Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T5 - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T5


Like many pocket cameras the T5 has a sliding lens cover which also doubles as an on/off switch, and in my opinion this is something of a weak point. The cover is made of plastic, and feels quite flimsy and insecurely attached. For some reason it also has a separate power switch on the top panel.

Also on the top panel is the camera’s other weak point, a small protruding switch that selects between shooting, playback and movie mode. This switch appears to be made of plastic and feels decidedly flimsy, and is ideally shaped to catch on pocket linings and loose threads.

The overall design, with the lens positioned in the top right corner of the front panel, carries with it the usual problem of fingers getting in the way of your pictures, and also getting greasy fingerprints on the lens. Anyone used to a more conventional body design may find this to be a problem until they get used to handling this camera.

Only macro mode, flash mode, self timer and instant playback have their own button controls. All the T5’s other functions are controlled via the menu, including a long list of shooting modes. Unfortunately these modes are only identified by small icons, and nowhere in either the superfluous “Read This First” guide or in the exceptionally badly written and confusing manual could I find any explanation of what these icons represent. Some are fairly obvious; a little figure with what appears to be either a golf club or a hockey stick presumably represents sports/action mode, while the usual cartoon mountains indicate landscape mode. However the icon depicting two figures, one black and one white, is a complete mystery, as is the magnifying glass inside square brackets. If you can figure these out then you’ve got 10 different picture modes to choose from, including fireworks, snow, beach and night portrait.

In fact, despite its snapshot-camera credentials, the T5 does offer a surprising amount of versatility. Menu options include three auto-focus options, as well as manual focus, three metering modes, auto exposure bracketing, adjustable flash output and multi-exposure burst mode. Not all of these are available in every shooting mode, so reading the manual is a necessary chore. Playback mode offers the option to re-size and rotate images, as well as viewing them as a slideshow, while movie clips can be edited in-camera.