Sony Cybershot TX100V in depth review
This little camera has a lot of functionality and despite this it is light, slim and easy to use. There are so many different things you can do with this little beauty that it’s actually hard to believe.
- 16.2 megapixel Exmor R Cmos censor
- 4x optical zoom
- 25mm wide angle lens (35mm format)
- 3.5 inch wide touch screen display
- Full HD movie
- GPS compass to geo-locate your images
I’m not much of a manual reader. When I get new toys I like to be able to switch them on and play from the word go. This means that gadgets need to be intuitive so that i don’t need to put it down and pick up a booklet to figure out how to make something do what I want it to. This Cybershot was just right for me. I switched it on, played with the zoom, located the settings, and changed some of them, switched the sounds off and had the basics figured out fairly quickly.
The great thing about this camera though is that there is so much functionality that you can keep figuring things out for days. There are various different settings such as superior auto, intelligent auto, background de-focus and so on, and within each of these settings is another set of settings, which vary from one to the next. So on one setting you will have 4 or 5 options, and when you change that setting your options change to suit the setting. For example, with the background de-focus setting on, you can also choose the soft skin option which smoothes out your skin to a massive degree – who needs anti-wrinkle creams anyway? Whereas, your smile shutter option may only be available with certain other settings.
I was rather impressed with the 4x optical zoom within the 35mm format as this means that even at full zoom, you don’t have a lens popping out of the front of the camera, enabling it to retain it’s sleek appearance while giving you the most advantage.
the sunset from my window - no zoom
Same sunset, from same room, zoom engaged
With the 16.2 megapixels that this cyber-shot offers, you can blow those embarrassing photos up to epic proportions for a 21st gift, thrill granny with great big portraits of her grand-kids, or turn those stunning landscape or sunset photos into real works of art.
“Sony is one of the first camera manufacturers in the industry to provide a 16.2MP CMOS sensor, which is a great benefit for consumers,” said Kelly Davis, director of the digital imaging group at Sony Electronics. “They are getting the best image quality as well as all of the benefits of the “Exmor R” CMOS sensor technology in very compact, stylish cameras.”
The incorporated wide angle lens means that even when objects are very very close to you as you shoot them, you’ll get that little bit extra into the picture.
I love the landscape panoramic option. Although I’m really not sure how much use one would get out of it, it’s definitely a fun extra to have and I’m sure the quirkyness of it will captivate many a new user, for a little while at least.
180 degrees of the garden
I’ve also just discovered that there is a high resolution portrait panoramic option that produces a 42megabyte file. If you set the Panorama image size to High Resolution, a 43 megapxel-size panoramic image can be shot. (10480×4096)
I think my favorite feature of this camera is the background de-focus option. Being able to focus on the foreground and have a blurry background is something I’ve always wanted a fancy SLR camera for. Now that I can do it with this point and shoot digital there’s no need!
background defocus option
My second favourite feature is the soft-skin function. As mentioned earlier, this is only available within certain settings, one of which is the background de-focus. It does exactly what it sounds like it does – softens the look of your skin. It glosses over small blemishes and wrinkles and basically makes you look like you’ve just had a studio shoot (well, maybe not quite that good, but it is very impressive). 10 years younger? Who needs L’Oreal anyway?
Softskin option - who needs anti-wrinkle creams?
The video recording is of very good quality and it records club-loud sound perfectly adequately. I recorded an electric violinist playing to a club beat background in Movida the other night and on playback the sound is very clear and not distorted at all. The box does specify, in case anyone was wondering about the HD video option, that “an optional HDMI cable and a TV supporting HDMI input are required for viewing HD still images and movies”. Another cool function within the video recoding is that you can capture stills while continuing to record.
Impressive capture in low light situations
The camera takes the picture as soon as you press the button so there’s much less chance of missing that perfect shot as you wait for the shutter to close which I have found with other point and shoot cameras. It has pretty decent low light recognition and options, and the HD video recording is also a great extra.
The camera comes with a lithium ion battery pack and can be charged either by connecting it to your computer via USB, or connecting it to the battery charger pack which plugs into the wall. Both of these options can be done without removing the battery pack from the camera. The battery seems to last quite a while – I had it for two weeks and only had to charge it right at the end. It takes around 2 and a half hours to charge fully so if you don’t plan ahead you could end up stuck with no battery at that all important moment.
There are so many things you can do with this camera that I reckon it will keep any new users entertained for weeks on end. There are quite a few available which I haven’t even mentioned here, such as the smile shutter, 3D shoot functionality which includes 3D still image, 3D sweep panorama and 3D sweep multi angle. I imagine a 3D TV would be required in order to get any benefit from this function. Another thing I haven’t mentioned is the GPS location so that you can geo-tag images. I imagine this would be a great function for all you adventurers out there, not only as proof that you’ve actually “been there, done that” but also got the photo, and the imprinted GPS evidence!
For all the technical details on the camera, go and check out the Sony website.
- Packed with fantastic features
- Easy to get started with but still plenty to discover
- Slim and stylish (love the red)
- Shoots quickly and at great quality
- Waterproof, freeze-proof, shock-proof, dust-proof
- Touch screen means finger prints all over the camera screen (yuck)
- Video didn’t import automatically
- Quite pricey
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