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I have to admit I'm lagging a bit behind in my mission to review every digital camera on the market, largely because out of the 26 models in Sony's Cyber-shot range, last year I reviewed only four. Compare this with over a dozen reviews of Canon cameras, as well as twelve from Pentax, ten from Olympus, ten from Fujifilm, ten from Nikon and around fifty others, and you can see I have some catching up to do. This year I have resolved to pursue Sony relentlessly on your behalf, and review as many of its cameras as possible. I'll start with this, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70.
The T70 is an 8.1-megapixel compact that fits solidly into the "style camera" bracket. It is very small and slim, measuring just 90 x 56.4 x 20.7mm, and light too, weighing approximately 128g. The body is all metal, with a slide-down cover over the lens and flash which also doubles as a power switch. An obvious comparison is the Fujifilm Z100fd (£160) that I reviewed last week, but other models with similar social aspirations include the Casio EX-S880 (£140), the Olympus mju 830 (£180) and the new Nikon Coolpix S51c (£200). The T70 is currently priced at around £180, which puts it towards the upper end of its market, but it does offer a lot of gadget for your money.
The overall design is very sleek and simple, thanks in part to the notable absence of any buttons on the back panel. Style cameras usually have some sort of clever gimmick, and for the T70 it is the large 3-inch, 230k widescreen touch-sensitive monitor which doubles as the camera's main control panel. Judging by the iPhone's apparent status as style icon of the age, I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of this sort of thing, which is unfortunate because although I've seen a number of touch-screen cameras over the years, none of them have ever convinced me it's a good idea. The T70's screen is big and sharp, and the touch sensing part is certainly sensitive enough, but the icons on it are very small, most of them around 5mm high, and I found them to be too fiddly to easily operate with a fingertip. Admittedly I do have hands more suited to blacksmithing than photography, but you'd need fingertips shaped like pencils to be able to operate the T70's touch screen with any ease.