Sony Cyber Shot DSC TX9 Review

The Cyber Shot is a series of digital cameras that are manufactured by the reputed company, Sony. The Cyber Shot range of cameras are well known for the employment of the company’s proprietary Info Lithium battery pack, overall design and the trademark Carl Zeiss lenses. All the cameras falling under the Cyber Shot category support the Memory Stick and the Memory Stick Pro Duo flash memory. Some of the cameras that belong to the higher end also support the Compact Flash. The DSC acronym stands for Digital Still Camera. The company has now released the TX9 camera which is a touch screen camera and it is stylish.

Specifications

Dimensions: 59.5 x 97.8 x 17.5 mm (H x W x D)

Weight: 149 grams

Colors: Pink, Black

Optical Sensor: CMOS

Resolution: 12.2 megapixels, images with 7152 x 1080 pixels, videos with 1920 x 1080 pixels

Light Sensitivity: Auto ISO, ISO 125 to ISO 3200

White Balance: Automatic, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent Light, Fluorescent H,Daylight, Cloudy, Flash

Lens Aperture: F3.5 to F6.3

Display: 3.5 inches, LCD, 12.2 megapixel resolution, touch screen

Zoom: 8x digital zoom and 4x optical zoom

Focal Length: 25 mm to 100 mm

Ports: HDMI port and USB port

Storage type:  Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, Memory Stick Pro Duo  Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro

Memory: 32 MB internal memory

Battery: lithium ion, rechargeable, 230 shots or 115 minutes of video capture

Price: $399.99

Design and Features

The DSC TX9 has the same aesthetics as the other slim line cameras in the TX series. The TX9 has a sliding type of front panel made of metal. This sliding panel covers the 4x optical zoom lens. The lens is capable of zooming from within and hence none of the parts protrude from the camera. The lens is about 25 mm at the wide end and otherwise it is not remarkable. The lens can open to about a maximum aperture of f 3.5 to f 6.3 for the wide and the telephoto extremes.

The camera has a slim shutter, a power button and a smallest zoom rocker at the top. The other features on the top panel prove that it is a camera that is capable of recording high definition videos of 1080 pixels in the MPEG 4 or the AVHCD format. The sensor used in the TX9 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels and it is equipped with the Sony Exmor R technology. This technology allows the camera to provide good low light shots and speedy performance. Swiveling the camera around reveals a glorious 3.5 inch touch screen display. This display has a resolution of 921,000 dots per inch.

The touch screen cameras have the tap to focus feature in them. The TX9 is no exception and it also has this feature. But the camera lacks a touch screen shutter release. The users will have to press the physical button in order to capture the image. The shooting modes can be accessed through the green colored mode command button on the top left corner of the display. It opens an interface with a list of selections such as 3D shooting, scene selection, background defocus, program, movie mode, iSweep panorama, superior auto and intelligent auto. The superior auto feature captures up to 6 shots in a quick succession in order to reduce the noise and increase the dynamic range. The difference between the superior auto and the standard automatic mode is minimal. The package includes a dock that has the HDMI out port, USB port, DC input and a stereo AV out port.

All Things 3D

The 3D imaging feature is slowly permeating the market of cameras. The Sony is the first company to use the 3D sweep panorama technology that is also used in the interchangeable lens camera, the NEX5 of Sony. The TX9 features a couple of main 3D shooting modes. The first one is the 3D panorama sweep. This mode constructs the images by panning the camera across an already set axis. The second one is the sweep multiple axis mode that captures up to 15 shots across a frame at about various angles. When the camera is tilted in the playback mode, it stimulates the effect of a 3D image. This mode works effectively when it is used on the images with strong background and foreground elements. But in the real life usage, it does not work proper with most of the examples.

Image Quality

The images that are taken on the twilight setting appear to be good even at reduced resolution and they have slight color shift. Similar to the other cameras from Sony, the images taken at the low levels of ISO appear to be over processed to some extent. The TX9 produces impressive colors along with punchy hues in the green and blue channels without making them appear unnatural. Some of the images do suffer from over processing. The lens is however capable of resolving a lot of details. It also maintains the details and sharpness rather than producing some smeary results at the high levels of ISO. The built in flash creates uneven illumination over the subjects and there is the presence of a slight degree of chromatic aberration.  The barrel distortion that occurs at the wide end is particularly noticeable. The stylish touch screen camera, TX9 mostly delivers on the promised image quality.

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