Sony DSC-S75 Review
The S75's macro focus mode is toggled by pressing the dedicated macro button (down arrow on the 4-way controller), previously (on the S70) macro focus was accessed by pressing the FOCUS button, which also contained all the focus distances and other focus modes, a bit tedious. Macro focus ability is about the same, the best frame cover was found at about half zoom.
The S75's internal flash appears to be the same as found on the S70 except that it's been tuned and refined, from a physical standpoint Sony have now moved it from its position near the hand grip right across to the far right-hand edge (looking front on). Compared to the S70, we got better skin-tone reproduction, cleaner colour balance without any colour cast and relatively good power. Again, the a ability to control flash output by +/-1 level is very useful.
|Skin-tone test, very good performance||Coverage test, fairly good, slight drop off at corners||Colour chart test, excellent results, good colours no colour cast|
|Flash output Low (-)||Flash output Normal||Flash output High (+)|
The S75 is one of the first digital cameras to feature a "video direct to storage card" video mode (Sony called it MPEG EX), this basically means that when recording MPEG videos you're no longer limited to a 15 or 60 second clip but rather by the amount of available space on your storage card. Sony do this by decreasing the video bandwidth by reducing the frame rate and audio quality. You can still record MPEG HQ 15 second clips at higher quality if you like. Here's breakdown of the available MPEG video modes (all include audio recording):
- MPEG HQ - 16 fps, data rate: 355 KB/s, Clip length: 15s
- MPEG 320 - 8 fps, data rate: 88 KB/s, Clip length (64MB Memory Stick): 11m 47s
- MPEG 160 - 8 fps, data rate: 22 KB/s, Clip length (64MB Memory Stick):
The sample below was recorded at MPEG 160:
The S75 (MPEG EX) also features a new option in PLAY mode for movies, named DIVIDE it allows you to divide a single movie into two separate movies, useful for trimming from the beginning or end of a clip.
Twilight Scene Mode
For taking pictures at night the S75's twilight scene mode pushes the cameras sensitivity to ISO 160 and allows for longer exposures. I personally preferred the flexibility of manual exposure mode (M) to choose my long exposure but Twilight mode is certainly easier for the novice.
|Twilight Scene mode, ISO 160, F2.1, 1.6 sec|
|Manual Exposure mode, ISO 100, F3.5, 8.0 sec|
Apart from the occasional focusing error (AF illuminator disabled - at that range!) the S75 produced very nice, clean long exposures with lots of detail and very little noise (and certainly no visible "stuck pixels"). Definitely a better performance than the S70.