Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 review
Bought this camera for it's pocketability, wide-angle lens and waterproof abilities. It's for family outings in the canoe, at the beach, pool, splash-park and whenever pocketabiilty is desired. It excels in that capacity. This camera is incredibly fun and versatile.
- small, light (easily slips in front pants pocket)
- zoom range (25mm equivalent wide end is nice)
- simplicity of controls (easy for camera neophytes)
- touch screen works well, great for selecting focus point
- HHT (Hand-Held Twilight) mode is fantastic for low-light
- pretty decent high ISO photos for a pocketable camera
- 10 frames/sec at full resolution!
- water, dust, shock resistance
- Auto (Intelligent Auto Adjustment) just works well
- iSweep Panorama is great fun and easy to use
- Backlight Correction HDR works as advertised
- screen is easy to view outdoors
- takes SD cards (about time Sony!)
- Manual should better explain HHT and AMB (Anti-Motion Blur) modes and their differences (HHT is awesome, AMB is too noisy for my liking so far, time will tell if I find a use for it).
- faster (larger-aperture) lens would be nice, especially at telephoto end
- not a lot of camera to grab onto (I inadvertently touch the touch screen and change settings or else accidentally capture stray fingers in the photo at wide angles because of a lack of places to put my fingers!)
- doesn't retain settings after turns off
- Why doesn't it have 1080 movies like the TX-7?
- Why doesn't the wrist strap have a slider to cinch it tight around the wrist? Come on Sony, if this is meant to take in water or used in hazardous environments then the wrist strap should be made to cinch it tightly to my wrist.
- cannot force the flash to be on (fill-flash in bright light) in Intelligent Auto mode. Seriously, how hard would it have been to have On/Auto/Off settings here?
- silly, proprietary cables (not that I care, I remove the card from the camera)
- no RAW mode or aperture/shutter speed controls (although given the role of the camera I don't miss them, this just mentioned so that others are aware of this limitation)
- fairly heavy-handed noise-reduction with no ability to reduce it
- too easy to put the battery in backwards (why not make it flat at one end and rounded at the other, bad design)
- shiny surface and large touch-screen loves to be covered in fingerprints
- picture quality is great for viewing on screen or prints up to about 8x10. Obviously if you're serious about larger prints then you can intelligently make up your own mind where this camera fits into your toolkit.
Don't worry about my seemingly long list of cons here. Most are fairly irrelevant but I threw them out there for completeness. I would like a faster lens, but I realize it's difficult/impossible with the zoom range and small body. The ability to fine-tune the noise reduction and to have flash ON in Intelligent Auto mode bother me and could likely be fixed with a firmware update (whether Sony wants to is another matter).
My only serious concern is the lack of places to grab hold of the camera. When I'm standing still holding the camera in front of me to take a photo I'm getting proficient at holding it without getting fingers in the way of the lens or touching the touch screen. But this camera begs to be used for other activities where this can be more difficult. For example today I was biking with my family. I was attempting to take pictures of the others riding their bikes while still riding my own. Many times I unintentionally tapped the screen changing settings while doing this. I can see this camera being popular with people doing all manner of athletic endeavors and this could be a source of frustration.
Maybe a future design could have a button to disable the touch screen so you can grip the camera tightly in your hand, including the touch screen, once your settings have been entered. The nearest thing to that which this camera now has is the ability to make the operation buttons disappear (touch near the left side of the screen and swipe left). This will limit the ability to change settings inadvertently, but still wherever you touch on the screen will change the focus point which is often not desired as you don't want to accidentally focus on the background rather than the subject.
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