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.
Sony CyberShot DSC-J10: Features
The camera has a 16.1 megapixel sensor and a 4x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 35 - 140mm. There is a substantial 4Gb of internal memory but as there isn't a memory card slot, once it is full there is no way to increase the capacity. To transfer picture and videos to a computer there is a built-in USB arm which plugs in, and charges the battery, without the use of a separate cable.
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
Intelligent Auto Mode
2.7 inch Clear Photo LCD screen
4GB internal memory
Easy Shooting mode
Sony CyberShot DSC-J10: Handling
The Sony CyberShot DSC-J10 feels a bit like a bar of soap and is ideal for those looking for a camera which slips easily into your pocket. The lens is internal therefore the camera doesn't ever get any larger, with the only moving part being the USB connector.
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.
Sony CyberShot DSC-J10: Performance
The camera takes images with excellent colour reproduction and there is plenty of detail in pictures taken at either end of the lens. At the telephoto length there is clearly pincushion distortion, which can be seen in the ISO test pictures as the lines in the charts are bendy. With a minimum focus distance of just 1cm it is possible to take great macro shots.
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.
ISO80, 1/4, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO100, 1/5, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO200, 1/10, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO400, 1/20, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO800, 1/40, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO1600, 1/80, f/4.5, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
ISO3200, 1/125, f/5.3, 23mm (35mm equiv: 129mm)
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.
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.
Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting, ISO100, 1/4, f/3.5, 8mm (35mm equiv: 43mm)
The J10 takes good pictures with excellent colour reproduction and detail in images at both ends of the lens. Sadly it lacks many features which you can find on many digital compact cameras available for less than the price of the J10.
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: Pros
Easy 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: Cons
No 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