landscapes as it is group portraits. Plus for those photographers looking to take in just a little bit more, the camera also features Sony’s impressive-in-action Sweep Panorama function. This rattles along capturing a series of images and stitches them together in camera to provide a single narrow letterbox format image providing a wider view that the lens or a standard panorama feature would allow.

Aiding handheld shooting performance in low light are also Twilight (found amongst its nine scene modes) and Anti Motion Blur modes. Again selecting these prompts the shooting of a burst of images to combat the effects of hand wobble – in each case six frames which are then combined to produce a single (in theory) low noise, blur free image. However we found in practice that while indeed minimizing softness, this seems to have the knock on effect of sapping colour from subjects, resulting in a literally pale imitation of the scene before the lens. So while useful in getting handheld shots one might otherwise have not attempted at all, the solution is not a wholly perfect one.

The other two physical controls on this Sony Snapshot’s top plate are a narrow lozenge-shaped shutter release button, plus what at first feels like a rather extraneous on/off button. However if operating the camera with the sliding faceplate mechanism otherwise closed – to review photos for example, rather than take them – then this dedicated power button does indeed come in handy.

As with any digital compact that strives to make itself as small as possible, there are some compromises. We’ve already mentioned the single yet dual format card slot, and another is the positioning of the lens, which, by being located over at the far edge of the faceplate, can often fall victim to fingertips straying into shot when gripping the camera in both hands. Though, with use, you become more aware of where you’re putting your fingers to avoid this irritation, hand the camera to anyone else for a quick portrait of you and yours and there will inevitably be tell tale finger-shaped blobs appearing in the corner of the frame.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Front Top

Next to the lens at the front is an indicator lamp for the self-timer/AF assist lamp, built in microphone plus very narrow lozenge shaped flash. These, like the lens, are all hidden behind the sliding lens cover/faceplate when the camera is inactive, so protected from fluff and scratches when transporting the camera in a pocket.

The back of the camera continues the minimalist design ethic of Sony’s T-series, being given over entirely to the 3-inch widescreen ratio touch panel LCD with the only physical control a dedicated playback button sitting just above it where the edge of the backplate meets top plate. Otherwise a couple of raised ridges to the right hand side of the screen provide some purchase for the thumb when gripping the camera, the mirrored faceplate at the front meaning that it’s easy for fingers to otherwise slip and slide around. The dedicated playback button is useful in that with the camera otherwise in its dormant state it can be pressed to quickly review images without having to press an additional power button to turn the camera on first. Again this not only makes for intuitive user-friendly operation, but also speeds up use of the TX5.

Slide open the lens cover at the front and the LCD blinks into life in just over a second, briefly displaying the Cyber-shot logo before providing a view of the scene or subject in the absence of an optical viewfinder alternative. As mentioned earlier, when taking still photographs the screen is cropped to a 4:3 ratio as a default, functional white icons presented legibly against black bands either side of the main image rather than directly across it.

Among these icons is a means of choosing from a selection of recording modes. Here we have the default point and shoot setting of Intelligent Auto, regular Program Auto, Sweep Panorama, 1280×720 pixels Movie Mode, Anti Motion Blur and Handheld Twilight modes, plus Backlight Correction HDR for compensating for subjects backlit by the sun, and finally, Scene Selection mode. Select this last option and the screen fills with a plethora of further icons, including pre-optimised settings for High Sensitivity shooting, Soft Snap, Landscape, Twilight Portrait, Twilight, the food photographing ‘Gourmet’ mode, along with the more familiar Pet, beach, Snow, Fireworks, Underwater and lastly High Speed shutter option for practicing your golf swing.

When shooting stills there’s the further option to adjust the point of focus simply by tapping a portion of the LCD screen – the camera gives the user a text prompt to actively encourage this – thus providing the ability to bias attention to something or someone who might not be traditionally dead centre of the frame.

The above shooting modes aside, also presented within the black bands either side of the screen are a means of accessing Smile Shutter mode – with three options governing how pronounced a smile you want the camera to recognize – along with a means of controlling the flash (merely off or on in intelligent Auto mode) and altering self timer settings (10 seconds, two seconds or off). Continuous or burst shooting can further be selected here, with a choice of ‘Hi’, Mid, or ‘Lo’ speed options, the camera’s maximum being a respectable 10 frames per second which it rattles through machine-gun like, the resultant shots slowly appearing as a collected series of thumbnails on its rear screen for review.

