The Cybershot DSC-T300 is the second generation of touch-screen ultra compacts from electronics colossus Sony. Because it is built around a very small 1/2.3" sensor, Sony has been able to cram a 5x zoom into the slimline body without it ever having occasion to protrude. It's also packed full of the latest special modes and functions, including 'smile shutter,' that only takes a photo once your subject is smiling. The real stand-out feature of this camera is the huge, 16:9 aspect ratio touch screen that covers the entire reverse of the body. So is this beginning of the revolution that will free us from the the hegemony of the four-way controller, or is there a good reason that most cameras are covered in buttons?

Before getting on to that question, let's start with the headline features:

  • 10.1 Megapixels and 5x zoom
  • Super Steady Shot image stabilization
  • Dynamic range optimization
  • 3.5" touch-screen control system

Key differences compared to T200

In a shocking sequence of events, the biggest difference between the T300 and its predecessor is that the new model is built around a more pixel-dense sensor. The lens range also changes, with the wide end getting a tiny bit wider (though we're not about to hold a street party for a 33mm wide angle camera). This is a side-effect of adding a larger, 1/2.3" sensor in the same position as the old 1/2.5" one.

Cybershot DSC-T300 specifications

Street price • US: $380
• UK: £270
Sensor

• 1/2.3" Type CCD
• 10.7 million total pixels
• 10.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2432 (3:2)
• 3648 x 2056 (16:9)
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
• 1280 x 960
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 (@ either 30 or 16.6fps)
• 320 x 240 (@ either 30 or 8.3fps)

File formats • JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
• MPEG1 (MPEG Movie VX)
Lens

• 5.8 mm – 29.0 mm
• 33 mm – 165mm (35mm equiv.)
• F3.5 - 4.4

Image stabilization Yes (CCD shift-type)
Conversion lenses Wide: VCL-DE07TB
Digital zoom up to 2x
Focus TTL Contrast Detection AF
AF area mode • Face detection
• 9-point AF
• Center Weighted AF
• Spot area AF
• Flexible Spot AF (Touch Panel)
• Semi Manual (1.0M, 3.0M,7.0M, Infinity)
AF assist lamp Yes, auto or off
Focus distance • Auto/Macro: 8cm - ∞ (w), 80cm - ∞ (t)
• Close Focus enabled: 1cm - 20cm
Metering • Multi-Pattern
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity

• Auto
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• 3200

Exposure compensation ± 2EV in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing +/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0 EV
Shutter speed • Auto: 1/4 - 1/1,000 sec
• Program Auto: 1 sec- 1/1,000 sec
Aperture F3.5 -F4.4
Modes • Auto Adjustment
• Easy Shooting
• Program Auto
• Movie
Scene modes • High Sensitivity
• Twilight
• Twilight Portrait
• Soft Snap
• Landscape
• Beach
• Snow
• Fireworks
• Hi-speed Shutter
• Smile Shutter
• Underwater
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent 1 (White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Fluorescent 2 (Natural White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Fluorescent 3 (Day White Fluorescent Lighting)
• Incandescent
• Flash
• Underwater White Balance Mode (Auto, Underwater 1, Underwater 2, Flash)

Self timer 2 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting Approx 1.6 fps, 10 shots
Flash • Auto
• Flash On
• Slow Syncro
• Flash Off
• Red-Eye Reduction
Flash range • 10cm - 3.5m (w), 80cm - 2.7m (t) (ISO Auto)
• Up to 7.2m (w), 5.5m (t) (ISO 3200)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 3.5“ Touch-sensitive Hybrid TFT LCD
• 16:9 aspect ratio
• Approx.230,000 pixels
• Approx. 100% coverage
Connectivity • AV out (Composite, 1080i component with optional cable)
• USB 2.0 High Speed
• DC input
• All in/out via Multi Use Terminal
Print compliance • Pictbridge
• DPOF
• PIM III
• EXIF Print
Storage • Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo (High Speed), Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo card
• Approx 15MB internal memory
Power • NF-FD1 Li-ion battery
• Charger included
Weight (No batt) 149 g (5.3 oz)
Dimensions 94 x 59.3 x 21.4 mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 0.8 in)