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The Sony CyberShot DSC-J10 was released in January 2011 and has an unusual design as well as 4Gb of internal memory. It is available in white, blue and black and costs £158.99.
The camera has Intelligent Auto (iAUTO) mode which sets the settings to take the optimum images in varying conditions or you can choose from the scene modes available, including: High Sensitivity, Soft Snap, Landscape, Twilight Portrait, Twilight, Gourmet, Pet, Beach, Snow and Fireworks. There is also P mode and SteadyShot, which shoots with blur reduction. Panoramic images are taken using a sweep method, the camera stitches together a series of high-speed burst images when moving the camera left, right, up or down.
Video recording is only 640 x 480 VGA.
- 16.1 megapixels CCD sensor
- 4x optical zoom lens
- Sweep Panorama
- Intelligent Auto Mode
- 2.7 inch Clear Photo LCD screen
- 4GB internal memory
- Face Detection
- Smile Shutter
- Easy Shooting mode
- In-camera retouching
The buttons are well laid out with seperate buttons for the shutter release and zoom button rather than the usual layout with the zoom rocket around the shutter release. There is a dedicated button to switch between the picture, video and panoramic modes.
The menus are clear and easy to navigate, without options which are likely to confuse beginners. The battery life is rated by CIPA at 210 shots and during testing the camera didn't show any signs of not being able to achieve this number. As the camera is regularly plugged in to download the images the camera gets charge more often.
The camera is ready to take pictures within a couple of seconds of switching on and is reasonably quick to focus. In Burst mode it is able to shoot at 1.4fps.
|Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/320, f/5.3, 6.2mm (35mm equiv: 35mm)||Full optical zoom, ISO80, 1/250, f/7, 24.7mm (35mm equiv: 140mm)|
|Digital zoom, ISO80, 1/250, f/7, 24.7mm (35mm equiv: 140mm)||Macro, ISO100, 1/30, f/3.5, 6.2mm (35mm equiv: 35mm)
Noise is evident even at ISO80 and ISO100, which steadily worsens through ISO200 and ISO400, where images are starting to lose sharpness and detail although the images produced are still good. When shooting at ISO800 the images are starting to look very noisy. At ISO1600 and ISO3200 the noise is significant and images produced are best used for small prints and the web. Although noise does get bad at the higher levels, the camera manages to retain good colour reproduction.
Below are some example images taken using the J10. The camera takes very pleasing portrait pictures with good skin tones and merely a hint of red-eye. In bright conditions images tended to be a washed out somewhat, which is clearly evident in the landscape picture.
|Portrait, ISO160, 1/60, f/4.1, 17mm (35mm equiv: 98mm)||Beach mode, ISO80, 1/640, f/5.7, 12mm (35mm equiv: 69mm)|
|Landscape, ISO80, 1/200, f/3.5, 6.2mm (35mm equiv: 35mm)||Landscape with building, ISO80, 1/400, f/5.3, 6.2mm (35mm equiv: 35mm)|
The following image was taken using the Sweep Panoramic mode, which is really easy to use and gives excellent results when viewed on the web, but lack detail and aren't suitable for large prints.
|Sweep panoramic, ISO400, 1/4000, f/3.5, 6.2mm (35mm equiv: 35mm)|
The auto white-balance setting does an excellent job and clearly performs well under the lights in our studio. There is nothing to tell between the AWB and incandescent preset under the incandescent lights. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB setting gave the best picture, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta cast in the image.
Video ModeUnfortunately the J10 doesn't have HD video recording and is only 640 x 480 VGA.
The Sony CyberShot DSC-J10 is currently available for £158.99. Other cameras to consider with a built in USB are the GE Create, priced at £169.00, and Samsung PL90 for £111.99. We have reviewed many other compact cameras worth consideration including the: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 for £119.99, Nikon Coolpix S3100 for £99.99 and the Canon IXUS 220 HS for £169.99.
Value For Money
It is very suprising that the camera is unable to shoot full HD videos and there is noise evident in the images even at the lowest ISO setting, but if you are looking for a very compact camera with built-in memory rather than using SD cards then the J10 delivers acceptable results.
Sony CyberShot DSC-J10: ProsEasy to use Sweep Panorama mode
Excellent colour reproduction
Close focus distance of just 1cm
Bulit-in USB connector
Good amount of internal memory
Sony CyberShot DSC-J10: ConsNo HD movies
The lens isn't particularly wide
Poor noise performance
Pincushion distortion at telephoto length
Plenty of cameras with more feature available for less
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Optical zoom||4x optical zoom, 6.2 - 24.7mm (35mm equiv: 35 - 140mm), f/3.5 - 4.6|
|Sensor size||1/2.3 inch|
|Max image size||4608 x 3456|
|Focusing system||9 points|
|Focus points||Centre weighted, spot|
|File types||JPEG, AVCHD|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO80 - 3200|
|Metering types||Multi pattern, centre weighted, spot|
|Exposure compensation||± 2.0EV, 1/3EV step|
|Shutter speed range||2 - 1/1000 sec|
|Monitor||2.7in LCD TFT screen|
|Media type||4GB internal memory|
|Interface||USB 2.0 Hi-Speed|
|Box Contents||USB Charger(AC-UB10/10B), Power cord, Wrist strap, CD-ROM, Dedicated USB connection support cable|
|Size||93.6 x 59.4 x 17.3 mm|