Further on-screen icons in capture mode include a virtual playback button to go with the physical button also provided, plus a self-explanatory virtual ‘menu’ button. Additional on-screen info squashed into the screen’s top right hand corner gives an indication of battery life, the number of shots remaining, image ratio and resolution.

Canon PowerShot A2100 IS Canon PowerShot A2100 IS
Battery Compartment Memory Card Slot

Tap the ‘menu’ icon and even more options are presented to the user. It’s here we’re offered the chance to switch to ‘easy’ mode, adjust image size and ratio – with the ability to shoot stills in 16:9 format rather than 4:3, albeit with a resolution drop to 7MP at best – plus select macro mode, adjust exposure compensation (+/- 2EV), switch on Scene Recognition mode (if not already shooting in intelligent Auto mode), plus face detection and turn display settings on or off.

Top left of the menu screen a small toolbox icon also appears; its placing meaning that it is easy to overlook. Tap this inquisitively however and four further settings folders are presented. In decreasing order of importance, the top one, denoted by camera and spanner icon, is a Shooting Settings folder, just below which is a second ‘Main Settings’ folder, then a ‘Memory Card Tool’ folder, and lastly Clock Settings (date and time etc) weirdly get a folder all to themselves.

Going back to the Shooting Settings, it’s here if shooting in Program Auto mode that the user can summon up the AF illuminator (or turn it off), as well as the compositional aid of on-screen grid lines, digital zoom, red eye reduction when using flash, plus blink alert to warn if a subject might have closed their eyes at the crucial point you fired the shutter. LCD brightness can further be adjusted. All the essentials you’d expect are here in fact.

A half press of the shutter release button and the camera determines focus and exposure in the blink of an eye. Take a shot at maximum 10.2 megapixel resolution and with barely perceptible shutter lag a shot is committed to memory in two seconds, the screen briefly freezing with a display of the captured image whilst it is written to memory. Switch to playback mode to review what you’ve just shot and left and right directional arrows appear at the bottom right hand corner of the screen for tabbing through previous images too. In playback mode we have the further ability to view/search images by date via an on-screen calendars – or view them collectively as a series of thumbnails, the tapping of any one of which displays it full size on the screen. There’s additionally the ability of course to view all images on the back screen in the form of a slideshow accompanied by a selection of different musical styles, or hook the camera up to your TV to do the same. Curiously when we did this, the camera displayed only images shot in 4:3 ratio format, choosing to omit the images shot in Sweep Panorama mode from its selection.

A press of ‘menu’ alternatively when in playback mode and, along with the menu options offered in capture mode we have the ability to paint or draw cutesy hearts onto images – the kind of thing beloved of Japanese teenage girls – with a virtual eraser button also presented to wipe clean any such doodles. Colourfully chintzy borders or frames can further be chosen to garnish your in-camera ‘masterpiece’. Limited retouching can also be carried out in camera – in the form of red eye correction, trimming or cropping the image as a whole or using unsharp mask to add some saving grace definition to slightly soft shots and avoid having to do the same in Photoshop. And all this with the press or swipe of a fingertip; no further skills necessary.

Once you’ve surveyed all the options and got used to the touch screen operation the TX5 is easy and fun to use. There are more options here than provided on regular point and shoot cameras so that users won’t get bored easily – and thankfully so, given the high-ish asking price. But, at the end of the day it’s image quality that counts more than a collection of features and functionality, so how does the TX5 measure up? As an ideal travel companion and veritable pocket rocket, or damp squib you should leave at home?

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

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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.

