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It’s tough when camera makers are need to address all sectors of the market: the smaller cameras need not only to offer decent specs (plenty of megapixels, a decent zoom and a video capability), but also need to look good! It’s a tough world out there!
The Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T700 is a fine example of how a company like Sony addresses the tech and the fashion side of things. It’s pretty, slim (16.4 mm) and styled in metallic fiery red and satin black review; there are grey, gold and silver cameras as well.
The camera disappeared into my hand when picked up. At first glance there are no external controls, but look further and you find tiny power and shutter buttons, along with a minuscule zoom lever at the camera’s right hand corner — all in the red body colour. Then, looking closer, you find a replay button — black like the rear of the camera.
To prepare the camera for rapid action you simply slide a front lens panel downwards — so the LCD screen comes alive and you can shoot. No optical viewfinder.
A fashion statement? Definitely!
An enthusiast camera? Not really!
But look at the features list: 10.1 megapixels CCD; 4x optical stabilised zoom; a massive 8.8 cm LCD touch screen; 4 GB internal memory; available in grey, red, silver and gold colours.
Sony makes much of the album feature, made possible by the massive 4GB internal memory, so you can store nearly a thousand pictures at top resolution. The calendar playback menu remembers pictures according to the date they were taken, so by using the camera’s instant search capabilities, you can quickly find a specific image.
The maximum image size of 3648×2736 pixels will give you with a 31×23 cm print at 300 dpi. In movie mode the camera can shoot a poor 640×480 pixels screen size at 30 fps … no 1920×1080 wide screen! But at least, with an optional adaptor you can connect the T700’s component output to a High Def TV to watch 1920×1080 pixel stills.
Face detection reaches new heights: it finds up to eight faces in the scene and adjusts focus, flash output, exposure, white balance and red eye correction. There are four sub settings: auto, in which the camera finds the faces; by adding a smile icon to the LCD you can touch a face on screen and the camera tweaks the setting; then the T700 can give priority to a child’s face — and there’s an adult setting.
And … a smile mode can be set to detect a big smile, a normal or even a slight one!
And more: an ‘Anti-blink’ mode will shoot two images in quick succession, automatically discarding pictures with the subject’s eyes closed.
In-camera retouching is a feature that ensures no red eye goes un-missed. You can touch up shots in-camera with ten edit functions that can also crop a picture, apply unsharp masking, partly colourise an image, add cross filters and radial blurs — and more.
An inbuilt application, HD Slide Show, combines images with music to make enjoyable slide shows. Five standard effects (Nostalgic, Active, Stylish etc) can be played back with one of eight music tracks stored in the camera’s memory. You can also add your own tunes.
Startup Time: Quite quick: just two seconds after startup the camera took its first shot, then ate up about 1.5 seconds per shot thereafter.
A great looker, this camera can also take excellent, above average quality shots with ease.
Type: Fully automatic, fixed lens digital compact camera.
Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar f/3.5-4.6/6.18-24.7 mm (35-140 mm as 35 mm equivalent). 2 digital zoom.
Focusing Range: W/T 8/50 cm to infinity.
Shutter Speeds: 1-1/1000 second.
Metering: Multi pattern, centre-weighted, spot.
Exposure Control: Auto.
Sensitivity: Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600/3200.
Sensor: 7.7 mm CCD, 10.1 million pixels.
Image Size: 3648×2736, 3648×2432, 3648×2056, 2592×1944, 2048×1536, 1920×1080, 640×480. Burst mode: 100 shots at 1.6 fps. Movies: 640×480, 320×240 at 16.6/30 fps.
Formats: JPEG, MPEG1. PictBridge, DPOF and PIM III compatible.
Flash: Auto, red-eye reduction, forced off and on, slow synchronisation. Flash Range (ISO Auto): W/T 8 mm/50 cm to 4.3/3.4 m.
Viewfinder: 8.8 cm colour LCD.
Storage: Removable Memory Stick Duo card (none supplied), 4 GB internal memory.
Interface: USB 2.0, PAL/NTSC AV, component output, DC input.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, optional AC adapter.
Dimensions (WHD): 95×58.4×16.4 mm.
Weight: 115 grams (with card, battery).
Price: Get a price on the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T700 at Amazon.