Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T9

Summary: Sony's ultra thin and ultra stylish T series Cyber-shot is back with the 6-megapixel DSCT9.

  • Editors' rating:
    0.0
  • User rating:
  • RRP:
    USD $499.95
    AUD $799.00
Sony shakes up the digital camera scene with an ultracompact that won't.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T9
As the latest addition to its T series, Sony's Cyber Shot DSC-T9 continues the tradition of ultra-compact, eye-catching cameras. Although not known for their groundbreaking innovation, the DSC-T9 adds new functionality as well as style -- unlike the DSC-T3 which improved the DSC-T1's looks and not much else.

Design
Measuring 89.7mm by 54.9mm by 20.6mm and weighing 159 grams, the T9 is compact but rather chunky compared to earlier models in the T series. Available in matt black or brushed stainless steel, it also looks remarkably similar to the T5 (available in silver or red only). The built-in lens is protected by a sliding cover which also turns the power on when opened (and off when closed). Buttons are laid out neatly along the right-hand side of the camera's back -- the only real estate not taken up by the comparatively large LCD. The usual 4-way navigational buttons are surrounded by the 'delete' button (for quick disposal of unwanted shots), the 'slideshow' button (see Features) and Menu button (used to access the software options). Protruding from the right hand side of the body is an eyehook to attach a wrist strap which we felt deflected from the camera's streamlined design, especially since we did not receive a strap with our review model.

Features
The DSC-T9 boasts a 2.5-inch LCD -- a size that is quickly becoming a standard feature on compact models, but still looks quite impressive given the miniscule size of this Sony snapshot shooter. The 6-megapixel CCD and 3x optical zoom are on par with other cameras in its class, as are the selection of scene modes (10 choices including Twilight, Fireworks, High-speed shutter and Landscape).

Accommodating the Memory Stick Duo and PRO Duo storage types, the DSC-T9 also includes an impressive 58MB of internal memory, a generous amount compared to the 16MB or so usually built into compact models. Using the highest resolution, this allows for approximately 19 shots. Sony's sleek design usually impresses enough to be slightly forgiving when it comes to performance -- especially image quality -- so it's a nice improvement to see image stabilisation added to the T9 -- a first for the T series.

Another innovation is the slideshow function, accessible by a dedicated button to the right of the 4-way navigation and complete with transitions and background audio.

Performance
We were impressed with the T9's improved image quality and stabilisation although we still wound up with more blurry pictures than we'd like. The burst mode performed well, as did the night shot -- providing clearer pictures than we expected from such a narrow lens (35mm-film-equivalent range of 38mm to 114mm, aperture of f/3.5 to f/4.3).

The sliding lens cover proved quite convenient, though a "lock" or "hold" switch would be useful to stop the camera turning on when inside a bag or pocket.

Video quality is decent -- once again, especially given the size of the unit, and audio was captured quite well. While recording or playing a slideshow, the navigational buttons double as volume controls. The output of the background music was rather tinny -- though we aren't sure if this was due to the quality of the preload tracks or the speaker (probably the latter).

Overall, the T9 packs a lot of punch into a tiny package, and despite a few quirks with the design we found it to be a very attractive and easy to use snapshot -- but definitely for happy snaps and casual users only.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T9
Company: Sony
Price: AU$799

Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
Enclosure Color silver
Available Body Colors black, silver
Sensor Resolution 6.0 Megapixel
Optical Sensor Type Super HAD CCD
Total Pixels 6,180,000 pixels pixels
Effective Sensor Resolution 6,000,000 pixels pixels
Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"
Optical Zoom 3 x
Digital Zoom 2 x
Image Stabilizer optical (Super Steady Shot)
Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 5
Digital Video Format MPEG-1
Image Recording Format JPEG
AV Interfaces composite video
Point-and-shoot highlights A slim profile makes this camera easy to carry. Video capture ability makes this camera ideal for social functions or vacation shots.
Exposure & White Balance
Light Sensitivity ISO 400
Exposure Metering spot
Exposure Modes automatic
Shooting Programs snow
Special Effects Black & White
White Balance automatic
White Balance Presets cloudy
Max Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec
Min Shutter Speed 2 sec
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 steps
Lens System
Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 38 - 114mm mm
Focus Adjustment manual
Min Focus Range 19.7 in
Macro Focus Range 0.4 in - 19.7 in
Zoom Adjustment motorized drive
Features aspherical lens
Camera Flash
Camera Flash built-in flash
Flash Modes forced mode
Features AF illuminator
Effective Flash Range 3.9 in - 9 ft
Additional Features
Self Timer Delay 10 sec
Additional Features histogram display
Display
Resolution 230,400 pixels
Display Features built-in
Microphone
Microphone Operation Mode mono
Connections
Memory Card Slot Memory Stick PRO Duo card
Software
Software Sony Picture Package
System Requirements for PC Connection
Operating System Support MS Windows XP
Peripheral Devices CD-ROM drive
Miscellaneous
Included Accessories battery charger
Body Material stainless steel
Battery
Battery Type Sony NP-FT1, Sony NP-FT1
Details 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included ), 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 680 mAh ( included )
Memory / Storage
RAM Installed 58 MB
Memory Card Slot Memory Stick PRO Duo card
Supported Memory Cards Memory Stick PRO Duo
Included Memory Card 58 MB
Image Storage Fine JPEG 2816 x 2112 : 42 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 2816 x 2112 : 79 - with 128MB card
Fine JPEG 2816 x 1872 : 42 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 2816 x 1872 : 79 - with 128MB card
Fine JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 82 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 149 - with 128MB card
Fine JPEG 1920 x 1080 : 133 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 1920 x 1080 : 246 - with 128MB card
Fine JPEG 1280 x 960 : 202 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 1280 x 960 : 306 - with 128MB card
Fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 790 - with 128MB card
Normal JPEG 640 x 480 : 1975 - with 128MB card
Video Capture MPEG - 640 x 480 - 30 fps
MPEG - 640 x 480 - 16.6 fps
MPEG - 160 x 112 - 8.3 fps, MPEG - 640 x 480 - 30 fps
MPEG - 640 x 480 - 16.6 fps
MPEG - 160 x 112 - 8.3 fps
Manufacturer Warranty
Service & Support 1 year warranty
Dimensions & Weight
Width 3.5 in
Depth 0.8 in
Height 2.2 in
Weight 0.4 lbs
Main Features
Image stabilizer feature Optical stabilization helps prevent blurry pictures, especially for handheld cameras at slow shutter speeds or when using high optical zoom. This camera utilizes built-in Super SteadyShot stabilization to assist in taking sharper pictures.

Topics: Hardware, Security

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