Fortunately the T70 has a couple of other features which are more useful, or at least potentially so, including Super SteadyShot image stabilisation. As with the Cyber-shot W80 I reviewed a couple of weeks ago, I have been unable to get any clarification from Sony as to exactly what this means. As a keen-eyed reader has pointed out, at least one foreign Sony website states that it is a moving-sensor system, as found in some of Sony’s larger cameras under the same brand name, and the Fuji Z100fd showed that it is at least possible to have CCD-shift IS systems in a camera of this size and price bracket, but I will repeat that as far as I am aware the IS system in the T70 is actually electronic. However it operates, it works very well, producing sharp hand-held shots at some exceedingly low shutter speeds, as slow as ¼ of a second at wide angle and 1/20th of a second at the telephoto end.
Another interesting feature is something that Sony calls a “Smile shutter”. This special scene mode is an extension of the portrait face detection system, in which the camera detects not only the presence of a human face in the frame, but also that face’s expression. The theory is that you frame the scene, press the shutter button, shout “Say cheese!”, and when the expressions on the detected faces changes to that of a smile, the camera takes the picture automatically. In practice I found that even in a well-lit room it barely worked. I tried it out with several friends and a self-portrait, but the only smile that would get the camera to take a picture was a grimace so extreme I dare not publish it for fear of being hunted down by Batman.
The face detection system has one unusual feature of its own. A detected face, as shown on the screen by a surrounding white box, can be selected via the touch screen. The camera will then track that particular face and use it as the primary target for metering and focusing. Kind of useful I guess, but not exactly the sort of thing that’s going to make your life easier on a daily basis. Another more useful function involving the touch screen is the ability to select the focus point by tapping the screen, which could be very handy especially for close-ups.