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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T77 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T77

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Overall performance is normally a strong point for Sony cameras, and the T77 is a prime example. It starts up in just under 2.5 seconds, which is about average for a compact camera, although the shot-to-shot cycle time in the highest quality mode is an impressive 1.6 seconds. In continuous shooting mode it is even quicker, maintaining a brisk 0.6 seconds per shot with no apparent buffer limit. The autofocus system is exceptionally fast good light, and barely slows down in low light. Even in total darkness the camera performs extremely well, with the bright AF assist lamp enabling it to focus reliably at a range of several meters.

Flash range is a bit limited, and the camera tries to make up for this by boosting the sensitivity setting up as high as 800 ISO to maximise the range. Unfortunately this results in major image noise problems. Frame coverage is good though, and the flash metering is accurate so it doesn’t burn out details at close range.

Overall image quality is about average for a 10MP compact, and about the same as the T70. Exposure metering is accurate, focusing from the multi-point AF system is usually spot on, and colour rendition is also generally very good. Sony’s Dynamic Range Optimizer is one of the best shadow and highlight compensation systems that I’ve seen, and does a good job of capturing shadow detail without sacrificing too many highlights. The image stabilisation system is also very good, giving the usual three stops of extra stability.

The 4x zoom periscope-type, Carl Zeiss-branded lens is not bad for something so compact and with such a convoluted light path. Centre sharpness is excellent, although it does suffer from corner blurring and some chromatic aberration toward the edges of the frame. It also produces some barrel distortion at wide angle, but I’ve seen a lot worse.

What lets the T77 down is image noise and, once again, harsh JPEG compression. The T77 produces image files averaging around 3.3MB, which is very small for a 10MP camera. The result is blotchy colour even at the lowest ISO setting, and a scattering of JPEG artefacts that obscure fine detail and spoil areas of smooth tone. However this probably won’t be a major problem for the T77’s target audience. If all you want is some pictures for Facebook or snapshot-sized prints you’ll probably never notice the camera’s shortcomings.

Verdict

The Sony Cyber-shot T77 is quite expensive, but compared to other luxury compacts it’s really not too bad. Its big selling point is its ultra-slim size and pocket-friendly weight, but it is a well designed and solidly made camera that will look good anywhere. The touch screen interface works well if you have the right sized fingers, and the overall performance is exceptionally good, especially in low light. Image quality could be a lot better, but if you want a cool and stylish camera for social snapshot photography it should certainly be on your shortlist.

Sunny

September 15, 2008, 10:01 pm

Hi,





I'm pretty interested in the T700, but will wait for a few more reviews as it yet to be released...are you planning to review that any time soon?

Cliff Smith

September 16, 2008, 4:49 pm

Hi Sunil, I've got the T700 in for review at the moment, however you may have to wait until after Photokina to read about it.





And Beowulff, Sony has around 20 different models in its range, and caters to every sector of the market. What you're describing sounds like one of its W-series compacts, which are aimed at more demanding photographers. Also, Sony already has a huge share of the global digital camera market, and in fact has at various times been the world's best-selling camera brand.

SANTANU BURAGOHAIN

October 23, 2008, 5:21 pm

I just love it.....and I assure you that you would fall in love with this tiny little Sony as soon as you touch and feel it for the very first time.


The first thing that i liked was its size, no one can beat the Sony T77. On top of that it has a 4x zoom that does not pop out. I was scared about the touch screen but just a few minutes with the camera and all my feares were proved wrong.


The other worry was how would it work at night. Well i just switched off all the lights of my living room dead in the night and took a few snaps. The very first result, and i could not stop smiling.


As far as the various settings are concerned, i would like to tell you that i am happy with the T77s auto settings. The camera is intelligent enough to let its happy owners enjoy the moment instead of wasting time in fiddling with diffrent settings for a great picture.


I bet my life on the T77 guys, just go and get it and fall in love.


PS When it comes to battery, i would like to tell that i always carry a stand by and recommend you the same.

Cassie

November 21, 2008, 8:36 am

Does this camera have any different settings like black and white.. ect?

BigStu

December 10, 2008, 2:45 am

I purchased the T77 today and am delighted. The camera in auto mode is a delight and does a great job. I am a complete amateur and confirmed non photographer, but this camera actually makes me want to get out there and start "shooting". I would highly recommenmd this great priced camera.

crunchtime

January 3, 2009, 8:55 am

I have had the T77 for about three weeks now. All photos taken seemed of good quality until now. I have noticed white spots or circles in some of the photos taken indoors w/ the use of flash and appear randomly, and red eye seem to be a bit of a problem as well. Disappointing for a pricey gadget. I have had a sony cybershot before and never had problems like this.

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