Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T5 review
I owned the predecessor to this camera, the DSC-T1, for 1 year but dropped it in water last week and killed it. I tried drying it out for a few days but when I plugged it into the charger it just got overheated. I liked my DSC-1 and had paid $500 for it so when I was shopping and comparing cameras I was happy to see that Sony upgraded to the DSC-T5 with many improvements in the last year. I got this almost as soon as it hit the stores and paid $345 - more technology for a cheaper price. Here are several reasons I chose this camera again over higher MP rivals and brands:
1 - I love the slim, sleek design and the large 2.5" viewing screen which is larger than most cameras, large or small, provide.
2 - The Carl Zeiss lens takes a very crisp, clear picture with 5.1 MP but you must make minimal adjustments to the built-in configuration with the camera once you take it out of the box. Otherwise, you will see darkened and blurred photos if you use the factory settings.
3 - This camera practically fits in the palm of my hand and it does fit into a shirt pocket or a back seat jeans pocket to go anywhere, and it does go everywhere with me. I do not recommend the back seat pocket though. You can also use the supplied wrist strap for portability (and safety) and you should definitely buy a small, padded protective case.
4- There is no pop out lens, you just flip down the small plate on the face and you have instant power, ready to snap a pic in 2 seconds.
5 - The movie length is only limited to the size of your memory card, unlike most camera that have more MP but are limited to 3 minute movies. Good for when I want to film speeches or mini-movies such as: my 2 nieces having a watermelon eating contest. A 1 GB stick = 12 minute movie. I paid $75 for a 1 GB stick and there is a 2 GB available so far (SanDisk makes a compatible version of the Sony stick and SanDisk is almost half the $)
6 - Even though I killed my DSC-T1, the battery, memory, adapters etc are compatible so I can use them all with the DSC-T5 EXCEPT the docking station from the T1 does not fit the T5.
7 - The DSC-T5 has a faster shutter speed - THANK GOD - because the only think I disliked about the T1 is that, by the time I hit the button to take the picture, there was a 3-4 second delay between the flash and the actual picture being taken. Most people lost their smile thinking that the flash meant the picture had been taken. Sony fixed that problem with the T5
8 - I seriously considered buying a camera with 8, 10, or 12 MP and pretty much decided on the Canon EOS Digital Rebel because a friend who is a professional photographer has it and he loves it, even better than his Nikon. The Canon shutter speed is much faster and I will probably buy it later when I am ready for a professional camera. However, the Canon is bulky and this Sony is so small and sleek it goes everywhere with me, is very light and I love the compact design. I have a small leather pouch that I had with my T1 and the T5 fits fine. It clips on my belt or I throw it in my purse and I am out the door. You can not do that with the Canon Digital Rebel. Make sure to get a camera bag for this camera, it is very delicate. My leather one was $25, it clips on my belt and it holds the camera, extra memory sticks and an extra battery.
9 - The T5 is lighter than my T1 was but the ONLY things I would change are . . . had to be something right- the camera body on the new T5 is very shiny and glares like a mirror in sunlight. The old T1 had a flat silver surface and no glare. Another thing I wish for is - you can not use zoom while in movie mode, but it has a great zoom while in picture mode. The movie screen size can be adjusted and yes, the movie is a little grainy but you see and hear people from 15 feet away with no problem. I would also like to plug the camera into my laptop and store movies directly to my hard drive rather than transferring them later via the supplied cable. However, transfer time from camera to PC is very fast with the supplied USB cable and software and the cable will also plug into your TV for a slide show.
10 - If you have patience, the next generation of this camera is due to hit the shelves in Jan 06 and should have a 6 MP with a flat black body option.
Overall, I like this camera for its convenience and 5.1 MP delivers a very nice photo quality picture. Great convenience.
poor backlight in movie mode when light is low.