Sony DSC-T100 Review

 
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Sony DSC-T100 Design

Ultra-thin, stylish, and compact, the Sony DSC-T100 features the slim dimensions and large LCD panel distinctive of the T-series, stretching the LCD to a full 3.0-inch diagonal dimension. Because the camera has an internal lens, the front panel remains smooth all the time, and very pocket friendly. Measuring 3.5 x 2.25 x 0.825 inches (91.8 x 59.2 x 22.3mm), the DSC-T100 will fit easily into most shirt pockets, and even tiny evening bags. Though it sports an almost all-metal body, the Sony T100 is still lightweight, at just 6.1 ounces (172 grams) with batteries and a Memory Stick card aboard.


The front of the Sony DSC-T100 is flat, the main body panel mostly covered by the large lens cover that slides under a stationary chrome finger grip. The text on both the cover and grip reads sideways when the camera is set down but is correctly oriented when the camera is swung from its strap. The lens cover slides downward to reveal the lens and power on the camera (you can also power it on without exposing the lens by using the Playback button). Because the lens design is all internal, the zoom lens doesn't telescope outward when the camera is powered on. Instead, it lines up vertically inside like a periscope, using a mirror to reflect the view. This also makes the camera quick on the draw. You don't have to wait for the lens to crank out into position before you can shoot. Next to the lens, the self-timer/AF illuminator lamp, flash, and microphone line up right to left, keeping the exposed area very narrow.


The right side of the Sony DSC-T10 hosts the compartment where the Memory Stick Duo and battery reside, covered by a sliding, hinged door with a small pop-out panel for a power adapter. Above it is the hook to attach the included wrist strap.


The opposite side of the camera is featureless.


The Sony T100's top panel features the large Shutter button; and the Power and Playback mode buttons appear on the rear beveled edge. The power button includes a small LED that turns green when power is on.


The remaining few camera controls are on the back panel, along with the very large, 3.0-inch LCD monitor. A zoom control is in the top right corner. The Five-way Navigator is next to the lower right corner of the LCD monitor, with the Menu button above it, and the Home button below it.


The Sony DSC-T100 has a flat bottom panel, which holds the multi-connector jack, tripod screw mount, and speaker. Thanks to the T100's side memory card and battery compartment access, you can easily swap out cards and batteries without removing the camera from most tripods.

 

Sony DSC-T100 External Controls


Lens Cover: Dominating the camera's front panel, this sliding cover moves downward to uncover the lens, simultaneously powering on the camera.


Shutter Button: Located on the far right side of the top panel, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed. Half-pressing the Shutter button also causes the camera to display the shutter speed and aperture setting its exposure system has chosen for the current scene, as well as the autofocus area. Even though you can't control the shutter speed or aperture manually, being able to see what the camera has selected can be a useful guide for experienced photographers to judge depth of field or anticipate motion blur.


Power Button: On the beveled edge of the top panel, this button turns the camera on and off.


Playback Button: To the right of the Power button, this button switches to Playback mode and, optionally, turns the camera on without exposing the lens. Use the Power button to turn the camera off, if you do that, because pressing the Playback button to power the camera off instead warns you that the lens cover is closed.


Zoom Rocker Button: Located in the top right corner of the back panel, the rocker lever controls the optical, and digital zoom in any Record mode. In Playback mode, it controls digital enlargement of captured images, and can also accesses the index display mode, as well as a detailed information display. (The "T" side zooms in, the "W" side zooms out. Zooming out from the normal-sized single image view brings up an index display of tiny "thumbnail" images.)


Menu Button: Located just above the Five-way navigator, this button displays, or dismisses the settings menu in Record, or Playback mode.


Five-way Navigator: The largest control in the lower right corner of the rear panel, this round but clipped ring features four arrow keys, and a center button. The arrow keys navigate through any settings menu, and the center button confirms menu selections.

The Up arrow cycles through Display options. The Down arrow activates the Self-Timer option, with choices of either 2 or 10 seconds, while the Right arrow controls the Macro mode. Macro mode options include normal Macro mode (3.25 inches, or farther at wide-angle) and "Magnifying Glass" Close Focus mode (0.325 inch, or farther at wide-angle). The Right arrow cycles through the Flash modes: Auto, Forced On, Forced Off, and Slow Sync.

In Playback mode, the Left, and Right keys scroll through captured images. When an image has been enlarged, all four arrow keys move around within the enlarged view.


Home Button: Below left of the Five-way navigator, this button accesses the camera's basic functions in a set of menus: Shooting, View Images, Printing/Other, Manage Memory, and Settings.

 

Sony DSC-T100

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