Seeing the success of the ultra-slim compact cameras, Sony has decided to release one of its own - the DSC-T1. This 5 mega pixel camera is the size of a pack of cards - but is performance affected by cramming so much into such a small space? We took a look to find out.
Cased in metal, the camera’s biggest asset is the large 2.5” LCD display on the rear of the camera. This achievement isn’t without its downside. Those looking for an optical viewfinder will be disappointed, as the camera doesn’t have one. The front boasts a non-protruding Carl Zeiss lens protected by a sliding cover.
The camera is connects to PC or Mac using a USB2.0 docking station. While this makes for easy and fast connection to a computer, Sony has failed to allow you to directly connect a USB cable. This lack of connection means that if you are hoping to connect it to a friend’s machine, the docking station has to come with you. Throw in the very large and cumbersome power supply unit and you’ve got a camera that’s not as portable as it first appears.
Inside the body, the camera offers 5.1 mega pixels, 8 scene modes and presets for white balance, focuses, ISO settings up to 400 and the usual black & white or sepia effects. The modes do offer some help when taking pictures and the auto mode will adjust the DSC-T1 to the relevant setting for the job at hand.
Images themselves gave mixed results with the DSC-T1 having issues with focusing. This produced pictures that were often slightly blurred - see some of our sample shots. However when the camera got it right, the results were very good, clear, crisp with well balanced colours. The macro mode proved very good, although the camera was very sensitive to camera shake at that range.
If you are looking for a style camera with 5 mega pixels then this is currently the only one out there, however you have to ask whether you really need that many pixels for the job that this camera is likely to be employed for. Canon's Ixus I might have one less mega pixel down, however it comes across as a better camera, plus you get more images for your memory card and faster saving times. In a market that is fast adopting the PC model, more pixels doesn't mean better photographs. There are just too many worrying elements here that put together don't make for a perfect camera.