Noise

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)

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-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)

Macro

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

Flash

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.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie

This is a sample video from the Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5 camera at the highest quality setting of 1280×720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 23 second movie is 24.5Mb in size.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Product Images

Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Front of the Camera

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Front of the Camera / Lens Cover Open

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Isometric View

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Isometric View

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Rear of the Camera

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Top of the Camera

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Bottom of the Camera

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Side of the Camera

 

Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Side of the Camera

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Battery Compartment

 
Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5

Memory Card Slot

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Specifications

Lens

Optical Zoom 4x
Precision Digital Zoom Approx.8x(Total)
Smart Zoom up to 22x (with VGA)
F 3.5-4.6
Focal Length (f= mm) 4.43-17.7
Focal Length (f=35mm conversion) 25-100
Macro (cm) iAuto(W:Approx.1cm(0.39”) to Infinity, T:Approx.50cm(1.64′) to Infinity) / Program Auto(W:Approx.8cm(0.26′) to Infinity, T:Approx.50cm(1.64′) to Infinity)
Filter Diameter (mm) NO
Conversion Lens compatibility NO
NightShot NO
NightFraming NO
Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar Lens YES
Sony G NO

Image Sensory

CCD Type Exmor R CMOS sensor
Size (Inches) 1/2.4 type(7.59mm)

Camera

Effective Pixels (Mega Pixels) Approx. 10.2
Bionz Processor YES
Face Detection YES
Smile Shutter YES
Clear RAW NR YES
Auto Focus Method (Single) NO
Auto Focus Method (Monitoring) NO
Auto Focus Method (Intelligent) NO
Auto Focus Method (Continuous) NO
Auto Focus Area (Multi Point) 9 points (Under Face Undetected)
Auto Focus Area (Centre weighted) YES
Auto Focus Area (Spot) YES
Auto Focus Area (Flexible Spot) YES(Touch)
Manual Focus NO
Focus Preset NO
Focus Preset (m) NO
Aperture Auto Mode YES
Aperture Priority Mode NO
Aperture Manual Mode NO
Shutter Speed Auto Mode (sec) iAuto(2″ – 1/1.600) / Program Auto(1″ – 1/1.600)
NR Slow Shutter YES
Hand Shake Alert YES
Exposure Control +/- 2.0EV, 1/ 3 EV step
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3, Incandescent, Flash, One Push, One Push Set
Automatic White Balance YES
Light Metering (Multi Pattern) YES
Light Metering (Centre weighted) YES
Light Metering (Spot) YES
Sharpness Setting NO
Saturation Setting NO
Contrast Setting NO
ISO Sensitivity (REI) Auto / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200
Scene Selection 9 modes (Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Twilight using a tripod / Backlight / Backlight Porttait / Landscape / Macro / Portrait / Close Focus)
AF Illuminator YES
Flash Mode Auto / Flash On / Slow Syncro / Flash Off
Distance limitations using Flash (m) ISO Auto: Approx.0.08-Approx.2.9m(Approx.0.26′-Approx.9.51′)(W) / Approx.0.5-Approx.2.4m(Approx.1.64′-Approx.7.87′)(T), ISO3200: up to Approx.6.0m(Approx19.7)(W) / Approx.4.7m(Approx15.4′)(T)
Pre-flash YES
Red-eye Reduction YES
Auto Daylight Synchronized Flash YES

Super SteadyShot

Super SteadyShot capability NO
SteadyShot capability NO
Optical SteadyShot capability YES

Auto Focus System

AF Illuminator YES

Built-In-Flash

Flash Mode Auto / Flash On / Slow Syncro / Flash Off
Red-Eye Reduction YES
Auto Daylight Synchronized Flash YES

LCD/ Viewfinder

LCD Screen Size (inches) 7.5cm / 3.0″
LCD Total Dots Number 230.400
LCD Monitor Type TFT
Auto Bright Monitoring YES
Optical Viewfinder NO
Electrical Viewfinder NO

