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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2
One of the main selling points of the T2 is its four gigabytes of internal flash memory. The idea is that you don't need a memory card, and you don't need to download your images onto a computer. The camera can store well over 1,200 pictures at the maximum quality setting, or over 1,500 at the 5MP size, so in theory you can permanently store all of your pictures in the camera's memory. It has a number of playback options, including a scrapbook feature, slideshows and a number of in-camera editing functions, such as red-eye removal and the option to paint and draw on your pictures, add pre-set shapes such as hearts or arrows, or add filter effects such as radial blur, which can be positioned using the touch screen. The T2 can be connected directly to a printer via the multi-connector socket, and pictures can be printed straight from the camera. It does have a slot for Memory Stick Duo cards, so storage capacity can be increased by (currently) up to 4GB.
While I like the concept of an ultra-compact camera with image stabilisation, I do have a couple of problems with the T2's design. The first is the position of the lens. In common with a lot of sliding-cover cameras the lens is in the top right corner of the body, and it is very easy to smear your finger across it when opening the front cover. If you don't notice you've done it, you'll end up with a lot of blurry, misty pictures until you clean the lens.
My other concern is more specific to the T2. Touch-screens work well on PDAs and the iPhone, but the screen on the T2 is a lot smaller than those gadgets. Admittedly I do have very large hands, but I found the 4 x 7mm button areas of the T2's touch screen to be too small to operate comfortably with the tip of my finger, and I ended up using the tip of a pen to operate them. The screen is also quite soft and flexible, which results in a ripple effect when touched.
The camera's other features work extremely well though. The touch-selectable focus point is an excellent idea, and Sony's well-tried optical image stabilisation is capable of delivering around three extra stops of hand-held stability. The zoom lens control is slow but very smooth, allowing precise control over framing. The T2 has a fairly good movie mode, with the internal memory providing 51 minutes of recording time at the maximum quality 640 x 480, 30fps setting. The zoom lens can be used while filming, and is quiet enough that it doesn't impinge on the soundtrack.
The T2 has Sony's "Smile Shutter" system, which uses a variation on the face detection system to delay firing the shutter until people in the shot are smiling. It sounds like a good idea, or at least an interesting one, but in practice you have to grin like the Joker in order to get it to work.