TX55 - So, what about it? First thoughts...

Started Oct 12, 2011 | Discussions thread
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mike21mike21
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TX55 - So, what about it? First thoughts...
Oct 12, 2011

I received the TX55 last Friday from Amazon. All I can say is "stunningly small". Much smaller than the little TX9, which I thought was a tiny "do it all" dynamo. Pix here:

55

At the risk of taking space from the countless HX100 posts, here are some views since no one has posted much to date from the TX55 (or any camera aside from the HX100).

The TX55 looks delicate, the microSDHC card (very inexpensive actually, amazing) can go in either way - not easy to sort it out right. It does have a few shots on the internal memory, but forget it even though it is nice to have something because the TX55 will NOT take the standard SD/SDHC sizes. If you want the TX55 or the new W300 (I think), order a microSD card now.

The zoom is just a rigid nub - more stable than the older lever on the TX7/TX9. I like it actually better. The power/shutter is well-placed. All good, stereo mics on top of the unit - would be better elsewhere but OK as is. Flash is standard, orbs everywhere in typical Cybershot style. Great for ghost-hunting - orbs in every room (LOL).

The battery - the good news is that it is a NP1 but now the Sony gotcha - while you can use other NP1 batteries (the TX9 uses the NP1 for example) you CANNOT use the NP TX55 battery in the TX9. Sony just had to make each battery unique. Why does each new Cybershot need its own unique battery - OK, we all know why, but I do hate this. Sony, get a clue!!! The camera is charged from the AC/USB cable. Buy an external charger because this special cable WILL get lost.

The OLED screen ROCKS! OMG, its gorgeous, even in daylight. Slideshows are stunning, blacks are black - wow. Compared to the crap-tastic TX9 screen, the TX55 is awesome. AND the tactile functions are better, more responsive, almost iphone like (not quite, but close). Now, the icons are smaller, hitting the right button is a chore - just aim for the center and watch for the transient glow when it registers. The home screen is impoved somewhat, but it still takes 3 presses to get to HHT handheld twilight, for example. Grrr. Why bury the best Sony feature in the Scene mode? The new Picture Effect is novel but hardly useful, Toy, HDR, etc. Cute I guess but the iPhone can do thousand more effects (and lets face it, Cybershots and all pocketcams are going to be sorely tested by the improved iPhone 4S 8MP camera). Sony Cybershots may become the next outdated Kodak.

All the cool Sony tech is here, not much really new. The Clear Image Zoom is a puzzle to me, I cannot see a real demonstration of this from my shots. Maybe with some extreme zoom, but right now, it looks unremarkable. Sorry, I just can't see this - I turn it on and off, toggle the digital zoom, nothing makes it standout. I wish there was a field in the EXIF that could record the mode or effect used. Makes it confusing for sure.

Videos are stunning, of course. the iA+ is as good as it was on the TX9, the 3D, BDF, and Anti-Blur is all good. No real difference except that the screen is a knockout and the size defies description. I found a cute leather phone case at Target for $9 - just perfect.

What else? Oh, the images from the TX55 look to be much better than from my TX9, which was no slouch. I will try and focus on this more, but my first glances were good ones - there are a few shots in the gallery for general viewing and outbursts from the pixel-peepers. Is it my impression or has the smeared grass effect been reduced somewhat in this sensor? Too early to tell maybe.

All in all, I really like it - since my TX9 screen has now broken (first with splotches and now with a drop in the blue filter), the TX55 is breathtaking. The size is almost too small - its hardly hard to operate this guy with one hand.

This is a hand-held shot with zoom at iso3200 of my freshwater pufferfish. Imagine an iso3200 from just a few years ago. Wow. What a great little camera. The only thing I worry about is forgetting the little guy tucked away in some jeans pocket and washing it.

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