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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10

Last week Cliff looked at the Canon Ixus 850 IS and today I’m putting Sony’s similarly specced Cyber-shot DSC-T10 through its paces. Both cameras are light, pocket friendly and beautifully made, so how does Sony’s new baby compare with arch-rival Canon’s?

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First off I have to say that the T10 is an absolutely beautiful piece of kit. Just holding the T10 in your hand feels good – like the Canon Ixus, the T10 is constructed from metal and has a very solid feel to it, as well as being pleasantly cool to the touch. The metal construction extends to the tripod mount, which is always good to see – it’s all too easy to cross thread a plastic tripod mount and completely destroy it. There’s a sliding lens cover on the front (also constructed from metal) – sliding this down reveals the Carl Zeiss f3.5–f4.3 lens and switches on the camera. The lens has a 3x optical zoom, which equates to 38 – 114mm in 35mm language, which is pretty average for a slim and light camera like this.

The T10 is pretty light at 162g, but still slightly heavier than the Canon Ixus 850 IS. That said, the Sony is definitely slimmer with dimensions of 89.7 x 54.9 x 20.6mm compared with 89.5 x 58 x 25.1mm for the Ixus. In fact it’s the shallow depth of the T10 that makes it particularly attractive and allows it to slip pretty unobtrusively into your pocket.

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The rear of the camera is dominated by the 2.5in 230,000 pixel LCD. This is a great display with no perceptible lag no matter how quickly you pan around. The quality of the screen also makes reviewing captured images a pleasure rather than a chore. Sony has obviously realised that the screen on the T10 lends itself to image viewing and has included a slideshow option, complete with musical soundtrack and cheesy transitions.

Above the screen is a hard switch for selecting playback, photo and movie modes. At first I quite liked this approach, but then I realised that you couldn’t quickly switch back to shooting mode from playback mode by tapping the shutter button. However, you can review an image from within the photo mode too (although only the last one you took), and then you are able to flick back to shooting mode by tapping the shutter release. In the top right corner you’ll find the zoom controls and below this is an area for resting your thumb while holding the camera. Further down you’ll find a familiar four-way button configuration with a select button at the centre.

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