Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70

The Sony Cyber-shot T70 is a classy compact with a 3-inch touch screen, extremely fast shutter response and decent image quality.


7.2
CNET Rating
7.4
User Rating

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Design
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70 is one classy compact. Continuing the design aesthetic of previous T-series models, its slim, stylish form utilises a sliding faceplate that protects the lens as well as serving as a way to turn the camera on and off. We reviewed the white version, though the T70 is also available in the more traditional colours of black and silver as well as a fairy floss pink.

While the front of the camera is a spare plain filled solely by the faceplate which hides the lens and flash, the back is even more bare, dominated entirely by the 3-inch touchscreen. We're starting to see more cameras move up to a 3-inch display from the standard 2.5-inches and there are already a few which sport 3.5-inch screens, like Sony's Cyber-shot T200.

Those unfamiliar or unimpressed with a touchscreen interface may be hesitant to give it a go -- we haven't been a fan of the touchscreen cameras we've seen so far -- but with the advent of devices such as the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, they're becoming more mainstream and the technology is improving. Our biggest gripes are the constant fingerprints and often having to drill down too far in the menus, but we think the T70 does quite well.

There are only three external buttons on the T70, the power button, shutter release, playback toggle and zoom lever which sit across the top. Given the slimness of the T70, these buttons are quite tiny and might be too cramped and fiddly to use unless your fingers are equally as small.

Features
In terms of resolution, the T70's 8 megapixels won't turn heads, especially considering the increasingly large resolutions we're beginning to see. The 3x optical and 6x digital zoom are also nothing to write home about but fairly standard on a compact of this size.

Sony has crammed a hefty set of features into this puny package, including optical image stabilisation, face detection and in-camera editing tools like resizing and red-eye correction. There are three exposure bracketing modes and 10 scene modes including Soft Snap which tries to mimics a dSLR's depth of field by blurring the background, and a high sensitivity mode up to ISO 3200. Although the higher ISO may help shooting in low light, the noise generally makes anything over ISO 800 unusable.

Probably the most notable feature -- or at least the most unique, is the Smile Shutter function which detects your subject's smile and automatically releases the shutter to take a perfectly poised photo. Or so it claims. You can set the level of intensity to low, medium or high but what exactly does Sony deem a "smile"? Is it a smirk? A grin? Do you need to bare teeth?

In our tests, we managed to capture some smiles, though there were several other facial distortions that fooled the camera and some award-winning smiles that failed to register. As this is the first implementation of the technology, it should improve but as such, we wouldn't count on it though it's entertaining to play around with.

The touchscreen also makes way for some fun features we've seen implemented before -- there's a slew of borders and "stamps" to decorate your photos with, as well as the simple pleasure of scribbling over your friends faces with the stylus Sony dubs a "paint pen".

In playback mode, you can tap on a photo to zoom in on it and slide your finger (or the stylus) across to scroll across the image.

The T70 uses Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Pro Duo storage which is pricier than most other memory cards and means you're stuck using a Sony unless you want to fork out for different card formats. The T70 does have 31MB of built-in memory but that won't go very far, especially if you shoot using the full 8-megapixel resolution.

Performance
Large screens (and touch interfaces) generally suck the juice out of the battery considerably faster than those without but the T70 has staying power -- we filled our 512MB Memory Stick Pro Duo card several times before it needed a recharge.

The shutter lag on the T70 is practically non-existent. Sony boasts a 0.3 second shutter release time and we aren't about to argue. The burst mode wasn't nearly as impressive -- we found the single shot mode to be almost on par -- and thanks to the speedy shutter response the camera will shoot as fast as your finger can hit it.

Image quality
The Cyber-shot T70 takes nice photos. The automatic white balance is pleasing and colours are reproduced pretty accurately, though skin tones lean towards the warmer end of the spectrum. The narrow lens and paltry zoom don't leave much room for barrel-distortion which is another plus for the T70.

