Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: Sony CyberShot DSC TX-5 and some others

A few months ago, I got a new Sony CyberShot DSC-TX5. And I think it's  the best point-and-shoot I have ever seen. It's a perfect camera, with really advanced features, for a reasonable price. Here's my review:

(Also, this review pretty much applies to many other cameras, like theTX-7 and the 3D cameras that have recently come out, except that they may have even more features. They may be considered siblings of my camera, and you'll probably find them in the related products on Amazon, if you try clicking the link on the right.)

Though not very high resolution, the photos are really clear, crisp and vibrant. I like the fact that it is shockproof, waterproof, and even  dustproof and freezeproof. So, it makes a slick looking, plus sturdy  camera, which can survive almost anything.

The touchscreen is perfect, and I have had no problems with it. Unlike what other blogs and reviews on the web say, the screen is not fragile. I didn't even get a single scratch on it.

I love the plethora of various shooting modes available, and I am really amazed at times at how perfectly it recognizes the stuff in front of it. The backlight correction and face detection are flawless too. Though I don't find myself using the smile detector, it works as it is meant to be.

The shutter is really fast, and it doesn't take much time to focus either. Instant panorama stitching is almost perfect. It does goof up at times, but it doesn't spoil the photo ever. HD videos had no problem, but the MP4 format results in incompatibility with most free editing programs, but I think it is pretty much unavoidable with all these HD cameras these days.

The calendar feature is useful, and I particularly find the photo retouch features even more useful. I never get red-eyes, so there is not much need to even have the red-eye fixing thing. But there is the trimming (cropping) feature in there. I don't even have to wait to get home before I start cropping the photos, which is even hard to remember to do after you've transferred the photos.

The DSC TX-5 has an extra 45 MB of internal storage, so you can still shoot a handful of pictures if you happen to run out of the 8 GB of space on the included memory card, or if you forget inserting the card altogether.

It's actually hard to find any cons in here.

Here are a few minus points that are pretty much negligible, and they came to my mind after a lot of thinking.

The menu takes about half a second more than it should to respond and it sometimes causes me to miss a shot, as I wait for the sub-menus to appear. Also, the menu design may be slightly hard to use at first. The modes seem to be in a very different direction, while the other shooting settings are in the other corner. Anyways, it doesn't look to cluttered and unorganized like on a Blackberry.

The lens is too much in the corner, and if you hand the camera to a person who isn't habituated with it, you'll probably getting a part of a finger in the corner of the image. There is also slight barrel distortion, which causes the photos to appear slightly bulging. This isn't very obstrusive, but it is noticeable if you shoot rectangular things that are very much flat, like a painting or something.

The photos sometimes appear to look better on the camera than on a computer screen. This is very occasional, and can be easily fixed using a really simple photo-editing program, although Photoshop will do it much better.

The bottom line:
The DSC TX-5 is a perfect camera for any kind of traveller, photo enthusiast, or casual people. But I don't recommend it for pro photography. This is pretty much understood anyway, as it is a point-and-shoot, not an expensive, top-of-the-line dSLR. But this CyberShot is certainly much better than many others out there, except those who have recently come out, of course.

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