Despite the lack of manual controls, the T10 has an impressive array of ISO settings ranging from 80 all the way up to 1000 ISO. Realistically though, you’re not going to want to go mad with the ISO setting, since pushing it up too high does result in a significant amount of noise. In fact 800 and 1000 ISO are pretty much unusable, while you could get away with 400 at a push. At anything up to 200 ISO though, the T10 copes admirably.
There are a few different colour settings on offer, including the usual Black & White and Sepia options. But the T10 also offers Natural, Vivid and Normal settings – switching to the Vivid setting resulted in deeper and richer colour tones, but whether the overall effect is more pleasing than the default Normal setting is debatable.
There’s a multitude of Scene modes available too – Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Soft Snap, Landscape, Snow, Beach, High-Speed Shutter, Fireworks and High Sensitivity. Obviously these modes are useful in the right circumstances, but in reality, none of these make up for the complete lack of manual control.
Image quality is a bit of a mixed bag. As already mentioned, you’ll be noise free up to 200 ISO and the Super Steady Shot functionality should mean that you won’t have to dial things up much higher than that too often. The macro setting can also produce impressive results for a camera this compact. However, I did notice that the colours sometimes took on a garish look, no matter what colour setting I employed. Also, the flash had a habit of washing out detail on some shots, while being perfectly balanced on others. And because you’re constantly at the mercy of the T10’s automatic exposure settings, you have no real way of telling exactly what you’ll get.
Cost wise, you can pick up the T10 for about £211 on the street, which pitches it around £40 cheaper than the Canon Ixus 850 IS. But for that extra cash you’re getting manual shutter priority up to 15 seconds, a longer focal length with a wider wide end, better noise reduction at higher ISO settings and a body just as desirable as the T10.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 is a lovely little camera, it really is, but unfortunately it stumbles in some key areas. The complete lack of any manual control limits creativity, meaning that this isn’t a camera for an enthusiastic amateur to learn with. The position of the lens also spoils the ergonomics somewhat and anyone with large hands will definitely find it difficult not to get their fingers in the frame. But the biggest problem for the T10 is the Canon Ixus 850 IS – it’s more ergonomically sound, has a far better feature set and is every bit as sleek and stylish as the Sony.