Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX5 review
Waterproof cameras aren’t just for scuba and skiing excursions. Because these cameras tend to be shockproof – in the TX5’s case for drops of up to 1.5 metres – they can be thought of as klutz-proof, too.
The TX5 is slimmer than most tough cameras, and the 3in touchscreen and large sliding lens cover give it a luxurious air. Waterproof cameras often lack a lens cover because water can get inside. This one did retain water, which smeared across the front of the camera each time we opened or closed it, but it didn’t collect on the lens.
The touchscreen interface is slick and easy to use, and although the controls are designed for casual use there are some interesting options among the scene presets.
iSweep Panorama mode lets you record a panoramic images simply by rotating the camera. Handheld Twilight mode captures multiple exposures, aligns them and overlays them to average out noise.
Anti Motion Blur is even more impressive, capturing six frames, aligning and overlaying them for parts of the frame that are static. In areas of motion, a single frame is used to avoid ghosting. The fast performance is also put to more conventional use, with a 10fps continuous mode that lasts for ten exposures. There’s a 720p video mode too, but it’s not up to the standard of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX7’s 1080i footage.
Image quality is a step up from most compact cameras. The sensor’s modest 10-megapixel resolution and back-illuminated design keeps noise down in low light, giving far better results than most standard 12- and 14-megapixel compacts. The downside is that the lowest ISO speed is relatively high at 125, and a little noise was always visible in the shadows.
The lens could be sharper and its f/3.5 – f4.6 aperture is disappointing, but the 25-100mm focal length allows for some impressively wide-angle shots. Perhaps most importantly for casual users, the success rate of the automatic mode was extremely high, with not a single dodgy shot in our tests.
The TX7 impressed us even more with its 1080i videos, bigger screen and HDMI output, but if water- and shockproofing are more important, the TX5 is an excellent choice.
|Camera megapixel rating||10.2mp|
|Camera screen size||3.0in|
|Camera optical zoom range||4x|
|Camera maximum resolution||3,648 x 2,736|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||94 x 18 x 57mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||lithium-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||250 shots|
|Aperture range||f3.5 - f4.6|
|Camera minimum focus distance||0.01m|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||25|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||100|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/1,600|
|Maximum (slowest) shutter speed||2s|
|Bulb exposure mode?||no|
|RAW recording mode?||no|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 2EV|
|ISO range||125 - 3200|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||yes|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||no|
|Aperture priority mode?||no|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||10.0fps|
|Memory-card type||Memory Stick Pro Duo, SDHC|
|Tripod mounting thread?||yes|
|Data connector type||Proprietary USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Full printed manual?||no|
|Software supplied||Picture Motion Browser 5.0|
|Accessories supplied||Combined USB/AV cable, stylus|