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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The TX1 is equipped with Sony's latest Exmor R high-speed CMOS sensor and BIONZ processor, giving it some pretty impressive performance figures. It starts up is a fraction under two seconds, and in single-shot mode at full resolution it has a shot-to-shot time of a decently brisk 1.5 seconds. In continuous mode it is a bit unusual. It has three speed settings, each of which can shoot a maximum of ten frames, in either one second, 2.5 seconds or five seconds, all at full 10MP resolution.

The autofocus system is also nice and fast, although it does slow down a bit in low light. It is reliable even in very low light though, with a good AF assist lamp giving it a range of several metres even in pitch darkness. The flash is nice and powerful too, easily filling a large room and attenuating well for close range shots.

Image quality is also everything you'd expect from a £300 camera. The Carl Zeiss lens performs excellently, with good corner-to-corner sharpness, very little wide-angle distortion and plenty of detail. At maximum image quality files average around 4.2MB, and there are no signs of image compression. Colour rendition is very smooth and natural, and dynamic range is also better than average for an ultra-compact, although the Dynamic Range Optimiser doesn't appear to be terribly effective in very high contrast shots. Image noise is very well handled. The camera has a normal maximum ISO setting of 800, and at this setting images are quite usable, with good colour and very little visible noise. At lower settings they are better still, with the unusual minimum setting of 125 ISO producing very clean sharp images.

Verdict

Although it is very expensive for a pocket snapshot camera, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 does offer a lot of camera for the money, with excellent build quality, surprisingly good handling and a range of useful high-tech features. Image quality is as good as any of its competitors, so if you can afford it you won't be disappointed.

Premfab

February 3, 2010, 12:30 am

This is more like it.





Rather than falling for the 'more megapixels at the cost of quality' game, Sony have decided to up the style and desireability stakes.





There might be better 'compact' cameras out there but none as desireable.





Yes, a camera is ultimately about picture quality, but I would bet that Sony, despite being stylish, is not too shabby at taking pictures.





Now, if only Sony lost their memory stick and sported an SD slot ....!!!!

PS3½

February 3, 2010, 1:46 am

Great review Cliff, as usual. It'll be interesting to see how this camera compares to the new TX7, with its Full HD recording, higher resolution screen etc.

joose

February 3, 2010, 1:48 am

£209 from here. http://www.camerabox.co.uk/pro... Value should really be bumped up I think. I understand that your going by the RRP however, it's been a while since this camera came out and the price your reviewing it by is no longer relevant.

Martin Daler

February 3, 2010, 3:02 am

@Prem


I think the DSC-TX7 will take both SDHC and MemoryStick

PS3½

February 3, 2010, 4:09 am

The TX7 (and I think other forthcoming Sony cameras) support SD cards as well as Memory Sticks.

g00n3r

February 3, 2010, 4:10 am

Why has it taken 6 months to review this model? Come on guys hurry up, I've just ordered this camera based on your review, only to discover the TX7 has just been released!





Not happy!

morsch

February 3, 2010, 4:35 am

Huh when I read the article subheader ("breathtakingly expensive") I was expecting something more expensive than that. I guess compact prices have gone down since I bought my Panasonic LX01 a couple of years ago. Having a super-slim compact is nice because it means you'll bring it along more often. OTOH I already have a camera in my phone, obviously with a performance that's not remotely comparable, but still. IQ at ISO 800 and particularly at 400 isn't that great, IMHO, although the noise is fairly pleasant.

Cliff Smith

February 4, 2010, 9:11 pm

g00n3r - Many apologies for the delay. I've been after this camera since the day it was launched, along with the WX1 and HX1, but unfortuntely Sony's PR company were a bit slow in making press review samples available. If it's any consolation it's still a very nice camera six months after launch.





joose - It pays to do a bit of research into the reliability of online retailers, especially ones that seem to have unusually low prices.

joose

February 5, 2010, 2:47 am

Fair point Cliff :)

Michael Atkinson

February 5, 2010, 4:57 pm

As an owner, and probably sony addict... I must say that the TX1 is really quite fantastic and I have no problems with the touch screen/ menus. Oh and the Panorama mode is quite absolutely a great idea and has been put to excellent use!

Alejandro

February 8, 2010, 3:25 am

Sony made an amazing product, but limitated.


Older Cybershots had "Manual Mode" and now Sony is removing this option from every new model.


For me, this Cybershot is a Toy without Manual Exposure.


My DSC-F88 with only 5 Megapixel takes better shots than newer 12 Megapixel models when in dark environments. Still, 30 Seconds Exposure images look better than a 2 seconds one with higher ISO levels (I don't like "Monet Paintings" when taking photos at night).


That's why I returned two DSC-WX1 to Sony.


Sony downgraded the Cybershot line.

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