Recording

Recording Media Memory Stick™ Duo(still only), Memory Stick PRO Duo™(Mark2 only for movie). Memory Stick PRO Duo™ High Speed (Still only and no Speed Advantage), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ (No Speed Advantage),
Recording Media-II SD Memory Card(Class4 or Higher for movie), SDHC/SDXC Memory Card(Class2 or Higher for movie), Internal memory (45MB)
Recording Format JPEG
Memory Stick™ Pro Interface Parallel
DCF (Design rule for Camera File System) YES
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) YES
Burst Mode (shots) Approx.10 fps(10 shots)
Burst Interval (approximately sec) 0.1 sec.(10 shots)
Still Image size (14 Mega 4320 x 3240) NO
Still Image size (13 Mega 4224 x 3168) NO
Still Image size (12 Mega 4000 x 3000) NO
Still Image size (10 Mega 3648 x 2736) YES
Still Image size (9.0 Mega, 3456 x 2592) NO
Still Image size (8.0 Mega, 3264 x 2448) NO
Still Image size (7.2 Mega 3072 x 2304) NO
Still Image size (5.0 Mega, 2592 x 1944) YES
Still Image size (3.1 Mega, 2048 x 1536) NO
Still Image size (VGA, 640 x 480) YES
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 1920 x 1080) YES
Still Image size (16:9 mode, 3648 x 2056) YES
Still Image size (3:2 mode, 4000 x 2672) NO
Still Image size (3:2 mode 3648 x 2432) NO
Still Image size (3:2 mode 3456 x 2304) NO
Panorama 7.152 x 1.080(258deg) / 4.912 x 1.080(177deg) / 4.912 x 1.920(177deg) / 3.424 x 1.920(123deg)
Moving Image Size (1280×720 30fps Fine Approx.9Mbps) NO
Moving Image Size (1280×720 30fps Standard Approx.6Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (640×480 30fps Approx.3Mbps) YES
Moving Image Size (320×240 30fps) NO
Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1920 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.17Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO
Moving Image Size (AVCHD 1440 x 1080(50i, Interlace) Approx.9Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO
Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 1440 x 1080 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.12Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO
Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 1280 x 720 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.6Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO
Moving Image Size (MP4/AVI 640 x 480 Approx.25fps Progressive) Approx.3Mbps(Average bit-rate)) NO

Playback/ Edit

HD (High Definition) Playback YES
Slideshow Playback YES
Slideshow with Music YES
Trimming YES
Resize NO
Playback Zoom YES
Divide (MPEG) NO
Cue & Review (MPEG) YES
Index Playback YES
Image Rotation YES
Auto Image Rotation YES

General

Battery Remaining Indicator YES
Histogram Indicator NO
Exposure Warning Indicator YES
Disk / Memory Stick remaining indicator YES
PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) YES
Print Image Matching YES
PictBridge YES
Shop Front Mode YES
Start up time (approximately sec) 1.3
Menu Language English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Croatian, Romanian, Bulgarian

Jacks

Multi use Terminal with HD YES
Multi use Terminal YES
AV Out YES
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed YES

Power/ Others

Battery System Lithium N
Supplied Battery NP-BN1
Stamina (battery life) with the supplied battery(s) in normal shooting condition 250 shots, 125min (CIPA standard with LCD screen on)
Battery for Clock Manganese-Lithium (MS614SE)
Weight (g) Approx. 128g (4.5oz.)
Weight with Accessories (g) Approx. 144g (5.1oz.)
Supplied Software Picture Motion Browser Ver.5.0(Windows only)
Supplied Accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack(NP-BN1), Battery Charger, Multi Connector Cable, Power Cord, Wrist Strap, Paint Pen, CD-ROM

Dimensions

Width (mm) 94
Height (mm) 56.9
Depth (mm) 17.7

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Conclusion

Tougher than it looks with its neatly diminutive dimensions, Sony’s TX5 is a camera you’ll find yourself readily slipping into a pocket when heading out for the day. You may not take your best and most admired shots with it – you’ll need a budget DSLR you could otherwise snag for a similar asking price for that – but with the camera about your person you’re sure to take ones that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

That’s the case too with the TX5’s less run-of-the-mill features such as Twilight and even more unique Panorama Sweep mode. Both of these encourage further experimentation, and that’s not what we’d normally expect from a snapshot camera. Add in the fact that you can use this camera not only in the dark but also in the rain, the cold and at the beach, and you have a versatile travel tool that won’t take up much space at all in your luggage. It shoots HD video too, so all the latest must-haves are covered in the one package.

The only real drawback then is the high asking price. The UK’s largest e-tailer was selling the Sony TX5 for £299 at the time of writing though, which, as we noted at the outset, is much more like it. Sure, it still ain’t cheap, but then sometimes you just have to bite the bullet to get mostly everything you could hope for from a pocket camera.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 3

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5.