Overall, the Cyber-shot T70 is a sexy, capable camera with a lot of useful features and some fun ones thrown in for good measure. Whether you're a fan of touchscreens will probably be the deal-breaker for this snapshooter, but it might be worth a look as it's the best one we've seen so far.

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Lazin posted a comment   

Had this camera for just over a year and now takes pictures over exposed. Sony repair is $589 for a camera I paid $285 with a printer docking station. The problem is the C board requires replacing. Sony have offered to pay half of the repair but I think they should pay for all of it. I too will never buy Sony again.

 

Dezerah posted a comment   

The Good:Good Photo Capture

The Bad:Don't waste your money buying sony camera, the quality is poor... I'm facing problem now, and it's not only me... heaps of people complaining, can't take a photo because it's vibrate everytime i use it. The repair cost is about the same price i bought the item a year ago.

Don't waste your money buying sony camera, the quality is poor... I'm facing a big problem now, and it's not only me... heaps of people complaining, can't take a photo because it's vibrate everytime i use it. The repair cost is about the same price i bought the item a year ago. Very dissapointed.

 

DALAPETUS posted a comment   

The Good:Simple, stylish

The Bad:Lack of SteadyShot, Expensive

Overall this is a good little camera that has all the necessary features one would expect for a hobbyist.
I've had great success in low light and since I purchased a mini-tripod, I've had no issues with focus. It is quite expensive but in my opinion, Sony continue to improve their products without sacrificing quality.

 

upset person posted a comment   

The Good:very stylish camera

The Bad:mine never worked

bought camera never worked. set it to sony , came back still did not work. sony told me i now had damage that would cost me $488.00. They told me now me lcd screen was cracked. It was not when I sent it to them. I will never again buy a sony product.

 

dalapetus posted a reply   

Dear Upset Person,
You didn't mention which store you bought the camera from - I would think it was a salesperson problem rather than a Sony issue. I've had many Sony products and never had any probs. Sometimes you just get a lemon! Next time you have a problem with ANY product, contact the actual manufacturer to enable you to "have an angle" if you need to be refunded or exchanged.
Good Luck.
Dalapetus

josh
1
Rating
 

josh posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:everything about it

nothing to say. dont waste ur money on this product

 

MokiSoki posted a comment   

The Good:stylish and the choise of coulers

The Bad:u dont get what u paid 4

big mistake trusting the brand name. i had this camera when it first came to market probably the first at SA without reading a few reviews of it, it comes with some great features but when it comes to quality it lacks quite alot. *blurry most of the times, at low lights i couldnt even compare the image quality with ma old 5 MP olympus camera which i bought 4 years ago. but other than that at a sunny day it takes quite good shots.

 

annieC posted a comment   

The Good:stylish and sexy

The Bad:picture goes blury alot of timess.

Kinda of disapointed since I paid about $500 for it.

 

zac posted a comment   

The Good:Compact, stylish

The Bad:cannot show the date

I particularly called the Customer Center, and was advised that DSC T70 does not show date.
Disappointed.

 

Harryblue posted a comment   

The Good:Very responsive in day light, face detection and sharp pictures and stylish

The Bad:shutter lag in night

Its an awesome little camera, it has loads of features but it will take sometime getting used to the controls (as its one of the first screen cameras) I know that a better model is out now in market but I bought the camera well over a year ago, honestly no complaints, I get compliments for cameras looks and features even to date.


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User Reviews / Comments  Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70

  • Lazin

    Lazin

    "Had this camera for just over a year and now takes pictures over exposed. Sony repair is $589 for a camera I paid $285 with a printer docking station. The problem is the C board requires replacing...."

  • Dezerah

    Dezerah

    "Don't waste your money buying sony camera, the quality is poor... I'm facing a big problem now, and it's not only me... heaps of people complaining, can't take a photo because it's vibrate everytim..."

  • DALAPETUS

    DALAPETUS

    "Overall this is a good little camera that has all the necessary features one would expect for a hobbyist.
    I've had great success in low light and since I purchased a mini-tripod, I've had no..."

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