Like mobile phones, music players, PDAs and other modern high-tech gadgets, compact digital cameras tend to get slimmer and lighter with every passing year. Today I’m taking a look at the slimmest camera I’ve seen so far, the new Cyber-shot DSC-T77. At just 15mm thick and with a shooting weight of 151g it sets a new benchmark for ultra-compact cameras.
Launched in August this year, the T77 is a 10.1 megapixel, 4x zoom ultra-compact that features optical image stabilisation and a 3.0-inch touch-screen monitor. Like all of the models in Sony’s style-conscious T-series it has a sliding front panel that serves as both a lens cover and the main power switch. It shares a lot of its features and functions with the earlier Cyber-shot T70 an 8.1-megapixel, 3x zoom model, launched late last year and currently selling for around £150.
Any high-spec luxury ultra-compact will inevitably be compared with something from Canon’s IXUS range. Perhaps the closest match would be the 10MP, 5x zoom IXUS 970 IS (£210), but that camera is much larger and heavier. A better fit is the new Nikon CoolPix S60. The S60 has a 10MP sensor, a touch-screen interface and optical image stabilisation, but has a 5x zoom lens. It also sells for around £250, which actually makes the Sony look reasonably priced at £210
There’s no denying that the T77 is a very cool looking gadget. Everyone to whom I showed it was impressed by its slim body, elegant styling and solid build quality. It is available in a wide range of colours including silver, black (shown here), pink, brown or bright green. Despite its low weight the camera’s body is made of steel and is exceptionally well built. The sliding front cover is solidly mounted and feels very secure, and when closed it provides good protection for the lens and flash.