Canon Digital IXUS 210

Canon Digital IXUS 210 Review thumbnail

The Canon Digital IXUS 210 (also called the Canon Powershot SD3500 IS) joins the small but growing band of cameras that offer a graceful touch-screen interface rather than a cluttered collection of external controls. Almost every aspect of the IXUS 210’s operation can be controlled by interacting with the massive and high-res 3.5 inch LCD screen that dominates the rear of the camera. Other standout features include 14 megapixels, a 5x zoom with 24mm wide-angle setting, and 720p HD movie recording. Mark Goldstein gets all touchy-feely with Canon’s second touch screen camera in our Canon Digital IXUS 210 review.

Casio EX-G1

Casio EX-G1 Review thumbnail

The EX-G1 is the first all-action water, dust, shock and freeze -proof camera from Casio, branded with the company’s famous G-Shock moniker. This is also the slimmest tough camera in the world, and also beautifully styled and made. The EXG1 is up against some tough competition though, with Olympus very well-established, Panasonic making a recent splash, and Pentax offering some worthy budget alternatives. Read our Casio EX-G1 review to find out it can out-muscle the competition.

Nikon Coolpix S4000

Nikon Coolpix S4000 Review thumbnail

The new Nikon Coolpix S4000 camera features a touch-sensitive user interface that allows you to interact with the LCD screen to set the focus and exposure for your subject. In addition to the cutting-edge 3 inch touch-screen, the S4000 also offer 12 megapixels, a 4x wide-angle lens, and high-definition video recording at 720p. Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix S4000 review to find out if it’s worth getting your hands on it…

Olympus mju Tough 8000

Olympus mju Tough 8000 Review thumbnail

As its name suggests, the Olympus mju Tough 8000 is one of the most resilient cameras around. The Tough 8000 is water-, crush-, freeze- and shock proof, making it perfect for use by all the family. Also known as the Stylus Tough 8000 in North America, this is a 12 megapixel digital camera with a 3.6x image stabilised zoom lens and 2.7 inch LCD screen. Retailing for £340 / $399, we find out if the Olympus mju Tough 8000 is the perfect do-it-all, take-it-everywhere camera for the whole family in our latest in-depth review.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 Review thumbnail

It hasn’t taken Panasonic long to release their second all-action digicam, the Lumix DMC-FT2. Successor to the very good FT1 model that we reviewed just a few weeks ago, the Panasonic FT2 gains new freezeproof capabilities, better shock and water proofness, plus a faster auto-focus system, more stable anti-shake, and a couple more megapixels. In this World First review, find out if the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2 is the new toughest camera on the block.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 is a new ultra-slim camera with touch-screen technology that won’t break the bank. Featuring a clever 4x folded-optics zoom lens and large 3 inch touch screen LCD, the 14 megapixel Panasonic FP3 could be your for just £179 / $230. Gavin Stoker discovers if Panasonic have delivered a winning combination of features and value for money in our Lumix DMC-FP3 review.

Pentax Optio W90

Pentax Optio W90 Review thumbnail

The Pentax Optio W90 is a new all-action, go-everywhere camera. The W90 is shock, freeze, dust and water proof, and features 12 megapixels, 2.7 inch LCD, a 5x zoom lens and HD movie recording. Available for less than £250 / $275, Gavin Stoker gets to grips with the Pentax Optio W90 in our latest in-depth review.

Samsung ST550

Samsung ST550 Review thumbnail

The new Samsung ST550 camera pushes the envelope of user interface design, with a incredibly clever touch-screen interface that is finally worth using. Widely promoted in an expensive TV ad campaign, the ST550 (also known as the TL225) has an LCD screen on the front as well as the back, which is used for self-portraits. A 12 megapixel sensor and 4.6x wide-angle zoom complete the key specifications of the ST-550. Mark Goldstein finds out if the Samsung ST550 / TL225 is the ultimate Christmas gift in our in-depth expert review…

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 from around the web.

imaging-resource.com »

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 digital camera is a slim, stylish pocket digital camera that has a secret: It’s waterproof. The Sony TX5 is based around the combination of a 10.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a 4x optical zoom lens.
Read the full review »

digitalcamerainfo.com »

The Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 is a small camera that takes high quality images with good color and plenty of detail, but which can also handle rough treatment.
Read the full review »

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

Download Luminar & Try Free »

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SOURCE:http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/sony_cybershot_dsc_tx5_review