Sony Cybershot DSC-TX5 Review
Oct 7th, 2010: The ultra compact 10.2 megapixel Sony Cybershot DSC-TX5 serves as an update to the Sony DSC-TX1 from 2009. The Sony DSC-TX1 was one of the first Sony Cyber-shot models to offer an innovative back illuminated 'Exmor R' CMOS sensor, providing low-light performance with approximately twice the sensitivity of traditional image sensors.
The Sony DSC-TX5 features the same sleek design and internal 4x optical zoom with Steadyshot image stabilizer found in the DSC-TX1, while adding extended durability with protection against a variety of elements including water, dust, shock, and freezing, for the first time in a Cyber-shot model.
The Sony DSC-TX5 can be submerged down to 10 feet (3m) underwater, and according to Sony is protected against drops from as high as 5 feet. Being also dust proof and freeze proof adds layers of protection that makes the Sony DSC-TX5 an equally welcome companion whether swimming at the beach or while skiing down the slopes.
The camera features a large 3.0 -inch 230,000 pixel 'touch screen' LCD, offering a wide viewing angle and brightness adjustment.
The DSC-TX5 is void of most external buttons and controls common to similar point and shoot models, since the camera menu's and most operations are controlled via the 'touch screen' monitor. As such the Sony DSC-TX5 is able to maintain a very compact form factor with dimensions of only 94.0mm x 56.9mm x 17.7mm, making for an unobtrusive camera that can be effortlessly stuck in a pocket or purse.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Major Features:
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 Overview:
The few buttons and controls found on the DSC-TX5 are located on the top of the camera. The On/Off button, shutter release and zoom toggle switch are placed side by side, with a small playback button found directly below the shutter release. The camera features a sliding protective lens cover that has to be moved down before the camera is ready to shoot.
Other operations of the Sony DSC-TX5 are controlled by using the camera's touch screen LCD monitor. The multi-purpose touch screen offers an intuitive user interface, including the ability to select the focus point with a simple touch, scroll through images by sliding your finger across the screen and one-touch access to the camera MENU.
The Sony DSC-TX5 is waterproof to a depth of 10 ft, shockproof from falls 5 ft or less, and dustproof thanks to its airtight construction. The TX5 can even withstand extreme weather conditions, being operable in temperatures from -10 to 40 degrees Celcius. With its enhanced durability and protection, the Sony DSC-TX5 is designed for active lifestyle photographers.
Press MENU at the top of the left side bar to access the Function Menu. Other functions that can be accessed from the left side bar include; Smile Shutter (smiley face icon), Flash, Self-Timer and Continuous shooting mode settings. The function options displayed in the side bar vary depending on the selected shooting mode.
Smile Shutter technology captures a smile the moment it happens. Press the Smile Shutter button (Smiley face icon) and the camera automatically captures the image when it detects someone smiling.
The Sony TX5 incorporates a built in flash capable of providing output up to 3m (10 feet) in Auto ISO. The flash power extends up to 6m with ISO sensitivity set to 3200. Flash functions include; Auto, Fill Flash, Off, Slow Sync, and Red Eye reduction (emits a pre flash)
The Sony TX5 offers a Self-Portrait and two person Self-Portrait mode found under the camera's self-timer settings where the shutter does not fire until a new face(s) is detected entering the frame. Standard self-timer settings include either a 2 sec or a 10 sec delay before the shutter fires.
The camera can deliver up to 10 frames per second continuous shooting at full 10 MP size, a feature designed to capture the action as it unfolds.
Recognized scenes include Backlight, Backlight Portrait, Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Twilight using a tripod, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, and Close Focus.
The Sony TX5 can capture either 720p HD or standard definition VGA video at a frame rate of approximately 30 frames per second. Movies are saved with MP4 compression, and include audio. In Movie recording mode, there is a Scene mode dedicated for shooting movies underwater.
When set to Hand-held Twilight Mode, the Sony DSC-TX5 can capture six images in a fraction of a second with one press of the shutter, and combines the data from all six to create a single image with improved detail and lower noise. Intended for producing cleaner and sharper night shots without using a tripod.
In Anti Motion Blur Mode , the TX5 captures six images in a fraction of a second while using a higher shutter speed and combines the data from all six to create a single image with reduced chance of subject blur (under low light conditions).
The camera also features a Backlight Correction HDR mode intended for shooting high-contrast scenes. The camera takes two pictures at different exposure settings and processes the best elements of both, with the intent of delivering improved shadow and highlight detail in the final image.
With the Sony DSC-TX5's Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode you can have the camera automatically stitch together a series of images for an extra wide field of view as seen above. Simply activate the feature and press the shutter release while panning the camera from side to side or up and down.
The images that are stitched together are captured at lower resolution so there is some trade off in image quality when using this mode compared to shooting regular full size stills. The application is best suited for creating panoramic images for online use, including photo galleries, blogs and social networks.
Pushing the MENU tab found on the top left side bar while in shooting mode brings up the camera's function menu shown below.
Simply select Easy Shooting Mode, and easy-to-understand basic instructions are displayed on the LCD screen and the camera switches to all automatic settings, removing several function choices and allowing the user to focus on just capturing the subject.
For creative versatility, the Sony TX5 offers three metering mode options (Multi, Center and Spot) and selectable Auto Focus settings, including touch point AF (simply touch the area of the scene on the display screen that you wish to be in focus when taking the picture).
Although the TX5 does
not offer manual exposure control settings, exposure compensation in +/-2
stops is available (to brighten or darken the image exposure).
