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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 10.1 MP Digital Camera - Red
(3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
DSC-T700 is a SOLID performer!!!
Dec 18, 2008 (Updated Dec 22, 2008)
Review by markharris
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:LCD Screen, Solid, 4GB Internal memory, Face & Smile detection
Cons:Should come with smart battery, Some low-light noise, No Cradle. Touchscreen fingerprints easily.
The Bottom Line: This is the most complete packaging of ALL of the features imagined in this form-factor, battery life, optical zoon, face & smile, great LCD screen, touchscreen, etc. GET IT!
OK, Sony has been in the camera business a long time. They usually have parity with most other units in their same class. This time it is different. The T700 goes way ahead of the pack in that they pack all of the latest features found in ALL cameras into a single package that is not only the thinnest in the market (1/2-inch thick), but also highly styled with the brushed stainless steel look and feel of the very high tech. They have combined this VERY solid brushed metal housing, with an irresistable bright 3.5" LCD touchscreen and it's easy to use menu system, 4X Optical zoom, and besting the other competitors, including scene, face and smile detection! (Yes, you get a VERY intelligent composition engine that really is looking at what is displayed and then sets the camera accordingly). Oh yeah, it's a 10.1 Megapixel camera, but these days, it is a given that you'll find 8-10 megapixel elements at this price range. This element gives you the ability to shoot 11x14 enlargements with no visible artifacts. In fact, since I don't do 11x14 enlargements, I usually set the camera to a lower file size (5MB or 7MB) to save space and download times, storage on my PC, etc.
Recommend this product?
This unit is a solid performer! I have had nearly 15 different digital pockets over the last 12 years, and some are better than others. It's NOT about the megapixels, nor the features. That's what everyone looks for, but let me assure you, it's about the usability and quality. It's all about balance. (I had an older Olympus D280 perhaps 10 years ago that had a tremendous set of specs, but the USABILITY was horrible! What good is a feature if you can't find it when the baby takes it's first step or the president walks by you?).
The physical unit is solid. I find that this aspect of a pocket digital is usually related to the amount of plastic used in the design. This one is ALL metal! The steel face slider is both cosmetic and very functional. No flimsy feel or drag in it's slide operation. It is there when you need it, and won't break off. When you slide it open, it turns the camera on, and just a few seconds and you are ready for your first shot. The whole unit feels like your are holding a single solid piece, rather than a combination of tiny little parts screwed together.
The lens is a nice 4X optical zoom, with easy to reach Wide-Tele lever (up on the top right corner). You won't have to fumble around to try and adjust the zoom with the level right where your finger sits. It also has a SteadyShot feature to avoid subject blur when shooting. Works very well and accounts for a bit of shaky hands, etc. Previously, I had been using last year's Casio EX-S770 (a great camera in all respects), and I have to say that the placement of the W-T on this Sony T700 is clearly more optimal and less intrusive when actually using the feature.
The T700's LCD touchscreen is the highest resolution and brightness on the planet. Period. With over 900,000 pixels, it has over 4 TIMES the resolution of the others (they usually have 150,000-200,000 pixels or so). What does that mean to YOU? Real detail in the viewfinder, and this is NOT just a numbers game. If you compare side by side the T700 LCD screen to ANY other Digital Camera, you will easily see the difference, immediately! The images are crisp and detailed. What you see is what you get. Nothing is hidden on the screen, EVERY detail of the picture is clearly visible in BRIGHT detail. And yes, just like the new Nikon S60, it has a really nice touchscreen for all features and settings. You can even touch the screen on the subject you wish to primary focus on during the shoot and you'll see the focus element kick in and adjust to THAT person or object. Couldn't be simpler.
Did I forget to mention 4GB memory? YES! Imagine that. Sony must have considered that the FIRST thing we all do when buying a new camera is ADD a really big memory card- at the same time. I remember that the first thing I did last year was I added a 2GB SDHC for the Casio S770 I mentioned above. So ANY digital camera really costs 10-15% more when adding the required memory. The game has changed! No need to buy a memory stick for this one! With 4GB built-in, you will never run out. I guess Sony finally realized that the prices for flash memory have dropped SO low that perhaps it is time to consider it a reasonable feature for this high-end unit. It just comes with the 4GB memory built in, soldered on the PCB inside. Shoot away! Oh yeah, it also has a slot for a Duo stick, but that is purely optional. 4GB will yield thousands of pictures that easily stay in the camera until you are ready to off-load them to your PC. (One note that they make very clear in the manual is that the internal memory and Duo stick do not play at all together. You need to choose one or the other, but not both. In fact, you can NOT even copy/move images stored on the internal memory to the stick or vs versa. (Not a big deal, but good to know). If the built-in memory and the hi-res LCD isn't to your liking, they offer an otherwise nearly identical T77 for a bit less money, but I think you should resist the urge to save a few bucks and go for this T700, since you'll want to add the memory Duo stick to the T77 anyway and you'll really love the hi-res LCD screen which the T77 does NOT have nor can it be added!
Smile and Face detection work as stated. Really. This is NO gimmick. It's kinda fun to watch it work, practicing was a blast!. It can be set to look for faces, look for smiles, and look for eyes to be open. If there is any question about eyes being open, it can actually take TWO shot in rapid succession to try and capture the eye open as well.
Comes with a base level LI-on Battery, which powers typical usage for 200 shots or so. The LCD screen shows a remaining battery graphic which has limited detail on the actual amount remaining. I replaced it with the recommended smart $20 NFD1 battery and get a bit more usage, and a digital 'Time Remaining' indication within the camera screen itself. (Yes, the battery has some measurement chip in it which talks to the camera to calculate remaining "time left" to display on the LCD instead of a graphic representation of the amount of battery power remaining!)
If you are looking for a great camera for your shirt pocket or purse, a techie or fashion statement, a cool 'Wow Factor' and a camera that takes GREAT shots, get this one!!! Images are perfectly clear in good lighting or outdoors, and above average indoors. It is truely a shirt-pocket sized camera, maybe 6 ounces or so. You will hardly remember you have it with you, and you'll never have to fiddle with memory cards again!
Amount Paid (US$): 335
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use
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