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Sony Cybershot T300 Concise Review

March 2008 | By Richard Butler
Buy on Amazon.com From $399.99

Review based on a production Sony Cybershot DSC-T300

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)


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2008 dpreview.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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