Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 review

Price when reviewed

The Sony DSC-T100 is a marvel of design. This slim metal case houses an 8.1-megapixel camera with a 5x optical zoom lens that’s completely internal. It claims a battery life of 340 shots, yet offers a bright 3in screen that makes it easy to frame your shots and use the highly intuitive menu system.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 review

The T100’s great engineering showed through in our picture-quality tests too. Its outdoor scene demonstrated exceptional sharpness and impressive dynamic range. Light areas appeared bright and airy, while areas of shadow were dark and solid without compromising on detail. Noise and JPEG artefacting were negligible.

The T100 didn’t get as close to our macro subject as some other cameras, but this meant it was able to keep the entire flower perfectly in focus. Detail was excellent and, again, the picture was strong on both highlights and depth. The DSC-T100 even responded well to our night-shot tests: on full zoom, with a tripod, it picked out tremendous detail across the London skyline with little noise. The wide-angle shot was considerably more grainy, but still respectable in light of the conditions. In movie mode, the T100 captured the most fluid and detailed videos of any camera in the group, with clear, punchy sound.

Although the T100’s output looks great in isolation, its auto white balance didn’t always work perfectly; the outdoor shot had a slight yellow cast, while the night shot had a blue accent. For holiday photos and everyday snapshots, this won’t matter, but for photography enthusiasts it may be an issue.

And unless you already have a stash of Memory Stick Duos, you’ll pay more for them than for the equivalent-capacity SD cards. And, to further lock you in, the camera doesn’t use standard mini-USB, but a bundled proprietary Sony cable to connect to your PC and TV. Lose or damage it and you’re looking at £30 for a replacement.

This unnecessary reliance on proprietary technology, coupled with idiosyncratic colour balance and a high price, holds the Sony back. If you can live with these factors and just want a pocketable, friendly camera that takes superlative snaps and video clips, the DSC-T100 should be on your shortlist.

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