Sony DSC-T10 Review

 
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Sony DSC-T10 Performance

Compact digital cameras often trade off performance and responsiveness in an attempt to wring a few extra minutes of life out of their tiny batteries. The Sony T10 was a refreshing exception to this trend, offering very nimble performance as well as surprisingly good battery life for such a tiny camera. Shutter lag was particularly impressive, but shot to shot speeds were quite good as well. The only timing parameter that seemed at all sluggish was its continuous-mode speed, at just over one frame per second, for up to five frames in sequence. All in all, an impressive performer for such a compact model! Here are the results of our performance measurements:

Timing and Performance

Very good speed for a consumer camera, especially a subcompact.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.5 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy. (No lens to deploy on the T10, so you might expect it to be even faster than this, but a second and a half is still quite fast.)
Shutdown
0.2 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket. Effectively instant on the T10 because there's no lens to retract.
Buffer clearing time
3 seconds*
(Large/Fine JPEG
5 shots in
continuous mode)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared. With the T10, you can obviously close the front cover at any time, because the lens is internal.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.1 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
2.8 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.0 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.37 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position. (Very fast.)
Full Autofocus Tele
0.38 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position. (Very fast.)
Prefocused
0.012 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button. (Extremely fast.)
Continuous AF
0.44 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.39 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused". The Sony T10 is a little unusual, in that manual focus is no faster than its (already very speedy) autofocus.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.43 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.30 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.92 second (1.09 frames per second);
5 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 5 frames
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.77 second (1.29 frames per second);
3 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Flash recycling
5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
2,192 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Sony MemoryStick PRO Duo memory card. Slower cards (non-PRO MemoryStick Duos) will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The DSC-T10 is an excellent performer, beginning with its very quick 1.5 second startup time. Shutter lag at wide angle and telephoto are both excellent, and "prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a blazingly fast shutter response time of only 0.012 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are also good, at about 1.43 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it captures shots continuously without having to wait on the memory card to catch up. (We tested with a Memory Stick PRO Duo card, non-PRO models may result in a delay after a few shots have been captured.) Continuous-mode speed is a little less than stellar though, at just over one frame per second, for up to five shots in succession. However, the camera's Multi Shot 16 mode makes up for this with as high as a 30 frame per second rate for up to 16 320 x 240 resolution images. The flash takes about seven seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, slightly slow (albeit typical for subcompact cameras), but more of a negative point when you consider how limited the T10's flash range is. Connected to a computer, download speeds are very fast at 2,192 KBytes per second. Bottom line, the DSC-T10 is quite responsive and suitable for a wide range of situations, though it's normal continuous shooting mode would be a little slow for sporting events.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good battery life.

Battery Type
Number of Shots
Custom LiIon Rechargeable
250

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and both a battery and charger are included in the box with the camera.

The table above shows Sony's rating for the number of shots the camera is capable of on a fully-charged battery, based on CIPA battery-life standard test conditions, a very good performance for a subcompact camera model. Though run time is quite good for an LCD-only camera, we always recommend picking up a second battery and keeping it freshly charged if you expect to go on any extended outings with the camera.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
No card is included with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10, although it accepts Memory Stick Duo cards; 56MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
56MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,072 x 2,304 Images 17 33
File Size 3.5 MB 1.8 MB
2,592 x 1,944 Images 23 43
File Size 2.6 MB 1.4 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 38 67
File Size 1.6 MB 901 KB
1,632 x 1,224 Images 60 114
File Size 1.0 MB 534 KB
640 x 480
Images 356 891
File Size 171 KB 68 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large-capacity Memory Stick PRO Duo at least a 256 MB card, preferably a 512 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (We recommend the PRO version of the Memory Stick Duo, because it supports non-stop video as well as longer sequences of continuous still-image shooting.) (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Sony DSC-T10

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