So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T70
- Touch screen, good noise performance
- Chromatic aberration issues, some haloing in high contrast areas
Another solid touch screen offering from Sony, the Cyber-Shot DSC-T70 is a slightly slimmed down version of the T200. It offers relatively good quality pictures and combines them with a touch screen interface and a slick design.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
It seems like touch screens are everywhere these days. Having just finished looking at Sony's latest Cyber-Shot digital camera, the T200, complete with touch screen, we moved on to their next new model, the DSC-T70, only to discover it too sports one. Indeed it is basically a cheaper, smaller version of the T200, which is by no means a bad thing. It captures some decent pictures, has a nice feature set and the touch screen interface is definitely a positive departure from standard controls.
As with its big brother, the T70 sports an 8.1-megapixel sensor and while its pictures aren't perfect, they do the job. They were generally quite crisp and although there was some minor fringing it won't be problematic unless you're making sizeable enlargements. There was however a noticeable amount of haloing in high contrast areas and this was scattered right across the picture, instead of being confined to the corners as we usually see. Imatest gave the unit a score of 1538 for sharpness, which is a good but not outstanding result.
Unfortunately its performance in Imatest's chromatic aberration test was far worse, with the T70 achieving a result of 0.187 per cent. There was significant haloing towards the edges of our pictures which was far more prominent than on most other compact models.
That said, it did well in our other tests. Image noise was kept to a minimum, with the unit scoring 0.45 per cent in Imatest at ISO 100. It scaled well as we increased the sensitivity and everything up to ISO 400 is perfectly usable. Meanwhile colour response was good; the T70 produced vivid colours that tended to be a little overexposed. The white balance presets did a decent job of balancing everything, but there was a little too much grey evident, particularly in shades of blue.
Of course the really nifty thing about this model is the touch screen, and as with the T200 it operates very well. It is perhaps a bit more sensitive than the T200 screen, but it is also a little smaller, measuring just 3in. The entire interface is on the screen and Sony has designed it well enough that even those with large fingers should have no trouble navigating. It also allows you to do funky things like pick a focus point simply by tapping, and zoom in and out of your shots by touching the point you wish to enlarge.
You may think a touch screen interface comes at the expense of features, but thankfully that isn't the case here. The T70 packs in all the usual options, including white balance presets (but no custom mode), ISO sensitivities up to a massive 3200, a variety of metering and focus modes, as well as burst and bracketing functions. A standard 3x optical zoom is also included.
The design is typical of Sony's T series, with a slide down lens cover and a smooth, curved aesthetic. It is slim enough to fit comfortable into a pocket and comes in a variety of colours including black, pink, silver and white.
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