Sony DSC-T900

Started Apr 2, 2009 | Discussions thread
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AustinTed Contributing Member • Posts: 618
Sony DSC-T900

I haven't been around the Sony forum in a while. I'm a bit shocked at how slow things have gotten here. Maybe there will be some new life with the new models hitting the market now.

I just bought one of the new T900s. I previously had a T100, but that camera has "disappeared." The T900 can conceptually be thought of as a merge of the T500 and the T700.

I have a DSLR for use when ultimate quality matters. I chose the T series as a second camera for ultimate convenience. I never expected much from the T series cameras in terms of image quality, but the T100 exceeded my expectations and the T900 has exceeded them even more.

In addition to taking still pictures, I was also interested in video capability. I had the requirement of zoom and image stabilization being supported while shooting video. Those requirements rule out most of the cameras on the market. Of those few that remain, the T900 was the choice for me due to its small size, HD video capability, and stereo sound support. In terms of size, the T900 is even smaller than the T100. The decision process that led me to the T100 last time also led me to the T900 this time. My runner up was the Canon SD880, but I decided against that camera in large part due to the far inferior video support.

Although often maligned in reviews, I also like the non-telescoping lens of the T series and Sony probably has one of the best implementations of that. Sure it may be optically slower (on the wide end) than a telescoping lens, but it is small, quiet, and less prone to damage. The T900 has a 4x zoom as compared to the 5x zoom on the T100, but adds smart zoom support.

I found many of the controls better and easier to use on the T900 as compared to the T100. The touch screen is very usable and the camera has a physical toggle to switch from still to video mode making it much quicker to change than on the T100. The T900 has smile detection in addition to the face detection of the T100. At first I thought it was a dumb idea, but now after using it I think it's cool. The auto scene selection of the T900 should also be helpful, but I haven't had a chance to try it much yet. The T900 also has an editing feature that will let you make someone smile after the fact; this has been pretty entertaining.

Video support on the T900 is far and away better than the T100 given the 720p support. I just did one quick indoor video under ambient light and was impressed with the quality. I would guess that it is on par with the T500. I'll refrain from calling it downright amazing until I have had more time with it.

I have only taken some indoor (not worthy of posting) still shots. So far I am happy with the results and find the image quality to be better than the T100. But this is only on a very limited sample of pictures, so don't draw any conclusions yet The T900 firmware seems to behave a bit differently than the T100 on flash pictures as well - it appears to be less aggressive in driving up the ISO and the results are better.

As far as low light goes, everything up to ISO 200 looks pretty good. ISO 400 looks a little grainy at large screen sizes. ISO 1600 is ok for small web prints but is muddied by nose reduction when viewed large. The fact that ISO 1600 works at all on a camera this small is amazing anyway.

So far I am very happy with this camera and find it a joy to use. I wouldn't use this as my only camera, but am very happy with the capabilities it offers. I will post some pictures when I have some suitable samples.

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