Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX5 review

Price when reviewed

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.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX5

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.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX5 - rear view

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.


Image quality4

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating10.2mp
Camera screen size3.0in
Camera optical zoom range4x
Camera maximum resolution3,648 x 2,736

Weight and dimensions

Dimensions94 x 18 x 57mm (WDH)


Battery type includedlithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard)250 shots
Charger included?yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash?yes
Aperture rangef3.5 - f4.6
Camera minimum focus distance0.01m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)25
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)100
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed1/1,600
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed2s
Bulb exposure mode?no
RAW recording mode?no
Exposure compensation range+/- 2EV
ISO range125 - 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 rate10.0fps
Exposure bracketing?no
White-balance bracketing?no
Memory-card typeMemory Stick Pro Duo, SDHC
Viewfinder coverageN/A
LCD resolution230k
Video/TV output?yes
Body constructionAluminium
Tripod mounting thread?yes
Data connector typeProprietary USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual?no
Software suppliedPicture Motion Browser 5.0
Accessories suppliedCombined USB/AV cable, stylus

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