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Sony DSC T500 Digital Camera Review

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Category: Compact Cameras
Product: Sony DSC T500
Price: £179.00

Sony DSC T500 digital camera review - The Sony DSC T500 is a very stylish, pocket digital camera. It has 10 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom lens. It has a few extra features when compared to more standard pocket cameras such as a 3.5 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and the ability to adjust flash intensity. David Tymon from Cameras.co.uk has reviewed.

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Sony DSC T500 FrontWhy Buy the Sony DSC T500?

There are three big selling points of the DSC T500. The first is the stylish design. Next is the touch controlled LCD screen. Finally is its ability to take High Definition movies.





Image Quality

Sony DSC T500 Outdoors 1 Sony DSC T500 Outdoors 2
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)
This is a good enough start although I can already see the DSC T500 is unlikely to match up to the best pocket cameras when it comes to picture quality. Colours are vivid and focusing is o.k. without being anything like pin sharp. I can also see a loss of definition in some areas of the sky. This is likely to be caused by the number of megapixels squeezed onto a relatively small sensor.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)
My next photo is similar in quality to the first one. Focusing is again good enough, but there are better cameras out there. I can also see small amounts of noise in the picture in places. The corners of shots taken when zoom is not being used have a tendency to be darker.

 
Sony DSC T500 Outdoors 3 Sony DSC T500 Building
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)
With the lens fully zoomed in this is an average shot. Parts of the photo away from the centre become a softer than I would like to see.


 
Outdoor 4 (Building)
Based on my four outdoor scenic shots I would give the DSC T500 8 out of 10 for focusing. You should not really see any issues if you are printing at snapshot size up to say 7 by 5 inches. After that you may start to notice a clearer difference between this camera and those able to produce sharper shots.
Sony DSC T500 Outdoor Portrait Sony DSC T500 Indoor Portrait
Outdoor Portrait
The skin tones have a natural look to them in this photo. Out of all the test shots I take this is probably the easiest one for a camera. I can see no reason why you should not be able to produce pleasing portrait shots in good light.
Indoor Portrait with Flash
This shot works well. The DSC T500 does a good job of retaining fairly natural colours, despite the flash being used. The flash does not over power the photo.
Sony DSC T500 Indoor Portrait Sony DSC T500 Colours
Indoor Portrait without Flash
Although the conditions for this shot were quite bright noise does show in the photo. This suggests it may be hard to take any noise free indoor photos unless you use flash.
 
Colours
Sony digital cameras produce vivid colours and the DSC T500 is no exception. I like the look of the scenic photos I have taken and I am also pleased with the natural look to the portrait shots.
Sony DSC T500 Macro  
Macro
If you look closely you will see a reflection of the word "Sony" on the front of the watch. This is a problem you could find when taking close up shots of reflective objects. Close up shots are not really a strength of this camera, but then again if macro photography is something very important to you, you are likely to be looking for a different type of camera.
 

ISO 400 and ISO 1600 - Noise appears before you get to ISO 400. One thing that concerns me is that noise appears quite clearly in the corners of the shot even at ISO 400. At ISO 1600 a lot of picture quality has been lost.

Overall - It is true that if you are looking for a pocket sized digital camera then you will struggle to find the ultimate in terms of picture quality. Even so I feel that although the DSC T500 can take a decent snap there are better pocket sized cameras around.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times - Shutter delay times are quite good. A single photo scored 0.29 seconds and five 10.44 seconds. With flash on the times were a credible 0.5 seconds for a single shot and 15.28 seconds for five. To turn the camera on and take a picture took 2.74 seconds.

Style - This is a very stylish camera. I like the sliding lens design and you should have no problems slipping it into a pocket. It is available in black, silver and red.

Sony DSC T500 TopDimensions - 97 x 59.3 x 21.4mm

Weight - 155g

Batteries - Lithium ion. Sony estimates you should be able to take around 180 shots between charges.

Memory Cards -
Sony have built in a measly 4MB of memory. That is roughly enough for 1 photo and 2 seconds of HD movie footage. I already had some Memory Stick Duo cards, but was disappointed to find they were not compatible with shooting HD movies with this camera and I had to buy a newer card made by Sony.

Ease of Use Rating - The DSC T500 is easy enough to use. I think the touch screen makes the camera more intuitive, even if I am not convinced it speeds up the process of selecting options. Perhaps my fingers are just too big!

Sony DSC T500 BackPoints I Like - Design and style - touch screen control

Where it Could Improve - Photos could be that bit better

Alternatives -
If picture quality is more important to you than some of the more attention grabbing features then try taking a look at the Canon IXUS 90 IS.

David Tyman's verdict - I think the Sony DSC T500 will really appeal to people who like great looking gadgets. The HD quality movies and touch sensitive screen are more likely to be the selling points than the picture quality. The picture quality is o.k., but it is mid range rather than anything special.

David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk

The Sony DSC-T500 costs around £179 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Sony DSC-T500


 



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