The Sony DSC-TX5 offers a number of playback functions. Playback can be accessed by pressing the dedicated playback button located on the top of the camera, or by pressing the playback icon located on the bottom left on the camera's LCD touch screen. The playback icon changes to a shooting mode / camera icon when you enter playback mode, allowing for a quick tap to return to shooting when viewing images.
Selecting the MENU option (at the top of the left function side bar above), allows access to a range of playback options. The additional icons in the left side bar represent from top to bottom; the ability to select viewing the images by shooting date or folder, thumbnail view, slideshow functions and delete (trash can).
You can scroll through images by sliding your finger across the touch screen or by pushing on the icons in the right function bar dedicated to playing back the next or previous image.
The Sony DSC-TX5 offers a PHOTOMUSIC feature which combines images with music (4 tracks, 5 minutes per track) to produce fun and entertaining slide shows with standard visual effects (Simple, Nostalgic, Active, and Stylish). Select from pre-loaded tracks on the camera or transfer your own from your computer.
The Sony TX5 features a component output (1080i) for connecting the camera to a high definition TV (the cable is an optional accessory). A standard combination Audio/Video and USB cable is included in the box. The Sony DSC-TX5 uses Secure Digital (SD) or SDHC media or Sony Memory Stick Duo and Pro Duo memory cards. The camera does not come supplied with a memory card. A small amount of memory is built-in to the camera, good for a few shots in a pinch.
The DSC-TX5 runs on a Sony NP-BN1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which provides up to approximately 230 shots per charge. The camera comes supplied with one battery and a charger.
What we like about the Sony TX5:
What we don't like:
Sony Cybershot DSC-TX5 Specifications
|Effective Pixels||10.2 megapixel EXMOR R Back Illuminated Sensor|
|Processor||Bionz Image Processor|
- 17.0 mm (25-100mm in 35mm terms for still shots)
Movie 16:9: 28-112mm / Movie 4:3: 34-136mm
|Zoom||Optical 4x. Digital approx. 8x|
|Aperture||f/3.5 - f/6.3|
|Image Stabilizer||Optical Steadyshot Image Stabilizer|
|Protective Construction||Waterproof 10 feet (1 hr), Shock proof (5 feet), Dustproof and Freeze-proof to -10 degrees celcius|
|Panorama Mode||Panorama Intelligent Sweep Panorama (Horizontal / Vertical up to 258-degrees)|
Detects up to 8 faces in a scene and adjusts focus, exposure, flash settings and white balance for optimal results with natural-looking skin tones. Face Self-Timer makes group photos easy, taking a shot after an extra face enters the frame.
Face Detection modes: Auto / Touch / Child Priority / Adult Priority
Blink Warning and Smile Shutter mode
|Auto Focus||9 points AF / Center Weighted AF / Spot AF / Flex-ible Spot AF(Touch)|
iAUTO (Wide: Approx.1cm (0.39) to Infinity, Tele: Approx.50cm
(1.64) to Infinity)
Program Auto (Wide: Approx.8cm(0.26) to Infinity, Tele: Approx.50cm(1.64) to Infinity)
|AF Assist Beam||Yes strobe from flash|
|Metering modes||Multi Pattern / Center Weighted / Spot|
|Dynamic Range Optimizer||Standard setting|
|Exposure Compensation||+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|ISO sensitivity||Auto / 125 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200|
|Shutter Speed||iAUTO (2 - 1/1,600) / Program Auto (1 - 1/1,600)|
|White Balance||Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Fluorescent 1(White Fluorescent Lighting) / Fluorescent 2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting) / Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent Lighting) / Incandescent / Flash / One Push|
|LCD monitor||3.0 Clear Photo LCD Plus wide display with 230,000 pixel resolution and touch screen operation|
|Built in Flash Effective Range||ISO
Auto: 0.08-2.9m (0.26-9.51) at Wide and 0.5-2.4m at Tele
ISO3200: up to 6.0m (19.7') at Wide and 4.7m (15.4) at Tele
|Redeye Reduction||Yes, strobe from built-in flash|
|Flash Modes||Auto / On / Slow Syncro / Off|
Intelligent Scene Recognition: 9 scenes can be recognized by the camera
Scene Modes: High Sensitivity / Twilight / Twilight Portrait / Soft Snap / Landscape / Beach / Snow / Firewoks / Hi-Speed Shutter / Underwater / Gourmet / Pet
Special shooting modes: Handheld Twilight / Anti-motion Blur / Backlight Correction HDR
/ Hi-Speed Burst (High / Mid / Low)
Approximately 10fps at 10.2MP (Maximum 10 shots)
Images: 10M (3,648 x 2,736) / 5M (2,592 x 1,944) / VGA (640 x 480);
16:9 / 7M ( 3,648 x 2,056) / 2M (1,920 x1,080)
x 720 (29.97fps, Progressive) (Approx.6Mbps)
VGA (640 x 480) (29.97fps, Progressive)
|Movies Type||MP4 compression|
|In Camera Editing||Trimming / Red Eye Correction / Unsharp Masking|
|Intelligent Orientation Sensor||Yes|
|Playback Zoom||Approx. 2x – 8x|
|Self Timer||Off / 10sec. / 2sec./ portrait1 / portrait2|
||A/V output component 1080i|
|Card Type||SD, SDHC, or Sony Memory Stick PRO DUO media|
|Supplied Software||Picture Motion Browser Ver 5.0, PMB Portable 5.0 (for Windows), PMB Portable 1.1 (for Macintosh)|
|Battery Type||Sony Rechargeable Lithium-ion NP-BN1 3.6V (battery and charger supplied)|
|Number of shots||Approx.
Approx. 125 min. playback
|Dimensions||94.0mm x 56.9mm x 17.7mm|
|Weight||Approx. 128g (including battery/batteries and memory card)|
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