The autofocus system is also very good, with a wide area and multiple focus points. It is nice and quick in good light, and although it slows down a bit in low light it still focuses reliably even in complete darkness, thanks to a bright orange AF assist lamp with a range of several meters. Flash output is good too, with excellent frame coverage and a range of 3.7m at wide angle and 2.9m at telephoto.
The camera is powered by a large Lithium-ion battery, which as usual Sony has rated in a non-standard way (they just love to be awkward). Everyone else in the whole world rates rechargeable batteries in milliamp-hours, or mAh. Sony however rates its batteries in Watt-hours, and the one in the T100 is 3.4Wh. Fortunately I did physics at school, so I know that watts = volts x amps, and the battery is rated at 3.6 volts, therefore it’s a simple calculation to find that this is equal to 944mAh. Sony claims that this is good for 340 shots per charge, and I’d say that my experience using the camera bears that claim out.
Image quality is where the T100 justifies its hefty price tag. The Carl Zeiss lens lives up to its prestigious name, providing superb detail with minimal wide-angle distortion, and some of the best edge and corner sharpness I’ve seen from a compact camera. The overall level of detail is very good, nearly as good in fact as the Fuji F40fd that I reviewed earlier this week. Colour reproduction is also very good, and the DRO system provides shadow detail in areas that most other cameras would miss. Image noise control is also very good, again almost up to the standard of the F40fd at ISO settings up to 800, however at 1600 and 3200 I found that the colour balance of the shot was seriously distorted, with a nasty green tint appearing over a large portion of the image. The 3200 ISO setting was also quite noisy, although I have to say that I’ve seen a lot worse.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 is an expensive camera for a relatively simple pocket compact, but it justifies its price with excellent build quality, elegant design, above average performance and superb image quality. It is an outstanding all-round snapshot camera, and if you can afford it you won’t be disappointed.